Monday, May 14, 2012


When we bought our house back in 2005, one of the first things we fell in love with were the trees in the front yard.  There are two large Texas ash trees that offer lots of shade year-round, as well as two cedar trees flanking either side of our front porch.  A friend said it gave our home a kind of "English cottage" quality, and I liked the privacy the trees offered, too.

Inspection Day, November 2005.

But as the Texas weather has become more dramatic over the years, those cedars began to take on a life of their own, kind of like that plant, Audrey, in Little Shop of Horrors.  Remember that blood-thirsty thing?  Our trees didn't require human blood to thrive, exactly, but they did start to grow quickly during the rainy seasons, just as the backs, which got almost no sun at all against the brick, were beginning to die, leaving long, sharp branches in their wake.  It got so bad that, before people came to our house, Ryan or I would quickly trim the lowest parts of the tree so nobody would lose an eye on the way to our front door.

The cave, as Ryan called it.

Since this year has been particularly wet, the cedars transformed into gigantic, green monsters, blocking all light and literally taking over the front of our house.  Anytime I tried to put plants on the porch, they began to die from lack of sun.  Finally, after much debate, we decided that the cedars simply had to go.  Though they were growing at an alarming rate, they were also dying (see that brown spot on the left), and would just have to be removed.

So today, our little house got a much-needed facelift, and we are so pleased with the results.  We've never actually seen the front of our house before, because it was always hidden from view, and it looks so different to us.  The cedars and a few other bushes were replaced with native, drought-resistant plants that should do well in the brutal Texas summer.  And we've promised James that the new trees will never become as big and scary as those cedars.

Our new front porch.

Another view of the front.