25 May 2015

The Old Front Porch





I'm actually not blending in with this house, and I've gone outside my comfort zone. My spouse's too. (It also may be a shock to your system, because I use a lot of grays and whites here. ) When we first moved here, there were only a few houses fixed, and most were a shade of beige or brown, a safe desert color, but brown is extremely dreary on these types of old houses. Fortunately, on these old houses there are no rules and no HOA. Then came the pink and white house, and it was so adorable. Well, I decided then to paint ours blue and white. But in addition to SW rain and SW Pure White, it now has accents of SW Lime Granita (a custom color, because it was an interior color, and the formula had to be changed to create the shade we wanted. So if you actually want to use it, you can ask me for the formula.) (I actually do love color.)









We added shutters, which are on most of the houses in the neighborhood. I could not find old ones, so these are custom made from either sustainable redwood or teak because they needed to be 59 inches. (Vinyl will disintegrate here.) In front of this window is our flowering cottage garden. It can't be seen from the street, because it is behind the grasses. It is a little sitting area under the tree, and someday when the tree has enough shade, I'm going to place a bench under it.










Now, the 71 year old house is cheerful, and it puts a smile on our faces when we see it from the street.







Now










2.5 years ago
(The tree on the right was moved to the back and replaced.)


3 years ago
Everything was dead! You can't see it in this photo, but the front door had a jagged hole in it that someone made with an ax, and wrote in sharpie "mail here". We restored the giant corner windows, and when we replaced the roof, we restored the roof line with the tiles, moved the roof vents to the backside of the house, and used new energy efficient material. Around here, the attic is probably 30 to 40 degrees cooler in the summer with a white roof. (White roofs were common and still are on the old houses that have not been repaired.) The porch support was not original and probably from the 60s or 70s, and it had to be removed day one, because it was rusted through. See how drab it was.  

















When the shutters came in, it was my daughter that encouraged me to go beyond white. She selected three shades of green in sample cans, and then we painted canvases, which we leaned against the house in order to get an idea of how it would look. It's sort of a variegated agave color. You see there is a rhyme and reason to this choice.









Yes, it is very different from the back! I wanted the back peaceful and besides, I like white wood. On the front all the wood trim and the wooden carport are white. So I have a house with two blue sides, and 2 white sides, but the only one that knows is us and you. The concrete brick is blue except for in the back where it is white. The front is for us, but also for the neighborhood.
















The Bell is the Doorbell 
Now in our neighborhood, in addition to ours and the pink house, there is  a yellow house, a sage green, a gray one with bright red trim, a mustard, a shamrock green with white, an orange and green one... and so on... The orange and green one is pretty cool, though it doesn't sound like it when I write it. Neighbors suddenly felt free to do something different. The original color of this house was mint green. How do I know? My daughter's wall in her closet was an outside wall, because at some point  her room was an addition, and the once outside wall is an interior wall and it was mint. (But we had the blue paint already.)












My spouse rebuilt the companion Adirondack chair to the other, because they were retrieved rotted from a dumpster pile.





















Now, you might be thinking where are the cacti? These are all drought tolerant plants, and I have no cacti in the front. I personally don't like cacti in front of old houses, unless they are Spanish or mid century modern. It's not that I don't love cacti; it's just that they are sculptural and not, soft. I wanted grass, but a lawn won't grow, because we are too close to the mountain, but ornamentals will. These do not seed, so they do not spread. (Some do spread, so you need to check before choosing.) If you want to make more of them, you have to separate them. And depending on the lighting and time of day there is a lot of cranberry in them.
















It's a very simple home, nothing fancy, but small and sweet and it makes us want to eat macaroons and sit at the beach. Vibrant colors are pretty on certain older desert homes, mid-centuries, and more modern/contemporary ones. 





Later this week, I will show you the wreath(s) we made. One is outside.
Thanks for visiting.

94 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Sarah. The plants have grown so much, and the colors are so happy. I think it is hard for some people to understand how drab brown can be when it's on most every building except for the old and the modern. xoxo Su

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  2. Hello Sarah,

    what a wonderful place, looks like Paradise. Such colourful plants.

    Have a nice day

    Andrea

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    1. Danke, Andrea. Oh, but it so different than the Alps. xoox Su

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  3. Danke, Andrea. Oh, but it so different than the Alps. xoox Su

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  4. I love the colors of your home. It really looks so good with the grasses. You have done a wonderful job fixing your home. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. The colors are GREAT!
    Mary

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    1. Thank you, Mary. The grasses are amazing. Once they are established they hardly need water. Three of my neighbors have already told me they like it, so it is well received. Have a wonderful day. xoxo

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  5. Su, this is so very pretty. You guys have done a great job with personalizing your home and putting your own stamp on it! Gorgeous...a gem!

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    1. Thank you, Benita. I can't believe how much the landscape has grown in 2.5 years. It never seems fast enough when you need it. xoox Su

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  6. This was a fun read...seeing the changes over time. I love the soft, pretty colors and the ornamental grasses were a wise choice!

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    1. Thank you, Deb. Once established these grasses take hardly any water. xoxo Su

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  7. I was amazed to see how barren was the front part 3 years ago and what a difference the plants make now!

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    1. I agree. I can't believe how it looked. If you do nothing for so long eventually you get some weeds and cactus, but this didn't have anything alive. xoox Su

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  8. Your house is so cute! Very different from houses here in Texas. Strange thing is that in my heart of hearts, I live in a cottage just like yours!!

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    1. Thank you, Stacey, for your sweet visit. I'm really pleased with the results. Texas is such a large state, I bet there is a lot of variety in housing depending on location. xoxo Su

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  9. Omigosh - you have the most darling house EVER!!! So cute...

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    1. Thank you, Anne, for appreciating its playfulness. :) xoox Su

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  10. Su, the colors are lovely and happy (yet tranquil). What a difference from the home of 3 years ago! It is beautiful what you have done with the place :)

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    1. Thank you, Jes. We are really happy with it, and we did most of it together. xoox Su

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  11. So pretty Su!! I love all the ornamental grass you planted in the front too!

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  12. Very cheerful and pretty-love the planting and your back too!

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    1. Thank you, DD. It has been a lot of fun. xoxo Su

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  13. I love how you painted the house different colors for the front and the back! I never would have thought to do that.

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    1. Thank you, Jackie. It's a fun idea, and no one can see, because there are walls between us, and the houses are all have one story. :) So from the street you see the blue on two sides and white wood on the carport. :) xoox

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  14. Su,
    Your new color is splendid it adds life and excitement to your door. The addition of new shutters bring charm and beauty in your attention to detail. Seems color is blooming for you house and the neighbors homes, all cheery and happy homes. I think your grasses out front add amazing interest and eventually your bench will be amazing,
    xoxo,
    Vera

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    1. Thank you, Vera. Three neighbors have visited and told me how much they liked it. One woman told me that she had been here since 79 and that it was nice to see people fixing them up, because the woman who lived in this house and the woman who lived in the house next door had beautiful yards and gardens, before the previous people who bought them after they died. It's nice to know that. You know the city use to get after people for keeping messy yards. It use to be that we could not let our yard go to dirt. It had to have some rock down to keep blowing dust from causing Valley Fever. Even with a little rock one would eventually get some cactus, because it gave a place for the pieces that break off cactus to land and reroot. I don't know what to think about people who never lived in this environment with the attitude it's "desert". ( "Desert" is not barren.) So it is comforting to know that if one starts something wonderful, like the pink house people, people want to join in. That's why we picked this neighborhood when choosing between this house and another. xoxo Su

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  15. Well it would be easy to find your house...I love the color combination. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

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  16. It looks darling and I like that you have two different colors going on for exterior walls. Love both faces of this home! (Sorta reminds me of my time at Fort Huachuca a lifetime ago.)

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    1. Thank you, Vee. I have not been to that area, but I since it is south eastern AZ it is probably very much desert too. xoxo Su

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  17. Du - what a breath of fresh sunshine! Love your outdoor colors.

    Judy

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    1. Thank you, Judy. We are happy with our work. xoxo Su

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  18. What a charming and colorful neighborhood you live in. I like it when the neighborhood comes together and make it their own without an HOA. Very welcoming, Kathleen in Az

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    1. Thank you, Kathleen. It's one of those changing neighborhoods, and I hope it keeps improving. xoxo Su

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  19. I love the colour! I adore a house with a bright coloured door or accents of a bright colour. There are so many brown, grey, and white houses out there. Love to see something so cheerful and different!

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. In many areas, especially in the desert areas, the houses are a shade of brown or tan, which makes sense if it is the wilderness, because it should blend in, but otherwise it is really hot and boring on especially this type of old house. xoxo

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  20. I think your house is blissful and you should be so proud of it and your choices of color! It has come so far, it's incredible!

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    1. Thank you, Dana. I love that wreath you made, as well as the tribute. xoxo Su

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  21. I love what you have done with your front yard. Its very inviting and homey.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. It really has a cheerful presence now. xoxo Su

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  22. The colors you have chosen are so fun. Gives it that cottage bungalow feeling. It fits your Butterfly Bungalow name! I think I might have re-painted it in its original mint green. The mint green cottages along the California Coast are always a favorite of mine. But I do think the lime green you have chosen is a good choice for the desert. Lovely!!!!

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    1. My daughter's favorite color is mint. I think we would have had we realized that was the color of the brick in her closet once we torn the old broken shelves out, but by then we had chosen blue xoxo Su

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  23. Hi Su, your home is gorgeous. You transformed it into a beautiful gem. Love the colors and perfect for the desert. Your front yard is so inviting. Just wonderful!!
    Thanks for sharing this inspiration.
    Hugs, CM

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    1. Thank you, CM. I can't believe how much the plants have grown in 2.5 years. xoxo Su

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  24. Super job all around! I can tell you've given this home lots of TLC.

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  25. I love your idea. It is so wonderful how you decided to do the two different colored walls. I think it is fun how you and us are the only ones to know. :-)) LOL

    I love the ornamental grass!
    Carla

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  26. Such a lovely house! Love your colors. So appropriate for that location.

    Will you kindly tell me what brand of front door you have and where did you purchase it. Im looking for that one but don't see it in the big box stores in my area. Your help will be most welcome.
    Thanks
    Marje

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    1. It's from Home Depot. I think it is the one that doesn't dent, but I didn't see it on there. However they do have it in steel online. There are 8 versions. http://www.homedepot.com/p/JELD-WEN-Premium-6-Lite-Craftsman-Primed-White-Steel-Prehung-Front-Door-with-Brickmold-O03481/203282179 If you go in the store they can pull it up on the computer and make sure you order the correct one. It will get delivered to the store, and you pick it up. xoxo Su

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  27. Just beautiful. What a sweet place - I love the colors you chose-they just make me smile- bright and happy and fun. I bet people smile just looking at it when they go by. You have done a wonderful job with your place and you should be very proud of yourself. xo Diana

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    1. Thank you, Diana. Three neighbors have already told me they love it. My next door neighbor hurried over right away to give complements. When we moved in. She is very straightforward she asked were we going to rent it or fix it. We said, "fix it". She said boldly. "Yipeee". She was so happy when we moved in. :) Su

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  28. Hi Su, Your home is so incredibly charming. It must have breathed a huge sigh of relief when you purchased it and turned it into an absolute gem. I can't imagine anyone taking an axe to the door to create a mail slot! Well, it certainly must be the beautiful house in the neighbourhood now. You must be very proud of your home, it certainly sparkles and looks like a happy home. Thanks so much for your lovely photos, I always enjoy visiting.

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    1. Thank you, Judith, for you sweet visit. We are really happy with the results and my neighbor next door is the best. For old times sake, I added the photo of the original door to this post. I forget that some readers didn't see it a few years ago. :) xoxo Su

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  29. I Love that you can have color on your cute home! Yup, I have HOA :( !! I also love your grasses in the front, I have mostly rock... Such a typical desert (boring) landscape! But those HOA's keep pretty tight control of all things seen from the street! I enjoy looking at your color and charm! Enjoy the week! Blessings, Cindy

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    1. That's true, Cindy, and sometimes that crosses my mind. My last neighborhood was clean and consistent, but I was so ready for something different. I couldn't even plant what I wanted in the backyard of my last home, because it had view fences. xoxo Su

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  30. omg Su, what a difference between three years ago and now. I actually laughed out loud at the picture with mail here. Your backyard is my dream back yard. I love the sitting area..and the white...and all the flower beds.

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    1. Thank you, Victoria. I am Gemini, not that I put a lot of stock in that, but two different sides of the house :) Isn't that door hysterical!!! Everybody had to take a photo that visited. It's one of those neighborhoods that people want to fix, so it is better than than 3 years ago and still improving. Su

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  31. That new pop of colour definitely adds charm to your cottage. The difference between the picture from three years ago and today is stunning!

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    1. Thank you, Magali. All the work eventually shows doesn't it!? xoxo Su

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  32. Hi Su! Y'all have done so much with that house and it looks so charming! Love the colors

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    1. Thank you, Beach Gypsy. We can pretend it's at the beach can't we? :) xoox Su

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  33. Changes takes place day by day. Feel happy to compare the photo of now with 3 years back photo. What an improvement! Surrounded by colorful plants...

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    1. Thank you, WW. We are very happy with the results, especially since we did the majority of it except for problems like electricity, plumbing, and drainage where we relied on professionals. xoox

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  34. Su, your home reminds me of a California beach cottage sea grass and all... And I love that the back side is all white, it really compliments the white post and roof line of your home. The lime green is so darn Popsicle cute..AND I BET THE NEIGHBORS talk about your cute home everytime they drive by.

    Your corner window is one of my favorites from inside as well as outside.
    Love your cottahe style inside and out.

    Makes me want to add some colour to my cottage, hmmmmm? So inspiring.

    Xx
    Dore

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    1. Thank you, Dore. I said this to someone else. I don't know if my Gemini is showing! Not that I put stock in it, but it is sort of funny, but no one can tell, because the yard is walled and there are no two story homes! :) I do love the white side, and I think it is so perfect for the garden in the back to take center stage, and I think color would have been distracting to my senses and the plants. In the front, I wanted to cheer up the neighborhood like the pink house. And l agree that it does look beachy; my California years are showing, since I've lived nearly half my life there, and half here except for some shorter periods elsewhere. Definitely a dual personality between two places! :) And you are correct, a few neighbors have been by to say they love it. :) Always so nice visiting. Have a beautiful, creative week, Dore. xoxo Su

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  35. Your house looks beautiful, you have done so much to transform it from the before photos. I presumed that your house wiuld be white (knowing your taste inside) but I think the blue and green look great, so cheery. I love the idea that the houses in your road are all different colours.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I did it white on the back, because I didn't want to compete with the garden, and that is more my speed. But on the front, I so admired the people that went pink that I wanted to take a chance too. It really cheers it up. You know most homes are a dreary brown here, and it does make sense if it is a desert style house or Spanish, but these are not, and they look sad in brown. Have a wonderful week, Jennifer. xoxo Su

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  36. IT IS SCARY AND FUN TO STEP OUT OF THE BOX AND TRY NEW THINGS. YOU DID WELL!!

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  37. Your home looks so pretty. I love the colors .Amazing tranformation!
    Hugs
    Alessandra

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    1. Thank you, Alessandra. It was a lot of work, but I'm happy with our progress. xoox Su

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  38. What great colors. How fun.

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    1. Thank you, Lorri. It seems anything can go around here. xoxo Su

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  39. I adore color and this is just gorgeous! I have often thought of painting our front door that color...our home is very traditional though, stone front, white siding, black shutters. I haven't pulled the trigger. It fits your home so well. Ps...great header!

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  40. I love the colors! They are so happy (especially compared to the very first picture)! That is too funny about the "Mail Here" hole! hahaha! That had me laughing :)

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    1. Thank you, Olivia. It's hysterical. Real life is stranger than fiction. I agree it was originally drab.xoox Su

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  41. Hi Su :)

    Well, they certainly were ingenious with that mail slot LOL

    Anyway, your house is darling and it looks really loved now. You've done a beautiful job brining it back to life :)

    xo

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    1. Thank you, Rue. The mail slot is classic! :)

      Su

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  42. Wow, so much going on in this post! First, oh my goodness, the mail slot. Oh. My Goodness. I absolutely love the green accents! Just love them! I am thinking of painting my front door a sage green. But, my husband doesn't like the idea. Everyone's doors are dark brown. Bland, boring, dull. I completely agree with cacti in front of the house. I have some agave my neighbors gave me, but I'm thinking of putting them in the back with the others. In your front cottage garden, is there rockrose? Lantana? I think I see those plants. What do you recommend? Also, the grasses are beautiful. I may plant some in my front garden since I have taken out almost all of the grass now. You have done an incredible job restoring your home. I wish I could see it in person! xoxoxoxoxxo Jen

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    1. Thank you, Jen. xoxo I read somewhere that a green door is suppose to be lucky and good for finances. :) In the front are lantana, because they are ground cover, so they are the shortest. The gold/yellow does well when it is hot, and the purple thrives in all the cooler months,. But they basically bloom most of the year regardless, it's just one gets more robust depending on the weather. The purple lantana seems to latch on to things and grow up into it giving a nice effect. It is growing into a hopseed bush that was trained into a tree. The purple sage might be chihuahuan sage; it came up from the ground, and apparently it was here before. It has not regained its more wild look, I think because it was so severely cut down or it is a completely different sage. It blooms purple almost every time there is some moisture in the air. There is a potato bush with purple flowers too, and it prefers to be under something. There is a bouganvilla, but its messy. The Mexican bird of paradise does well too with orange and yellow flowers; I have one in the back that is quite large. The purple grass is a type of rubrum that doesn't seed; it gets cut twice a year, sometimes 3x. My spouse cuts it, and it is a lot of cleanup, but it doesn't spread by itself, and it looks pretty most of the year. Some do spread. There is a green kind that showed up in the yard as a volunteer; it spreads, and it is not my favorite, because it doesn't change color. This one looks pink with green, to purple, to cranberry (especially in the fall). Once established it doesn't take a lot of water. It is best if the grass doesn't spread, if you can find it. If you want more once they are established you can cut them and split them, which I know you are familiar with. I haven't been able to grow it here, but it grew well at my last house: blue hibiscus. It's not a hibiscus, and it is purple, but if you have some shade it does well in the heat and without a lot of water. Thank you so much, Jen.

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  43. Thank you, Jen. xoxo I read somewhere that a green door is suppose to be lucky and good for finances. :) In the front are lantana, because they are ground cover, so they are the shortest. The gold/yellow does well when it is hot, and the purple thrives in all the cooler months,. But they basically bloom most of the year regardless, it's just one gets more robust depending on the weather. The purple lantana seems to latch on to things and grow up into it giving a nice effect. It is growing into a hopseed bush that was trained into a tree. The purple sage might be chihuahuan sage; it came up from the ground, and apparently it was here before. It has not regained its more wild look, I think because it was so severely cut down or it is a completely different sage. It blooms purple almost every time there is some moisture in the air. There is a potato bush with purple flowers too, and it prefers to be under something. There is a bouganvilla, but its messy. The Mexican bird of paradise does well too with orange and yellow flowers; I have one in the back that is quite large. The purple grass is a type of rubrum that doesn't seed; it gets cut twice a year, sometimes 3x. My spouse cuts it, and it is a lot of cleanup, but it doesn't spread by itself, and it looks pretty most of the year. Some do spread. There is a green kind that showed up in the yard as a volunteer; it spreads, and it is not my favorite, because it doesn't change color. This one looks pink with green, to purple, to cranberry (especially in the fall). Once established it doesn't take a lot of water. It is best if the grass doesn't spread, if you can find it. If you want more once they are established you can cut them and split them, which I know you are familiar with. I haven't been able to grow it here, but it grew well at my last house: blue hibiscus. It's not a hibiscus, and it is purple, but if you have some shade it does well in the heat and without a lot of water. Thank you so much, Jen.

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  44. Um lar aconchegante,

    Cores lindas e leves,

    Um encanto!

    beijinhos,

    Lígia e =^.^=

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  45. Wow, wow, and WOW ! I love what you've done with the paint and color choices. hey really do put a smile on my face and it seems your neighbors are inspired by creative color choices. I foresee a neighborhood that will in some future time be inspirational in being known for creative colors and homes.

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  46. Wow-you've given this home so much love! I enjoyed seeing the before pictures and how much you have done. I'm always a fan of color, and the green is a perfect accent!

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    1. Thank you, Nicki, we are really happy with the paint results. xoox Su

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  47. I love the green with the blue. It's like a breath of cool, fresh air. Definitely a plus in the desert. I enjoyed seeing the before of your yard. . .it gives me hope with our new space. I think a neighborhood without HOA is delightful. We live in a little town with no covenants or restrictions and yes, there are those who have let their homes go, but for the most part the houses are delightful. Especially in summer with all the pretty porches and flowers. Blessings,Su. ~ Nancy

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. It does make me feel cooler when I see it. After so many years in this area, its like I dread brown, unless it's newer, territorial, or Spanish style. I agree that it is wonderful to have no HOA after all our previous homes having them. Yes, there are some that are not kept up and a little worse for wear than an HOAs, but there were always people in violation that they did nothing about, and it was an added expense each month. I can't wait to see your finished home, of course it will be a work in a progress settling in, but it will be great to be in there! xoox Su

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Thank you for taking time to visit and leave a kind message today. I love to visit your blogs too, and I do when I can link back. xoxo Su