Well, folks, we did it. After a year and a half of researching, viewing, bidding, and repeating, my husband and I have taken the next step into the somewhat fictional concept of the “adult world”. We are now brand new, soon-to-be inhabitants of a crumbling yet just-right starter house with loads of character. Complete with popcorn ceilings, shag carpet, and kitchen cabinets old enough to actually be sturdy.
I find myself equally excited and anxious to start working on making the house a home as I have watched far too much HGTV. The ultimate hope is to reach that perfect level of harmony with the house, the garden, and my marriage to be happy. This will admittedly, be a process.
Already, there have been trips to the paint store, the flooring store, the hardware store (not the garden store yet!). So many brick-and-mortar warehouses that I passed every day and did not notice. Alongside many shortage issues, rising prices, backorders, and replacement dates, we have found that there is a singular leading barrier to making any decisions towards any updates on the house: Andrew and I cannot agree on what we want to do.
While it may surprise you, this gardener wants to start on the interior house projects first. My loving husband wants to work on the outside appearance and get a garden established and growing as soon as possible. This was not a disagreement that I ever expected to have.
Even further, we cannot agree on what changes should be made, even if we were to pick a place to start. Is a sturdy fence more important than new carpets? Is it better to get our plants established before the winter, or should we wait until spring to do some deep cleaning and restructuring the grounds? We can both agree that both projects need to be completed, and completed soon; however, what we want it to look like in the end varies.
I could tell you about the paint choices, and carpet options, I am sure many of you would nod your head in understanding, or chuckle at the simplicity of these world-changing decisions. These were all discussions I was planning on having, minor arguments I was prepared for.
The disagreements I was not expecting were the struggles we are having in the garden. A place where for some people, not much thought goes into, it is simply maintained and kept green. For others, a garden is a sanctuary and a place to display personality, lifestyles, and a point of pride. The struggle that nobody warned me about.
There is a fine line and constant debate between having too much to maintain with our busy schedules and too little to entertain with our large families. The previous owner was kind enough to leave us an entirely overgrown blank slate with the exception of a singular palm tree and empty garden beds. That leaves us with a lot of questions, do we want a lawn? Do we decide to put in a deck and porch or stay with the artistic slate steps?
We want our yard to reflect our personalities, yet blend and accentuate our house and the character that it provides to the neighborhood. This is a journey we have decided to take, as outdoor living space is important to both of us. It is one that will take time, compromise, and much manual labor. Hopefully, at the end of it, we come home with a fruitful garden that reflects both of us. For now, all we can agree on is that the yard does need work, and the palm tree simply has to go.