Overall, the sturdy house was in good condition—it retained its original 1938 kitchen, which was deemed unsalvageable by the time we remodeled the space in 2006. It took four months; the project included transforming a covered porch into a bar and office space adjacent to the kitchen. It works much better now. We’ve also updated bathrooms and put on a new roof.
Generally, the condition of the yard was good. We were lucky to have inherited lovely brick sidewalks and paths, though many of them have needed repair, given our harsh Michigan winters. But the lack of color was very unappealing to me. We’ve added flowerbeds over the years. In fact, we added many, many perennials, as there were none to speak of earlier. Now we enjoy continuous color from early spring through late fall.
I would not say our gardens are low-maintenance. I work in them every day, some days more than others. We did not hire a designer or landscape architect, though we’ve had help with bed preparation and planting, and James Goodrich Landscape Co. created the water feature. Since these gardens were decades in the making, we had time to put a lot of thought into their design.Published in: Old-House Journal April 2015