Creative Projects

Old House rehab 2; completing the exterior

color gradations with plants

Through stops and starts working against mother nature’s autumn time clock, the exterior of our little house project is completed.  That before & after computer mock-up I did really helped me plan my colors with the plant material, purchasing at the end of the season while trying to imagine their blooms at other times of the year.  Except for the hydrangea around the corner of the house and the burgundy leaves of the Purple Emperor stone croft, all plant color is imaginary right now showing off against that magenta door and those sage green shutters.

Rule of thumb when planning groups of color – whether combining plants or quilt blocks or home interior accents, choose your favorite 2 or 3 colors then use their varying shades of light and dark to produce richness, depth and interest.  Matchy-matchy color schemes with each item the same exact color ends up looking a bit cartoon-like and more commercialized.

Plant material collage


  • Scraped off paint on all woodwork – garage door and 2 porches.
  • Sanded, washed, painted with oil primer then finished with 2 top coats of latex paint on all woodwork. (NOTE: you must use an oil-based alkyd paint primer on old wood.  It’s natural browning bleeds through latex paints.)
  • Sanded, washed and painted front and back doors with 2 coats of paint.
  • Wire brushed, washed and painted both sets of concrete stairs with new gray concrete paint.
  • Installed shutters.
  • Installed vinyl lattice at each side of driveway.
  • Sprayed to kill all over-growth weed material.
  • Pulled out killed weed material, turned over & amended soil with processed cow manure (“processed” means heated to a high temperature to kill all weed seeds.)
  • Removed worn out and dislodged landscape cloth.
  • Planted and mulched new beds

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