Come take the yard tour of our farmhouse fixer before - what is already in place, what we want to keep, get rid of, and add to the property.
You know that saying of the three most important things when looking for a new home - "location, location, location?" That's what sold us on the property.
And why we were even willing to take on the huge task of remodeling the house. We had been looking for more than a year, so we knew what was out there - and what wasn't. And we had never seen a property like this that we could afford.
Now of course we know why it was affordable as we're looking at a huge bill to redo the non-existent foundation (if you're a newsletter subscriber, you know all about this - be sure to sign up if you're interested in behind-the-scened details like this!).
Thankfully, there is a place we can live on the property and so we're not under any deadline which gives us time to explore options and talk with more people.
We are definitely taking a long-term, this is where we want to be forever kind of view on this. Which means it may be years before we see all the things we'd like to do get done - but can't you just see the potential when it does?
In the meantime, we can do what we can, which includes starting a vegetable garden from scratch and adding a few plants and trees.
Yard Tour Before Video
Like the last two tours, in addition to the photos below I made a video, too, where you can see a bit more than I'm including here - like my new seed-starting station in the garage and a close-up of that palm tree and pond.
Yard Tour in Photos
Let's start at the front of the house for this tour. The lead photo you saw at the beginning shows what you see if you were driving up to our house. The farmhouse is on the left, a garage is straight ahead, and the manufactured home is to the right, which isn't visible in the photo.
Pictured above is the farmhouse's porch left side which I'm showing because it's where I'd like to build a raised bed around the cement porch in order to grow hydrangeas and boxwoods and not have to have a railing. I will be getting rid of the large laurel bush you can just barely see to the left and probably the rhododendron, but I may just trim it back depending on what it looks like when it blooms.
This area is north-facing, so only shade-loving plants will work here. In fact there are a lot of daffodils planted along the walkway in front of the porch and not one bloomed - it's too shaded even for daffodils.
As we walk back along the front walkway to the driveway, you can see this grassy area between the front and side cement walks. I think it's perfect for a contained herb and flower garden.
This would be a slightly more formal layout with brick walkways connecting the two cement walks and a large brick circle in the center with a birdbath. That would leave the four corners to plant with deer resistant herbs (meaning, not basil - that would have to go into the veggie garden!) and flowers.
I haven't drawn any plans yet (which is easy to do using the Garden Success Plan Notebook!), it's just in my mind but I can sure picture it - can you?
I just thought I'd show you the other side of the back walk - a large broken concrete patio that we are going to have to tear out, along with the concrete next to the house. It should all come out when we do the foundation.
And I'm thinking about ways to reuse the concrete, like we did in our last home. Do you remember the raised beds and flower bed paths I made with broken concrete?
This is the flat, graveled area left from another manufactured home that was on the property before they put it up for sale. I talked about this area in this article detailing our vegetable garden plans - having an area all flattened and ready for raised beds is pretty sweet, right? Based on some reader feedback, I have already decided to not try and fit one of the plum trees I want inside the deer-fenced garden. They will both be planted closer to the fence line behind the garage/garden shed now.
The garage to the left that had been attached to the home has become our yard and garden shed and is where I'm starting our vegetable seeds this year.
The only issue is that the area is way bigger than I want for vegetables (I learned my lesson there, which you can hear about in this podcast). So my plan is to move a shed to the right corner to be more useful and take up room (and it's the corner that is the most shaded, too, so makes even more sense). Specifically, this shed:
It's pretty basic and obviously needs some roof help. I like the barn door and would like to add more windows to make it more garden-shed-like.
Here's an area I haven't shown before (and actually isn't in the video, either). It's on the other side of the manufactured home we're living in and really shows more of what our "one acre wood" looks like. The road is to the right and you can kind of see our fence line at the back.
Oh, and all the dirt mounds you see? That would be all the gophers here, too. So.Many.Gophers.
This is the view from inside the oak woods looking toward the farmhouse - such a sweet view, isn't' it?
We don't have any plans for the woods, other than to keep the wild, invasive blackberries under control. We do hope to be able to harvest some limbs from the ground and lower tree limbs to chip for the wood paths in the vegetable garden.
Our goal is to use as much as we can from the property. There is a lot of Trex-type decking attached to the manufactured home that we are planning to use to build some of the raised beds.
We'll also build some with the concrete that I mentioned. And then to use our own wood chips - that would be cool.
Like the other tours, I'd love to know what you think of this before yard tour! Have any ideas we're missing out on? Other ways we could reuse things? Simply leave a comment below to let me know - and thanks so much for reading and following along!
Make This Year's Garden A Success!