Startup Diaries: Landscaping


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Years of neglect took their toll on the lawn and shrubs. The azalea bushes which bloomed beautiful red flowers were dying. Vine-like weeds strangled them and robbed the roots of water. The tall podocarpus bushes on both corners had grown against the wood and up into the soffit. The tenants neglected their responsibility in the lease which stated they were to maintain the lawn and shrubs.

I got two estimates to remove the azaleas which extended fifteen feet along the front of the house. The estimate included planting new ones and trimming the podocarpus bushes. I was floored when I read the estimates. Both ran between $300 and $350. I knew I could do it myself if I could figure a way to remove the azaleas and their roots which ran fairly deep.

I calculated how many bushes I would need for the space and priced them out at a local nursery. I also chose a few low-maintenance plants I could place along the back side of the house. As a cost-saving measure I decided to transplant some oyster plants from our private residence to the new house. The purples would look nice against the browns in the house.

After much thought, we decided not to plant new azaleas because they would take too long to mature. Instead, we chose a few flowering plants in yellow and white to climb trellises we would install in between the windows. The flowers will give the house a warm and welcoming look that adds to the curb appeal.

I set aside a day to remove the azaleas. After an hour or so of intense digging around the roots a neighbor came over to see what I was doing. He mentioned he would like to have the old bushes to try and bring them back to life as a border in his own yard. He offered to remove them in exchange for the bushes. I couldn’t believe it. My problem was solved and it didn’t cost me a dime. Even as I was digging I wasn’t sure how I would get the roots out but I always believe, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

The landscaping looks great and frames the house with a fresh, new look. I can’t wait to bring our patients outside for fresh air and sunshine. Quality time outdoors is so important for the spirit and now they have beautiful scenery to enjoy. I saved about $300 with my own determination and the kindness of neighbors. We plan to set the $300 aside for special outings with our residents.


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