Exterior

SPRING IS SPRINGING

exterior dogwood frontyard

Here in Virginia, the weather has been crazy random so far this year. One day, it was 71 degrees outside, the next it plummeted to 38 degrees. Through all the craziness, it seems that Spring has finally sprung and is springing. We thought it would be fun to show you guys what Spring is looking like around here and familiarize everyone with the outside of our house since we’ve been mostly talking about the inside. Just bear in mind that we haven’t really concentrated on the exterior quite yet – aside from painting the front door and the shutters.Β Luckily, we inherited a few photo-worthy plants/trees from the previous owner.

Let’s start in the front yard with one of our two Dogwood trees. They’re one of my favorite trees/plants and we’re really glad our house came with not one, but two! Fun fact: Dogwoods are Virginia’s state flower and tree. The street where we live must be considered patriotic because there are a lot of Dogwoods – at least one per house, if not more.

Fortunately, the picturesque Dogwood draws your attention away from the naked-looking bushes lining the house. We’ve nicknamed them “the Little Bushes That Could”. Last year, we cut them back because they were taking over the house. We were told they would “grow back better” but so far, they haven’t budged. We might end up replacing them at some point, or we might just accept the fact that it’s going to take a while for them to grow back. We should probably do some research about pruning before we cut our plants back next time…

Close to the house, right outside Ashley’s office window, is some sort of flowering bush accompanied by a few Boxwoods. The bush doesn’t have that many blooms, probably due to the sporadic weather and lack of light, but it still has plenty of visual appeal. We’re definitely not horticulturists, so we aren’t quite sure what this is. Β Anybody have any clues?

Even though there aren’t many blooms and the dark tips make it look like the petals aren’t going to be around for long, they are still nice to look at.

As you go down the driveway, you’ll find our second Dogwood tree. We like how it hovers slightly over the driveway — but not so much that we would have to cut it back.

While the Dogwood in the front yard is white, this one is white with barely-there pink tips.

Around the back (on the left side when facing the back of the house) is another little area of bushes. We weren’t expecting them to do much, but when Spring hit, they really started looking great! We think the red “bush” is actually a baby Japanese Maple tree. (Like I said… not a horticulturist–anybody know the technical name for this little guy?) We aren’t sure what the other three bushes are either but their color has definitely amped up over the past few days.

On the back side of our yard, right up against our neighbor’s fence, we have yet another bush with red/pink flowers. It’s just like the one in the front yard, but this one is much larger and has more blossoms. This area of the yard tends to get more sunlight than the front of the house, so that may have something to do with it.

The flowers on this bush are just as bright as the other. Again, color enhancement brought to you by Mother Nature. No Photoshop required!

That wraps up our outdoor Spring tour. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get out there and enhance what we already have and maybe add some much needed landscaping before Spring passes by. Fingers crossed! Do you have any outdoor projects planned for the Spring? Tell us about them in the comments section…

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Wendy
    April 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Those are camellias and yes, that’s a Japanese maple, although I have no clue what cultivar. Wikipedia seems to have a good list that might help you figure it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_palmatum#Example_cultivars

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    April 14, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Even though you say your yard needs help, it looks a whole heck of a lot better than ours at the moment! Haha!

  • Reply
    Linda
    April 14, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I think those may be Camellias. We have some that look similar, but a different color, and that’s what our yard man said it was. Don’t get rid of them! They are so pretty!

  • Reply
    Paige
    April 14, 2011 at 11:27 am

    At least you have color to speak of in your yard! lol πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Lisa M
    April 14, 2011 at 11:30 am

    It looks like you guys have a great pallet to start with. I’d love to see a layout of your yard. Do you have it on here somewhere?

  • Reply
    Her Late Night Cravings
    April 14, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I think your yard looks great! You “inherited” some nice trees & shrubs from the previous owner. I’d love to be outside working on my own yard right now, but I can’t stay outside more than 15 seconds without the pollen attacking my sinuses!! Lovely Spring…why is there always pain in beauty?!? πŸ˜‰ You guys keep up the good work…love your blog!

    Mendi
    Richmond, VA
    http://www.herlatenightcravings.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    A.J.
    April 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    As some other commenters have noted, those are camellias, which are wintry/cold weather flowers in my home state of Alabama. (And where the camellia is the state flower!) I know my grandma has some and they usually bloom in December. Maybe the back-and-forth weather has them confused!

    • Reply
      A.J.
      April 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      Oh and I think the Japanese maple is called a “laceleaf.” My grandma has some of those, too.

  • Reply
    Irene
    April 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Sigh..I wish we had some Spring.

  • Reply
    Jana Dern
    April 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I wish I knew more about plants. Love to look at them and enjoy them, but know NOTHING:(

  • Reply
    Leslie @ NE Portland Bungalow
    April 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    The camellias in Portland bloom better some years than others, and not all of them bloom equally in a given year. I’m not sure why. I LOVE the color of the blooms! I think there are white camellias, too.

  • Reply
    Christin
    April 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    So beautiful! I LOVE dogwoods! I love spring and it’s nice to see some spring-y pics. Especially b/c spring has yet to spring/sprang/sprung here in the midwest and I’m itching for some green and color!

  • Reply
    Michele
    April 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    You have a great palette to start with! The plants under the Japanese Maple are spirea (from what I can tell from the pic at least). I am a landscape architect, and am married to one, so am around plants all day, every day. The camellias may have something to do with the sun exposure (the do better in partial shade) in each location. We are about to post on our blog about our front yard re-do (I will hopefully have the post up this weekend!) http://www.theAMENwithaTs.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Diana
    April 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Your house came with a lot more beautiful landscaping than our house did! He got tons of random and badly placed plants that we had to rip out and are replacing slowly. As others have noted, you have camelias and japenese maples (acer) are usually small. I HIGHLY recommend you get yourself a garden book for your area. I live and die by the Sunset Western Garden Book (Bible). It will save you a ton of money and headaches. Sorry I don’t know the best book for the South.

  • Reply
    Angela
    April 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I am no gardener… I have successfully killed every plant I’ve ever owned. My mom told me not to get a dog until I could keep a plant alive, but I didn’t listen to her and both my dogs are well and thriving. πŸ™‚ haha… Anyways… I just wanted to say that you are right, Virginia is having some crazy weather right now. I am ready for summer temps but NOT summer humidity! My curly hair is doomed!!!

  • Reply
    Rocky B
    April 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I Love the Japanese maple! Does it lose it’s leaves? I just did a similar post around our garden! We are Loving spring time here in California!

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