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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the front bed



First, I want to thank you for all your birthday wishes for Dan!  I can't tell you how much he loved reading your comments, emails and Instagram messages.  You made his day so very special... thank you!!


It has been a while since I showed you the front bed and I wanted you to see how the perennials and shrubs have filled in over the last couple of years.  I took these photographs at the beginning of July (you can see the bunting for the 4th) when the garden was at its prime.  We had a very wet spring and early summer, and yes- everything was really that green!  

 



This is what the front bed looked like the last time I showed you, which was two years ago.  This photo was taken in the fall, one year after the initial landscaping and planting of the bed.





And, this is the front bed today.














 To see the renovation photo-story about the landscaping of the front bed click here.



84 comments:

  1. I adore your home and taste in decor. Did you add the double side porch to the house?
    thanks!

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    1. Thank you Regine! We did not add the porches, they were here when we bought the house.

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  2. Just beautiful Joan, can you tell me what is that plant in the last photo with the tiny white flowers?

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    1. I thought the white flowers were on the lower branches of the plant above it... LOL Guess it's time to get the glasses checked.

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    2. It does look that way now that you mention it!

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  3. It's lovely. I've just discovered your blog and am now following along. We live in central Texas, and your move to the north east sounds very exciting. I've enjoyed reading through your previous posts to get up to speed. What progress you have made with this property in the short years you've bee in NH. Thanks for sharing the journey.

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  4. Hi Joan,

    A belated Happy Birthday to Dan! I was on vacation and using my iphone to keep up with your blog is just not the same as seeing it on my computer and analyzing every inch of your photos. I did love seeing Dan on his new toy though! Brian (my husband) looked right past Dan and said, "How do they keep the outline of the driveway so perfect?!". Do you have any kind of edging? The garden is beautiful. I tried to imagine the garden without the urn and it just wasn't the same. That urn is the icing on the cake. I'm back to work tomorrow....I'll let you know if I use you for any teaching moments with the kids. Happy Labor Day Weekend to you...don't work too hard!

    Mary in CT.
    (Ruth is closer to Dan's age than she is to mine)

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    1. hi Mary! Hope you're having a wonderful holiday! We don't have any edging along the drive. The grass stays in place pretty much on its own, but it looks better (straighter) in some spots than others;) Happy first day of school- let me know if you need any conks to show the kids!

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    2. This was my question too. Never mind flowers! We need to have our driveway redone, so maybe some fresh gravel will sharpen up our edges. Do you do anything to keep weeds out of your gravel?

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    3. Yes! After years of me hand-pulling every damn weed that grew in the gravel and griping about it (and there were tons in certain areas)the clue-bird finally kicked in last year and this year I had Dan put down a heavy dose of pre-emergent weed control on the drive in the early spring. It has been a dream- can't tell you how many manicures I ruined pulling weeds:)

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  5. Joan,
    Wow! It's really come along...it's lovely. I like the little iron candle posts you have placed in the bed. Very nice. Is that an Annebelle hydrangea?
    Karen

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    1. It is Karen! There are two in this bed and they've gotten huge this year!

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  6. Aunt Joanie! Your front bed is beautiful and I love your grass! It is so green and looks so soft! What kind of lighting do you use in the beds?

    love,
    Jenny

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    1. hey Jenny! Lighting?? You mean the little candles in the iron holders? In the Instagram photo you'll see that I've changed them out for church candles as they take the breeze better and don't blow out;)

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  7. Hey Joan. I've been following your blog for a couple of years now. Had to send you and Dan a big kudos. You guys have done a tremendous job with the house and grounds. In my opinion, very appropriate to the period of the home. That said, would you mind telling me how tall the ceilings are in the original part of the house? I've been searching for an antique farmhouse in the CT area for some time now. However, everything I've come across has 7 to 8' ceilings. I currently live in a Victorian with 12' ceilings. Don't know if I'll ever find what I'm looking for. Again, you and Dan should be very proud of your accomplishment. Such a wonderful place to call home.
    Marshall
    New Orleans

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    1. Thank you Marshall. The ceilings in the farmhouse are 9' on the first floor and just over 8.5' on the second. Ohhhhh, I so remember exactly that scenario when we were house hunting. I was shocked at all the 7' ceilings we ran across. Because of the ceiling height and the double porches this house felt very southern to us both (we've actually had visitors say that to us too) and I think that is one reason we fell hard for it. We were very fond of the "quiet corner" of CT- the NE corner and loved the little towns of Woodstock and Thompson. Good luck in your house hunt!

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    2. Hi Joan: How do you keep the deer from eating all your hosta? The deer repellent does not work here in NW New Jersey. They ate all of mine and I had about 25 planted. The deer eat everything!

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    3. Judi- KNOCK ON WOOD (yes, I just literally did;) I haven't had issues with the deer around the house. They seem to keep in the woods along the back meadow. But even in the front beds by the road they haven't eaten the many hostas I have there. I don't know if it's Ella's scent, but I am thankful;) Just this week I returned the repellent I had purchased as I hadn't needed to use it and I said the same thing to the woman who took the return... KNOCK ON WOOD!:)

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    4. Joan- I am on 220 wooded acres, the house sits on only 2 acres of it so there is plenty to eat in the woods! You are very lucky and I just knocked on wood for you. The ones that I have right up against the house are the ones that they DESTROY every year. Geraniums are gone but my black-eyed susans they don't like!

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    5. oh no Judi- that is awful... and scary. See Cindy's comment below- it's worth a try!

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  8. It is just so beautiful. I love the hydrangea's, they are one of my favorite flowers. But, they do not grow very well in Utah. I hope you will take us all around the house now. Can't wait to see what you did with the old gate.
    Best Regards, Wenda

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  9. Thanks Joan. Yes, I've been looking for the perfect town/village to call my second home. Haven't found it yet, but will not give up until I do!! I've got a list of "must haves" so it will take a while. I'd like to be close to a train station so I can go into NYC when I feel the need to be with lots of folks. That limits me a bit. I do love the NE section of CT though. Litchfield has caught my eye at this time. Oh, I did come across a house and grounds a while back in a town called Monroe (NH). Very quaint house, but didn't have the land I'm looking for. Also, wasn't ideal since I want to hop a train to NY. Thanks for the reply. You and Dan keep up the good work. Can't wait to see what you guys do next.

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    1. Marshall- here is a link (at the bottom of this post) that might be helpful.... http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-we-got-here.html
      Yes, Litchfield is fabulous. Have you also looked in NY (Hudson Valley area- I know that's commutable by train also and right across the border from CT.) Wasn't familiar with Monroe, so looked it up- that is very far north.

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  10. Hello Joan

    Your house is absolutely beautiful. It feels so grounded and fitting in its environment

    Helen xx

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  11. BEAUTIFUL SHADE GARDEN it looks like!Compliments to the gardener!

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  12. Hello Joan! I've been a silent creeper on your beautiful blog for a long time now and now that I started my own blog I wanted to tell you that I think everything you do is so inspiring! I love your love for antiques, gardening and of course your sweet Ella. Your home is a dream! What a blessing it is :)

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  13. Everything looks great. Your plants have all filed out so nicely.

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  14. I am dying! It is so beautiful and very lush! Are you bothered with snakes? I have that on the brain because I arrived home yesterday to find a huge corn snake in a bed by my driveway. Yikes! Not harmful but very creepy.
    I love everything about your home and garden including and especially Dan and Ella! :)

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    1. Yikes indeed:O
      I have seen one garden snake this year- it was in the rock wall bed towards the entrance but that has been it.

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  15. So beautiful! I love your bio as well! It's making me re-think where we should be in life! LOL! I can't imagine picking up and moving but to hear you talk about it it sounds amazing! And it LOOKS amazing! The house and the front bed are gorgeous! Can't wait to be your latest follower! Wish you would give me some pointers! I'm at a huge roadblock for some reason! I guess it's just a season in life! Oh well!

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    1. Carolyn, I think everyone's path and journey are different, but for us we felt like we couldn't breathe any longer and needed fresh air (physically and metaphorically;) We talk often about how grateful we are that we made the move and renovated this house (as difficult as that was) and now get to live here. And, how sad we would be if we hadn't. Good luck!
      Here is the story of how we got here that might add more insight...
      http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-we-got-here.html

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  16. Joan, your front bed is magazine worthy! Those hostas are to die for...my husband owns a lawn and landscape business but unfortunately our yard does not benefit from his expertise...he's too busy working on other folks yards! There's so much I want to do, and need to do, but I just haven't been able to muster up the energy to do anything this year...well, there's always next year, right?

    Your home is so beautiful, it's the epitome of a perfect farmhouse.

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    1. That's the epitome of the cobbler's children have no shoes;) Yes, there is always next year!

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  17. Your front bed is so lush and full now! I just love seeing the changes over time! Kudos to the gardeners!

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  18. Joan, every inch of your home and gardens is spectacular! You and Dan are a fabulous team, no matter what you tackle I love just the white flowers. We did that on one side of our old house, it is so pretty at night and calming to me too. Love, LOVE that urn!!!! I guess you found it nearby? Have a great weekend. XO, Pinky

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    1. hi Pinky, The 'urn' is actually an antique yogurt pot that I purchased from Mark Sage (Bobo Intriguing Objects of Restoration Hardware fame) in Atlanta, some 10-12 years ago! This pot and all the oil pots I have around the house came from Mark's shop.

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  19. It looks really lovely! So much hard work you have done, and it has come along so well!

    Your farmhouse reminds me of ours! :). Although I am not nearly the decorator that you are, I live in an old (1853) white farmhouse with black shutters, too. We have only lived here a year, but have accomplished much, and yet have so far to go to do the things we are dreaming of doing here at Kenilworth.

    I love looking at your pictures because they make feel inspired, and at the same time, somehow, like I am at home! Sounds weird typed out!


    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with strangers! It shows such great hospitality!


    Sincerely,
    Kelly

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    1. I don't think it sounds weird at all Kelly, I simply think it is a lovely thing to say... thank you.

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  20. Joan, you and Dan are an inspiration! Julie

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  21. Your home is so beautiful. Love your blog!

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  22. I like the first image that shows the canopy of the tree's on the left and the canopy of the house veranda's on the right. The vista driving up to the house would take anyone's breath away. Everything looks so lush and green.

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  23. Hi Joan,
    Your house and garden are breathtaking!!!
    You and Dan should be justifiably proud of all you accomplished.
    Would you mind sharing the colors of white and black you chose for the exterior?
    We are about to repaint our home and I would love a more elegant black and white scheme.
    Thank you!!!!

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    1. hi Terri, Look at "my paint and stain colors" on my sidebar!

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  24. Beautiful and green. We, here, in the other corner of the country...are OVER summer. Now is when plants fry and curl and wilt. Green passes to a brown. Just. Too.Hot.

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  25. Oh what a gorgeous home - my eye caught the upper veranda deck and I couldn't think of anything more glamorous than sitting reading on an upper deck with a cup of tea in hand looking over that wonderful greenery...

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  26. Hello Joan, Comparing the first two photos, both are beautiful, but I think the fall season really suits your house--the fallen leaves make it look more informal, and the hint of coolness makes the house itself seem more inviting. Also, what could be more beautiful than fall in New England?

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  27. I love your landscaping, and it sure has filled in! Your house looks like the kind of place one could entertain family and friends in a very REAL way. The driveway, the porches, the views. I love it all!

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  28. Beautiful! It has filled in nicely. I think the nice rains we've had in the spring and early summer have made for a nice lush summer. Have had to mow the grass every week, didn't get the break of grass going dormant this year. Deer have found my hostas just in the past few weeks. Enjoy the last weeks of summer, have a feeling winter will make an early appearance this year. donna :)

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  29. I love the way everything lends together but is interesting in it's own 'right' as well. The urn is perfect.

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  30. Perfection...I expect nothing less from you and Dan. The photos make me remember how much I miss my Annabelles and hostas that cannot be grown in Florida. Is that a cimicifuga rasemosa in the middle? I had one of those too. Oh well, I have come to love palm trees.
    XO, Victoria

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    1. I think what you might be looking at is Sister Theresa Astilbe.

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  31. Perfect, it seems to be a white garden, in your travels look out for a hosta called "spilt milk" it looks just like someone dropped milk on leaves of the hosta..Check out on web you might like to add to garden.

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    1. Yes, mostly white Mary- with just a hint of peachy-pink in the Sister Theresa Astilbe! The spilt milk hostas look interesting, I will keep an eye out for them, thank you!

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  32. The bed looks so lush! Perfect for your beautiful home. I just love the first picture. Your home looks so inviting. :)

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  33. Hi I just discovered your blog not long ago and have been following ever since. I love your taste in decorating and landscaping, this is the first time I've commented though just to tell you the front bed looks beautiful.

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    1. Thank you and welcome to you! I greatly appreciate you commenting- comments always inspire me to keep blogging:)

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  34. this landscape professional says BRAVO!
    debra

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  35. Hello Joan, I've been following for a little while... and I so LOVE everything: decor, design, gardens, home, etc. You just really do have it all together and I am quite envious! Thanks for sharing with all of us so we can appreciate your many talents, your beautiful home, and how you have made it truly HOME SWEET HOME!! Many blessings, Mary...mmballard@att.net

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  36. Joan, Dan, and Ella: Love the front bed, the driveways, the fence in the background...all of it! My miniature hosta garden just keeps growing; I am always finding new "baby hostas". I have not tried this, but have heard human hair in panty hose and hung from a tree is supposed to keep deer away.Cindy

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    1. hi Cindy- I mentioned this to Judi ^ so hopefully she will see it!

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    2. Thanks Cindy for the advice. I am going to ask my hair stylist to bag up all the clippings and give them to me. I will be so thrilled if it works! With my luck the deer will say "it's not her hair, the coast is clear" LOL

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  37. Those plants look very happy there. But because I am a new reader of you blog, my eyes were bugging out that you have TWO porches! Looks like one screened and one open? Be still my heart.

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    1. They are both open! The bottom porch is off the kitchen and the upstairs porch is off the master bedroom. If interested you can click on "porches" under "topics of interest" to see posts about the porches. Oh, and welcome to the blog Carole!

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    2. A porch for "quiet moments before bed." Could there be anything more lovely? I just read all the porch posts. Think I will have to catch up and read the other previous posts. Your house is a dream.

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  38. How perfect that you post this! When I sometimes go over old posts, I always think to myself.."I wonder what it looks like now..." Thanks for sharing your beautiful gardening skills!

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  39. Hello Joan! You have done a fantastic job with your landscaping. The front bed looks great and really sets off the house nicely. Love the stone driveway as well. Stone/gravel looks so much nicer with an old home than pavement.

    Well, I finally have an update on my big landscaping project for the side yard of my old house! It's actually a useable space now and private! Would love to hear your comments on it. Could definitely use some decorating inspiration for the upper patio. Too bad it's going to be cold soon. I just hate to put all the outdoor furniture away.

    Hope all is well with you!
    Warmly,
    Christine
    http://antiquenehomes.blogspot.com/

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  40. Hi Joan, The front flowerbed looks beautiful and I especially love the astilbe. A few years ago I planted some Bridal Veil astilbe and I have been very pleased with how it "glows" in the shade bed. I look forward to all of your post about your beautiful home and gardens. Vikki in VA

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  41. I love the large urn in the flower bed. Just beautiful!

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  42. Wow! It's gorgeous! You really have a green thumb.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

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  43. It's absolutely stunning! I'm dividing some hosta plants this week to move around the garden. I think they look great, especially when there are some astilbe or bleeding hearts mixed in.

    Did I tell you my garden center's distributor does not have any bombshell hydrangeas? So, I've ordered some for next spring!

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  44. Joan and Dan, your home and landscape are lovely! Dan, how do you manage to keep the lawn and meadow weed-free? Your turf areas look perfectly pristine in the pictures. Denise in NC

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    1. Denise, Dan puts down a pre-emergent weed control in the spring and then spot-treats throughout the season. That said, there are still some weeds, but slowly.... very slowly (we notice big changes each year) we are eradicating them and the good grass takes over.

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  45. I love a shade garden. This looks beautiful and continues to confirm what some landscaping can do for the curb appeal of a home. It looks lovely.

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  46. You are truly gifted. We recently bought a house after 25+ years in NYC and the whole landscaping is all new to me. I was wondering if you would tell me what exposure your gardens have. They are all beautiful and the house gorgeous. Cheers, Stacey

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    1. hi Stacey, Thank you for your very kind comment. This front garden faces south and gets full shade from the maples along the drive. The living room bed and courtyard face west. The living room gets partial sun and the courtyard full sun. The terrace wall bed faces north and gets full sun.
      Congratulations on your new home! I think the basic key to landscaping is to figure out the sun (in the form of the number of hours per day it gets direct sun) your yard/garden receives and then purchase plants that match. I know that sounds obvious, but I can't tell you how often it is not done. I've also found it very helpful to find a knowledgeable garden center and ask LOTS of questions! If you're not already familiar with it GardenWeb.com is a great source for information. Good luck!

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  47. Hi Joan, also a first time visitor from Leonora's A Joirnal of Days blog and enjoyed reading how you and Dan came to settle in NH. We are currently living in a 1904 Victorian style home on the VA eastern shore and moved here from our native NJ some 10 years ago. We also did extensive renovations to modernize and update this old home, which we call The Frog & PenguINN but it is neither an inn or B&B, just our home. Within the past year we have been checking out towns in NH to possibly relocate to as grandchildren live in RI, but we do not want to live there. I would be very interested in knowing which NH town you are living in. Our current VA location has a pop. of 500. Our home is currently for sale and we have decided not to decide on another until it is sold, which is taking longer than we would have hoped. Please feel free to visit our blog anytime. I am Dorothy aka Beatrice there.

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    1. hi Dorothy, We live in the Monadnock region which is in southern New Hampshire. For personal reasons I don't state on the blog the exact town in which we live.

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  48. I am such a visual person. I have to have floor plans; garden plans, directions -- N * S * E * W. Does your home face south? is the road running in front around the left (west?) side of your home your driveway (lane?) or is that the county / township road? Here in Iowa, a farmsteader planted an evergreen windbreak to the North and West. Do you have a 'wind row'? If you have entries about the 'situation' of your fine home, please direct me there. Thanks!

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    1. hi Nance, I have a post on the floorplan of the house (sidebar under topics of interest), but not really of the setting as a whole, though I've mentioned it in comments when someone asks. Yes, the front (front door) of the house faces south. The gravel drive in front of the house is our driveway, and you are correct- it is on the west side. The town road basically runs parallel to our drive and is just beyond our front meadow. The road is down the drive at the stone beehives at the front entrance (this post might help... http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/2012/09/so-lest-you-think-weve-been-sitting.html
      I know its confusing and you are sweet to try to figure it out!

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