Let the Landscaping Begin!


As we wait for spring to fully reveal exactly what’s growing around The Hill House, we’ve also begun filling in some of blanks around the yard. After countless trips to Lowe’s, I think we are finally getting somewhere!

Tackling “Low Light Landscaping”

One challenge is that much of the property is shrouded by trees and we’ve had to look into low light and shade friendly plants and shrubs. Hostas, Elephant Ears and ferns seem to do best and also get along well together.


Eroding those Erosion Issues

After removing an ugly green wire fence that separated the yard from a rather steep hill leading to the woods, we had to come up with something that both provided a separation barrier as well a root network that would keep the hill, well, together. Creeping Jenny and English Ivy is what’s we went with. Let’s hope they stick. Literally.


Oh Deer!

So we live in the woods – which means anything we plant basically will become a salad for deer and bunnies. After much research we discovered that nothing is truly deer “proof” but certain plants are resistant to a point. If they are hungry, they will eat anything.

We nixed cedar – which deer love and went with evergreen and spruces for the front of the house. Weeping spruces and dwarf mugi pines added some height and much needed texture to the front porch, and also sit in one of the only full-sun spots on the property.


Azalea bushes provide a pop of color – and who knew they were actually evergreens? Euonymus and Blue Rug Juniper will also provide some year-round eye candy that will hopefully stay off of Bambi’s menu.


When it came to an herb garden (below) we chose strong smelling and tasting herbs because they apparently aren’t favorites of deer and rabbits. Thyme, cilantro, rosemary, sage, mint, lavender and catnip are what we went with. We will have to see what survives the deer taste test and what doesn’t however.


Stay tuned for updates. What worked, and what didn’t. As well as what the heck has yet to be identified – or even revealed – around the property.


House Hunt- the back story

This blog was originally created, in part, to showcase my hunt for a weekend/investment house in upstate NY. Every time I’ve gone on a house-hunting trip with my realtor I’ve said I was going to do a blog post about the houses I see, the pros and cons, etc…… it’s never once happened. This blog has been around for a year now with only a measly, but well written (Thanks Tony!) post about delicious kale chips.

After MONTHS of searching, falling in love, making offers, having my heart broken, I’m finally making a post about the search. The price range that I’m looking in is low, so the houses are either in bad condition to the point where I can’t get a conventional mortgage (which I need), or the competition is fierce and I’m outbid. I’ve been looking in Sullivan County so-far, and have looked at around 20 homes in person and countless more online.

Here are the places that I fell in love with, tried to buy, and that didn’t work out for one reason or another.

This one was the first. It was out of my price range, but I low-balled it and the seller accepted! I thought my dreams came true. The night before my home inspection, I got a call from my broker saying someone out-bid me by $20k. I was already at my max, and lost out.


3 bed, 1.5 Bath, 10 Acres with a creek in the backyard

This one was listed on a Saturday, I put a full price offer on it on Monday, on Thursday the seller accepted a full price cash offer over mine.


2 bed, 1 bath, 1 acre

Look at that view! FML


Cute home, super cheap. It needed lots of work but the price, location and privacy were all amazing. Seller refused my full price offer and would only take cash.


2 bed, 1 bath, 12 acres

This one was a huge old farmhouse. The inside was ugly but had potential. In the end some drama with an underground oil tank that took this off the table.


5 bedrooms, 2 bath, 4 acres

So that’s the back-story. 8+ Months of hunting and offering and nothing working out. I know it’s a difficult process, especially when your budget is small, but it’s been hard to not be discouraged. This weekend, I’m switching gears and looking in Ulster County. Ulster is more expensive, with smaller homes and properties in my price range, but I’d be closer to friends and the towns are much nicer. It’s all about compromise I suppose! More on the Ulster County hunt coming soon!….. If I ever post here again.