You Clean Up Nice, Curb Appeal: A Timeline & An Armadillo


Let’s talk curb appeal.

In the 4 years we’ve lived in our house we’ve sort of just worked with the curb appeal we’ve been given. Besides adding a few annuals here and there, these over grown bushes were put in by the landscapers that were hired to landscape our brand new home back in 2009.

Here’s a little shot of them back then.
March 2009: Ha, just kidding. Here we have NO curb appeal/landscaping of any kind. Our overgrown bush convention we have going on now doesn’t look so bad compared to this.
April 2009: Ah, there’s those baby bushes.

June 2009: There’s the grass. The stone border we put in ourselves when the new section of the subdivision was still in the “breaking ground” stage. We went (with permission) and grabbed a bunch of limestone rocks to line our bed with.


March 2010: Starting to fill out. I’d like to note, about 1/3rd of these bushes didn’t make it.

April 2011: A whole year later from the last photo, the bushes are thriving and growing faster than a weed. Although this photo actually is showing Tree fatality #1 during the replacement process. In the flower bed, just right of the shovel is our baby Mountain Laurel who isn’t so much a baby anymore. It’s a little over 4 feet tall now.

Now jumping ahead to June 2013.

Just a mere 4 weeks ago we hired someone to cut our grass(since our weed whacker was out of commission) and we had him trim up our bushes while he was at it. Then they looked like this…
The big bush on the right used to be half ways up the pillar.

Skip 4 weeks ahead to now… here, we have every hedge trimmers dream. Or demise. However you look at it, it’s.. bushy. And in a rather short amount of time.

Here’s a front view. Or a rear view, in Pete’s case. :)
It appears we may lose the house.

You’d never know we have a front porch..

Or a sidewalk. These were taking over our valuable walking space, and apparently had gotten Chloe! Ruby got away just in time.

Time to trim those suckers up!

But first…

The main reason we quickly jumped on trimming the bushes.

Do you see what I see?

We had a visitor the night before last who was hanging out under our bushes. We were out, just enjoying the 70 degree weather on the porch. All of a sudden this thing came out of nowhere, ran after the dogs, hissing and making a thumping noise and generally freaking us all out. Because of the hissing, we thought it was a cat at first. It was pitch black out and I was barefoot.. you could hear it’s claws ticking on the driveway as it ran all over. *shiver*. Nope, not a cat. I had one foot on the chair ready to get to high ground when I was instructed to get my camera. This was all I could get of the little bugger.

This is the first alive armadillo I’ve seen in Texas. Normally they’re roadkill by the time we cross paths.

My in-laws scatter moth balls around the foundation of their house to keep these little guys away. They will dig big holes around your house if you let them. We didn’t want to resort to those right away… the smell can be quite intoxicating, and not very welcoming. Thinking about it now, it may weed out more of those dang solicitors!

So today we took to the bushes with the trimmer. Clearing away all the branches around the base, and attempting to not provide these critters enough of a hiding spot to come back. Hopefully.

They could just be laughing at us too.

At least that’s how I feel when we come outside most days to this mess on our porch…

Rawr. On to the trimming!


AH, I can breath! Or… the bush can.

I would just like to say I didn’t just stand around and take pictures. :) I raked while he did the bulk of the trimming, and then I did a little shaping afterwards.

We have to clean out our bushes a few times a year with how much trash blows down the street and collects in them. BK anyone?


2 big bags of trimmings later and the bushes look awesome!

It feels like we just trimmed the mustache of the house. Yep, just said that.

Much better! Now our ground covers need to start taking off to fill in that void in the middle. IMG_4406[2]web

But in a month it’ll be back to this..

One last ‘before’.


Let’s hope this keeps the armadillos away! If not, we’ll have to figure something else out. But for now, the progression of our landscaping sure is drastic. We’ve had these bushes since they were babies, and now their out of control teenagers. Gotta keep them in check.

April 2009

July 2013

Now, who wants to help tackle all that bland cream trim?! I tested the privacy wall gray color on the pillars, but I think the gray needs to be darker. We will have to see if the white trim makes a difference first.