I didn't get much done for the first year we were in our house. But actually, that's not such a bad thing! It gave me time to make sure what was going to work for us and what was not. And I lived with the empty yard for a full year before doing anything to it. I wanted to see what was lying beneath the fall-view and see just what spring would bring. I wanted to be sure that I didn't dig up anything that might be lurking underneath the soil for a new season. 

I was a little disappointed. There was pretty much nothing popping up new. No daffodil surprises. No tulips. No hyacinths or any early spring bulbs. It was pretty much a WYSIWYG* yard. 
  1. denoting the representation of text on screen in a form exactly corresponding to its appearance on a printout (or "what you see is what you get")

There were 8 oak trees, 5 dogwood trees and a couple of shrubs, plus the foundation plantings in front of the house. One of the first things I did was to try to get more color in front of the house. The brick is very dark. So taking a cue from some existing plants, I planted things with white blooms. I think eventually they will look awesome, but I can't keep everything watered during our hot summers and the foundation plantings are somewhat protected from rain by overhangs, so they are not really thriving. I daydream of an in-ground sprinkler system.

There was this one plant, there to the left of the window in the above picture, that was totally green. I hoped it might be a camellia and its leaf looked like it could be. I left it alone for a full year, but there were no buds or blossoms, so I decided it must be ligustrum, which is just a big green shrub. I wanted flowers, so I began to dig it up. Correction: I began to TRY to dig it up. The dirt in that corner was so dry and hard that it was very difficult digging and I really didn't get too far and I gave up for a while. 

That winter, about sometime in January, I thought I saw something besides green in that corner. To my amazement there was one red camellia blossom! I ran to get some fertilizer and quickly pulled all the dirt that I had dug away back around it. And I began to water it.

Saved by the bell! or at least by the hard un-diggable dirt! And a little water.

That first year, it only had that one flower. The following year it had three. And this past year it had over a dozen!

Home decorating is like that to me. Sometimes I just won't know what to do or what would look good. And then, one day, or one night, totally out of the blue, the light bulb will turn on, and I'll be wondering "why in the world didn't I think of that sooner?"

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