Home and Garden thread.


#1

Thread for posting your homes and gardens or progress towards such things.

This is my home:


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::hands on hips:: Something needs to be done about this kitchen.
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::shaking her head from side to side:: Yup, this won’t do at all.
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THERE IT’S FIXED
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Anyway, the tour continues:

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Here we are all moved in, with bonus cat in a few pictures:

Here’s the Master Bedroom now.
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Here’s the Master Bedroom from the other side.
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Here’s the entry way.
My spouse is in the process of converting the area near the big window into a tea room. I’ll post that up when he’s done with it.
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This room is a continuation of the room in the above picture. We call this room the ‘desk room’ for lack of a better designation.
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Here’s the living room. It’s connected to the desk room and the entry way in one continuous room. I am in this picture.
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This is the dining room now.
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Here’s the guest room.
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Here’s the guest room from another angle.
You can see some wedding pictures in this one, also this guest room smells like grandpas.
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Let’s check out my flower garden:

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Honeysuckle for the fence thingy.
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I got 4 annuals and 4 perennials for the shaded back portion of our house, seen here:

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The annuals are:

Clear Crystal Mix Alyssums
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Titan Icy Pink Vincas
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Disco Orange Marigolds. A favorite of rabbits and cicadas.
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Madness Spring Petunias
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The perennials are:

This thing with a long ass name that I’m just gonna call a Moonshadow.
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A pinkish Astilbe. (AKA Left Astilbe)
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And off-white Astilbe. (AKA Right Astilbe)
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My very favorite, the Heucherella Plum Cascade.
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Whole garden pic!
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Now let me introduce you to my latest project:

This fucking murdered my arms and destroyed my palms. It’s gonna be a thick bed of clover one day. And in the the center of it I’m going to plant a plum tree which I’m picking up tomorrow.
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Here’s the clover I’m planting in that circle:

I hope it cooperates.
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It hasn’t been a good time for me mental health wise, fascist government and all. (Though other factors are also contributing.) The hope that one day I’ll be able to lay on a bed of clover in the shade of my own plum tree is giving me some precious peace of mind.
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It’s Ramadan and one of my favorite sayings attributed to the Prophet Mohammed is, “Even if the end of times is upon you, if you have a seedling in your hand, plant it!”
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Now I’m not a Muslim, but I like the message.
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So um, I’ll be posting updates as I continue planting things in defiance of jackassess. And y’all are welcome to share your homes and projects too.


#2

I’ve not had hot water for nearly a month because I had a leaky pipe and I am unmotivated so I’ve been putting off fixing it. I made progress last weekend but I got discouraged for the following reasons:

My house was built in the 50s and all the plumbing, save a small portion, is old galvanized pipes. The crawl space is unpleasant to be in and very cramped. The galvanized pipe I need to remove will not come free from the fitting it is screwed into because it is old and corroded. I’ve got fucking depression.

I spent several hours on Sunday attempting to free it with a variety of tools and have been completely unsuccessful. Penetrating oil didn’t do it. Cutting off the top of the pipe and rethreading it did not work (no clearance to get the threader on the pipe.

I’m going to stop by Home Depot on the way home and pick up a propane torch so I can attempt to loosen the threads up that way, by heating the shit out of the fitting and hoping it breaks free as I yank and jerk on it. And that I don’t burn my fucking house down.

Even once I fix this, I still need to pull up most of the floor in the laundry room by the hot water heater because water got under the linoleum and it’s only mostly dried out.

Pain in the dang ass. Old houses man. I really should just tear out all the galvanized pipes and put in PEX or something, but I’m extremely hesitant to spend all that money.


#3

I should fly up and help you, buddy. But I injured myself today.

So I fetched the tree and I managed to fit it in the car:

Then I managed to carry it out onto my lawn:

Then I started digging and quickly struck water:

I kept digging, and the water got deeper:


This is not because I broke a pipe or hit a well or something. This is because it stormed last night and my soil is very clay and thus retained all this water which it is not draining well.

Anyway, more digging:


Needs to be four more inches deeper. Also I need to even out the sides.

But I know what you all came here for and that’s more digging, here you go:


Hole is now the right width but not the right depth throughout.

Digging? Digging:


The weight of the very clay soil and water slurry is too heavy and I pull something on my right side trying to finish the dig.

We need to make a siphon, buy some gravel and a pitchfork, and I need to not kill myself in frustration.

EVERYTHING HURTS.

Okay so what else I did last night? I introduce you to the most expensive siphon ever built and a complete piece of garbage, fucking kill me:

I screamed in frustration, cried a lot, worried my spouse (and we fought because I’m actually injuring myself on this insane project) and went to bed.

##DAY TWO, RETURN TO THE HOLE.


It accumulated water overnight…
:negative: :shepicide:

More to come!


#4

This is an exciting thread!

My parents moved out of their house in September and my husband and I have been renting it from them since. It’s the house I’ve lived in my entire life, so I have a complicated history with it. Factor in my family’s mental health (including hoarding) issues, and you have a burning desire to make the house a home.

The backyard had basically turned into a jungle by last year. What started as one tree turned into 5+, never trimmed. There were also a ton of decorative bushes that turned into sprawling messes. Almost all of that was removed summer '16. A new fence was put in, and we’ve just started working on redoing all the grass. We also need to get rid of the stupid shed, and figure out how we are going to adjust the pit left by the old pool.

As for the house itself, it was the model home for the surrounding neighborhood, meaning it was built first to show new buyers what their house would look like. As a result, corners were cut, and the house is annoying to work with. Almost nothing is square in the house, and the wiring is frequently wrong (what should be the ground wire is the live wire, etc). My dad at one point knocked out a (load-bearing!!!) wall in the basement and then never actually replaced it. (We have over-adequate supports were the wall was, evaluated by someone with qualifications, so the house isn’t going to cave in or anything). This picture is after removing over a dozen large trash bags of stuff.

So inside we have painted the bedroom, and first floor+upper hallway. Color in bedroom is a grey, the downstairs color is a light blue that is way more blue than we thought it would be but oh well.


#5

Show me a picture of the pool pit because I don’t know if you noticed but GODDAMN DO I LOVE HOLES.

Here’s my hole today:

Without seeing your beautiful hole (phrasing) I won’t be able to give much advice but, depending on finances, you could convert it into a goldfish pond with a little fountain (I could walk you through the process of doing some of that.) Or you could fill it in all but 3-4inches with dirt (I have spare dirt, but probably not enough spare dirt) then cover it with light colored, fine grain sand and make it a little Japanese sand & rock garden that you can rake out and stuff.

##Some observations based on the pictures you have posted.
Lawn:
1.) Okay wow, that is a SCARY amount of erosion happening on the right side of your yard in the first picture. There’s like a fucking ditch forming. Yikes! Also that whole right side appears to be on a pretty significant slope. Is that the erosion or natural bend of the land?

You uh, you need to do something about that erosion, friend because that’s just begging for a fucking mudslide. You don’t want that, trust me. You’re gonna need to level that, there are two ways of doing this:
Method A: We’re the best neighbors: Fill in that forming ditch and surrounding area with a high-clay content loam soil (because water doesn’t sink into clay as easily.) Keep the slope but level it out so there’s no longer a ditch. Then, cover that whole area with riverbed rocks, limestone, shale, siltstone, other rocks that erode slowly and just allow the passage of water over them (siltstone is the best.) You want it at least two inches deep. And if you feel like it plant a couple succulents over there. Now watch as all the rainfall washes down that smooth siltstone surface and accumulates in your downslope neighbor’s yard turning it into a squelchy quagmire that’s #NotYourProblem :sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses:

Method B: We’re in this together, Jenner!:
Sigh, okay fine. Just like above you’re gonna keep the slope but fill in and level out that ditch. Only this time you’re gonna use a friendlier loam mix of 30% clay, 30% sand, 40% silt. Then you’re gonna plant moss, not grass, down the entire width and length of that slope. (Because moss slows erosion more than grass and doesn’t get as boggy, suck-you-into-it as grass and soil.) Then plant a bunch of REALLY THIRSTY bushes and shrubs so when the rain comes the moss makes it flow slow and the shrubs drink it up so your downslope neighbor’s yard doesn’t become a bog. The best part is if you leave a person sized lane in the moss then get a sturdy trash bag or sack you can sled down the thick moss. If you ever have kids you will come to decide grass stains (moss stains, really) are fashion statements. What growth zone are you in? I can recommend you some moss.

2.) The whole lawn definitely needs regrassed and that slate patio looks like it needs touched up. You can probably grout in some riverbed stone yourself. And, since I hate grass, have you considered instead replacing your grass with clover or ivy? Grass can grow many feet tall if you don’t get out and mow it and clover can be ignored for longer because it doesn’t grow as high. Also grass pulls a lot of nutrients out of the soil whereas clover puts more nutrients into the soil and you can just ignore ivy completely.
3.) (Optional) GROW SOME FUCKING SWEET POTATOES IN THAT CORNER WHERE ALL THE SHIT IS PILED UP AGAINST THE FENCE NEAR THE SLATE PATIO. (Thank me later by mailing me sweet potatoes.)
4.) What kind of tree is that? How old is it? It looks young and so its gonna get bigger and if it’s gonna get bigger it might be too close to the fence.
5.) Is that awful white building the barn? Ew. It takes up too much land space there in the center of your yard though it is a nice big barn. If you have the money I would move it near the back fence with a side opening to open up that area and fill area in with a strawberry patch. :3

House:
1.) Is that double plank thing in the center the replacement support pillar?! OH DEAR. I am not okay with that. If you can afford it I’d do a reinforced cement pillar because 30-40 years of walking around is gonna put a lot of strain on those beams and you’re gonna have a bad time.

2.) You know, it might just be more worthwhile to your parents to get some land speculators out to evaluate the land. If you’re in a desirable enough area you can sell this for about 60% what a developer would make off totaling the joint and making a fresh house… but you might need a place to live or… you’re gonna need to let me know if it’s even WORTH thinking about 30-40 years down the line and if it’s worth sinking any money above and beyond, “Keep it standing and keep it from killing us.” Ok?


#6

I see you’ve noticed the half finished patio. I should see if I can drudge up a picture of the deck before we made them get it finished by someone else.

The tree by the trash-corner is a peach tree. I’d love to move it somewhere not totally idiotic once the rest of the yard can support it.

A big factor on our plans for the backyard are our two dogs. They are both terriers, and at least one we know has killed a rabbit before. The backyard has had rabbits nest there every year for over a decade, so our prime directive for the yard is to remove as many spots for wildlife to hide as possible (one of our many reasons for wanting to oust the shed, the other being you can never see the entire yard at once, which makes keeping track of two dogs annoying).

I’ll provide more pictures of the backyard (with annotations) when I get home. A few views from the back fence facing toward the house should provide more context on the slope of the land. For now, here’s a diagram of where the pool “hole” is:

One of our frustrations with the yard is how needlessly difficult it is to work with it. There was a solid 3 months of work to just get it into its current shape. Seriously, the sun didn’t even touch most spots in the yard before we removed all the trees. There’s also remnants of half-finished projects everywhere. There are TONS of rocks in the ground, and we had to relocate several wheelbarrows-full of large rocks that my dad made very clear are “not leaving the property because he broke his back to get them”.

The mud hill in the back was where a large concentration of trees was. While they did kill all the grass back there, they also left behind some large roots that have held the ground together for the most part. That will be another annoying part of the yard; we’ve had multiple large trees that have since been cut down, but their stumps and roots were never removed.

I don’t know if it’s visible in the photo, but the pillar in the basement has two of these:

The rest of the walls in the basement are cinderblock (and that wall was originally cinderblock as well), so the replacement plan afaik is to use cinderblock (there already is some peeking over the left side of the basement photo).

Our main goals for the house are largely cosmetic (beyond finishing the deck, which is done, and replacing the wall in the basement). We’re only planning on staying in the house for 5ish years, and unless we’re planning on buying, don’t want to sink a whole ton more of our money to improve the value of a house we don’t own (via structural changes, at least).

I appreciate all the advice! I will have more to say and show later (I’m writing this at work, oops!).

EDIT:. I have put a bunch of photos of the house in an album. Many are current, but a few (the ones from the sunroom with lots of tree branches) are old.
27 new photos · Album by Matthew Rink

Featured:. Pictures of the kitchen walls (which are greasy af, along with the rest of the cabinet surfaces and horizontal surfaces). They put up new cabinets but on top of unpainted walls. Never put in the backsplash (they have all the tile though!! Just like in the basement my dad put down two large pieces of plywood for a “”“floor”"" then never finished so now we can’t even use the basement :upside_down: )


#7

Unfortunately, once a tree is in and established moving it can disrupt/shock it and kill it. If you wanna move it you’ll probably wanna consult a professional or risk losing the tree.

Are you talking just structures or also bushes and such because I’ve got some bad news for you… You’re gonna need bushes and shrubs. I’ll explain why once I’m done responding to everything else.

That’s the hole? Awww…I’m sad that it’s already filled in. Do you know what it was filled in with? Like what kind of soil? The more I look at your lawn the more I think it might be like high 50% maybe even 60% clay but the “pool” area looks a little soggier which suggests a less clay content. And I’m gonna be honest, your topsoil is looking grim.

Which gets to the crux of this. Tatters, my friend, you have an erosion problem. A lot, if not all, of your good topsoil has been washed away. You’re left with, what looks like, a clay top layer (because clay doesn’t wash away as fast.) If you’re gonna wanna be planting anything you’re gonna want plants with short little grippy roots that’ll help control and mitigate the further eroding of your lawn because I just cannot imagine how much of your soil has washed away. And you’re probably gonna want at least an inch of good topsoil to plant ANYTHING seeing as your current topsoil makes me cringe.

OH GOD WHY?! WHY!!! AAAAAAAHHHHH!!! No, no, no, no, no, oh fuck you made it worse!! :gonk:

Okay that made it better because rocks cause breaks in the soil and increase water flow into the crevices they create which can break up the land.

(Underline my emphasis.)

The above statement is why the below statement is a really good thing. You are on a serious slope and your clay topsoil is in for a wild ride without those roots. I don’t know how much more urgently I can encourage you to do something about that erosion. Maybe put in some drains down to the street I can see in this picture?

I can see that the bare areas of your lawn are what I call “rain scarred” which means rain has carried some of the soil away into the surrounding grass and down the slope. I can see how the brown color of soil has streaked some of your grass as it has washed away.

How um… how’s the foundation of that house? Is it cinder block too? I wonder how deep this layer of clay you’re on now goes and if you’ll sink… :thinking:

##Jenner’s Recommendations:
Okay first you might want to consider getting yourself an inch or two of good soil on your land. Then, whether or not you spend the money on soil you’re absolutely want to cover what little soil you have left with an erosion control blanket. Just fucking cover your lawn from edge to edge because goddamn. Then you’re gonna wanna plant some grasses that are good for stopping erosion like woodland sedge, or check out this thread for other recommendations
Plants to grow:
You’re gonna need plants, Tatters.
1.)
Wild Rose: I would like the entire bottom half of your lawn and some of the sides against the fence with Wild Rose. Bees love it and its got hella roots.
2.) Lesser Periwinkle: These lovely little flowers would be great indispersed amongst some English Ivy on the right hand side of your yard where I am freaking out about the natural Slip-N-Slide forming ditch you’ve got presently.

I’ll edit with more later.


#8

If it helps for grass/plants/etc recommendation, I’m located in southeastern PA.

Dumb question, but does the erosion control blanket go on first, then topsoil over it?

It’s good to hear that recommendation, because I’ve been working on convincing my parents to do that for a while. And, unfortunately, a lot of what we are allowed to do is limited by what they’ll pay for - my husband and I need to be able to have them foot the bill; since we are renting from them, there’s a certain amount we can convince them is necessary, but they get antsy when I talk to them about it. Hell, they’ve even been passive aggressive about the paint colors we chose (ignoring that they left all their walls half painted and with holes in them, which we patched all of :upside_down: )

3 out of the 5 major trees were removed because they were on (or rather, in) the fence, and tall enough to be interfering with the power lines. To get a new fence, which was a hard requirement for adopting our second dog, those had to go.

For the other two, which were in the yard proper, I actually asked to keep them. However, we came home one day to find all the trees gone. My dad had cut them all down and wouldn’t give us a reason why :iiam:

So I feel I have mislead and disappointed you - it was an above ground pool, so it’s not really a hole. Under the pool was sand, around was those grey sharp rocks you can see in a few of those photos.

The foundation is… Honestly, I don’t know how to say with certainty. The basement floor is one slab of concrete, that is about 50% ground level and 50% slightly underground. How…would I be able to tell for sure?

I’m going to take a portion of this to DMs or something to avoid cluttering the thread with non-home-improvement related issues. Again, I super appreciate all the advice.


#9

It goes over the topsoil, you’re trying to retain it.

##Hole Update!!!


It’s almost dry? :toot:


#10

Slight update + history! My old neighbor was around when the neighborhood houses were built, and the contractors took a lot of the topsoil on these couple houses to use on other sites. :upside_down:
Parents will help us pay for the dirt, but the erosion control (and any hardware necessary for moving large amounts of dirt) is on us. Any progress is good progress, I guess!

In the meantime, I’ve started work on 3d modeling the backyard to play around with some layouts and stuff. Hope to share that soon.

Other than that, I’ve been:

  • looking into ant control. I traced them back to a few spots on the house, and now need a way to remove/kill the colonies. The ants aren’t nearly as bad this year (amazing what keeping a clean kitchen can do…) but I’d still prefer them not to live in the house - the backyard is all theirs.

  • thinking more about paint colors for the last barren room, and need to redo the trim on the entire house. I think we’re going to go with a really neutral white/light grey, and use the room to highlight a bunch of art we have. For the trim, I think I’ll need to strip off the existing paint, because there are two layers of different off-whites that are coming off of all the moulding right now.

  • working on installing a ceiling fan in the sunroom. Our breaker box doesn’t have a breaker listed for the sunroom, so we’ll probably just turn the house electricity off to be safe.

  • maybe start thinking about small fixes to the kitchen to make it more usable. I should take pictures for suggestions.

  • need to look into duct cleaning. Ducts have never been cleaned afaik since the house was built (50s). Husband has allergies and that isn’t helping


#11

[quote=“TattersMatters, post:10, topic:2093”]
looking into ant control. I traced them back to a few spots on the house, and now need a way to remove/kill the colonies. The ants aren’t nearly as bad this year (amazing what keeping a clean kitchen can do…) but I’d still prefer them not to live in the house - the backyard is all theirs.
[/quote]Get the liquid Terro Ant Killer from the hardware store and put a dollop on pieces of card stock around the house where you see ants. It’s probably the most effective stuff I’ve used.


#12

##Hole Update!!
I got tired of the grass…


So I tore it all up.

Where’s the grass? You might ask.


It’s right here in this pile.

And as for the hole?


I put a tree in it.

And then I seeded the area with clover, lightly covered it with mulch, and thoroughly watered it.


Check out my good, good tree.

Dunno what my next project will be but I’m here to admire and comment on everyone else’s projects!


#13

You did it Jenner I’m proud of u.

I got my water fixed over the weekend. Ultimately it was dad help that did it. Turns out, the water softener system down in the crawl space? Not even fucking hooked up. At all.

So we just lopped off the whole thing and spliced some pipes together and called it a day.


#14

Don’t get me wrong, I like Tree, but
I miss Hole.

Hole really had some…depth.

Does Tree have a name? Perhaps Plummithy? Plumption? PlumHoleson?


#15

The tree is named Cantor. Not after any shitty GOP politicians but because a Cantor is an individual who sends up and amplifies prayers and that plum tree, Cantor, is a prayer for the future.

Hurr, hurr, hurr, I just watered it a bunch today and I still get choked up and feel big feelings when I see it.

I think it’s gonna be a food garden next, gonna grow some cilantro, potatoes, tomatoes, and such. Gotta wait for that mound of grass and the grass clippings I’m pouring over it to decompose into good soil first though. So that’ll be next year.

My front yard has flower beds too, rose bushes and azaleas and shit. Those came with the house, I didn’t plant them. We also have a weeping cherry out front. Cherry blossom trees are my spouse’s favorite tree and weeping willows are my favorite tree so this tree was a huge factor in our choice to buy this house. Here’s the tree in bloom:


I haven’t named it yet.

The tree next to it is just a cherry tree and here it is in bloom:


It doesn’t have a name either.

In the front flower beds were some sprouts that I wasn’t sure were weeds or not and I was too lazy to pull them. They turned out to be flowers:

I’d show the front flower beds but they’re all so barren and haggard. That’s all from me for awhile.


#16

@Jenner is holding out on you all. I have seen the sproots


#17

Gasp. I have been called out. Betrayed by my best of friends!

It is true, I have been withholding sproots from you all. Forgive me.

Here are the sproots I owe you all, as penance:


These fierce little sproots peeked out after only a few days from being planted.

Literally the next day I discovered these fierce sproots were quite fierce.


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Quite fierce indeed.

After a few more days you could see they were much thicker now:

Yesterday they made boldly made their presence known from a distance.


(Bonus finger tip in the frame because I know what my fans like. :kissing_heart:)
You can see them starting to carpet in green like I want them to along the right hand side of Cantor. The left side is lagging a bit but I am not concerned for they are the fiercest of sproots.

@heyboots wanted an extreme close up of the fierce sproots and I delivered but I may as well show you all as well:


So fierce, so sproots.

:muscle: :seedling: :heartpulse:


#18

I’m gonna stan for those sproots.


#19

mI took a couple pictures of (the parts of) my house (that aren’t messy atm)

Bonus outside pic of my shameful gutter forest:


#20

I’m really into that blue cabinet and the art above it!