Finally. A sunny morning. As you can see below, last weekend we ripped out the offending white picket fence and weedy, rotten bushes that marched along the front of the house.

You can see the little perennial garden at the side now. The tree in that garden is the infamous Kamikaze Robin ash. Compare with:

We also had the big spruce leaning on the house taken down, the roof redone and the copper downspouts replaced. Plus I spent a month last summer fighting stucco-destroying ivy. (It’s back. Time for round two.)

Why anyone would have wanted to fence this house in is a mystery to me. Although the property looks large, it’s actually pretty small for a house of this size. The fence – in addition for being just plain architecturally wrong for the place – made it look smaller. It also cut the house off from the neighborhood and made it look like a withdrawn dowager, the kind of place the looney lady up the block lives in, that no kid would dare visit for trick or treat. I may BE a looney lady up the street, but I don’t want to be a scary one.

Now here’s a photo the real estate agent would have died to have been able to present:

(The lawn in the foreground actually belongs to the neighbor, my line is at the edge of the driveway.) Compare this one to the best they could manage. Granted, it was taken in February, not the best time of year for Massachusetts house photography:

We dig out the remaining fence posts this weekend. Next is to paint the trim. Perhaps echo the roof’s red in some of it in combo with the white window frames. And turn some of the semicircular scar where the spruce was into a little garden, perhaps with blueberry bushes up against the house, and lower perennials in front. Also, I’m still not sure what to do with the built-in signpost by the front door. Half of me says build a custom hanging flower box for it. The other half thinks that’s too kitschy cute and wants to cut it down to match the newel post on the other side of the steps. We’ll see which half wins.

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