I’ve just been up in Virginia in the Lynchburg area visiting my son and his wife. They have just moved back from Hawaii and are settling in back on the mainland.
I went up to help them move in and to see their new digs.
The house they moved into was built in 1952 and was purchased about six months ago by a couple who had planned to flip it. They got it all fixed up and then, for some reason that’s not quite clear to me, they decided not to sell it and instead to hold it as a rental. So my son and his wife were the couple that they chose to rent their home.
It’s an older home which you can tell in the design of the house and in features like the great molding that is around every window. It looks like it has the original wood floors also.
But you can also see that someone has come in and fixed it up. There is new siding, new carpet, new bathroom fixtures, new kitchen sink and counters, and new appliances.
Outside the house, the owners basically took everything back to minimal and took out whatever growth and shrubbery had been there. So it’s pretty much a blank slate in terms of landscaping.
There are a few azalea bushes in the back and there is a spectacular big live oak tree in the front which obviously would not be easy or desirable to pull out.
The yard in the back is mostly grass. It slopes up and has bamboo all across the back as a natural divider between the property and the property in the back.
There is a bed around some sort of ficus tree and the bed is bordered with wonderful big chunky stones. Right now the stones are pretty much covered by vines but if the vines were removed and the bed cleaned up, that would be a beautiful bordered bed.
The back porch is small and it gives onto a brick paved area. It has character to it and I can see it being a really homey sitting area.
The front has flagstones set into the grass in a walkway down to the driveway and basically nothing else in terms of landscaping.
So what the kids have here is a blank slate with lots of room for planting and having fun with landscaping.
True, they’re in a rental so they are not going to want to do much in the way of permanent plantings unless of course the owner would reimburse them. Still, the kids could do a lot with container gardening and garden structures that they could take with them wherever they moved next.
I talked with my son pretty extensively about container gardening, designs, and plans, and he’s pretty inspired.
Containers can range from your standard urns and pots to creative type of containers like bathtubs and boxes and various things you can find around . . . tubs, galvanized buckets, that sort of thing. Even old oak barrels. Anything that can hold a plant and can be moved would be an option for putting plants into.
There could be a whole array of containers and plantings along the front of the house and around the back porch.
The kids could put in some garden structures that would also be movable if they had to change houses.
These garden structures could include trellises, benches, flags, shepherds hooks with hanging baskets . . . that sort of thing.
When I left, my son and daughter-in-law were pretty enthused about the possibilities of what they could do with their new home in terms of landscaping. I’m going to look on Pinterest also and find a bunch of ideas also for them.