Thursday, May 9, 2013

New home brings new gardening challenges

So why we chose this home in Sherwood, Wisconsin as our next home over 5 years ago? (Over the years I have found myself irresistibly drawn to consider the “yards” of homes, long before I’ve wandered through the place to consider the layout, the shiny stainless steel appliances or lack thereof,... A number of real estate agents have become increasingly frustrated with my refusal to even consider a home that doesn’t have a yard that will meet minimum requirements to pursue my passion for gardening.) So what did I see when I looked at our future home:
  • view of sunsets over Lake Winnebago from 2nd row of homes off lake  
  • 1/2 acre yard with existing landscaping beds planted with  some desirable perennials, shrubs, and trees
  • short walk to High Cliff State Park
  • deck on the back of house to allow for grilling 
  • I guess I should also mention the short walk to the Chubby Seagull for Mocha Whitecaps (brownies, no cookies please!) during the summer months 

And the problems/opportunities:
  • sloping backyard 
  • yard runs between 2 streets, affording little “privacy” 
  • no fence to keep our Australian Shepherd from roaming the neighborhood searching for creatures to herd (though a somewhat pricey “invisible fence” has solved this problem in the past, without compromising the view) 
  • an ugly concrete retaining wall extending from the walk-out basement level-not sure why this was chosen in lieu of more traditional wooden or block retaining wall 
  • very windy at times as winds blow unobstructed across the lake 
  • the dreaded lake flies will appear once or twice a year to make outdoor activities undesirable for a week to 10 days at a time (a small price to pay for the amazing views the remainder of the year 
  • 2 ash trees among the 4 trees planted in yard-with the emerald ash borer making steady progress towards our county, it seems only a matter of time before these trees will succumb to the inevitable 
  • need to direct water away from home to ensure a dry basement that could be finished to add a rec room, exercise area, kitchenette, bath and large bedroom to attempt to entice our grown boys to visit
  • while gutters are hooked up to drainage tubes in the back yard, it appears some may have become clogged with debris 
  • nearby state park, High Cliff, harbors many deer that roam nearby yards looking for food

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