A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Busy Weekend

It was an action-packed weekend here at Bungalow Chronicles. After a family obligation Sunday afternoon, Pete and I drove out to The Natural Garden in St. Charles. It’s not the most convenient nursery to go to, and it took a solid hour’s drive, but they are one of the few nurseries in the area who really specialize in native plants.

We were concentrating on shrubs for this visit and luckily they had all but one of the shrubs I wanted, so it was worth the trip.

By the time we got home it was already 5:00, but we were still able to get a lot accomplished Sunday evening. We pulled out some of the landscape edging that the PO had installed elsewhere and reused it in the little triangular cutout at the front of our lawn. The shrubs I planted there are New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus), which will remain small (about 2 feet tall and wide). I’ve read that bunnies like eating these, so we also bought deer and rabbit repellent and sprayed them with it. I noticed a bunny hop right on by it yesterday morning —— so far so good. It needs something else there, but I’m not sure what I’ll plant.


Sure doesn’t look like much at the moment.

On the patio front, here is how it looked as of last week:


Oh, and we unearthed one more relic:

Pretty cool, huh?

The landscapers still hadn’t shown up to tear up the garden and patio at our previous house, so Pete asked if we could just move them ourselves. Although he did most of the work, we moved everything down in a short period of time. It’s been well over ten years since we originally installed that patio, so it was interesting to discover that a) we didn’t dig down nearly as far as we did this time around; b) we didn’t use any gravel as the base, just landscape fabric and a couple inches of limestone screening. Even so, the patio held up really well except for a couple of slightly wobbly stones, so I’m confident that this time around it will be rock solid (no pun intended).

I’ve also started what I’m referring to as The [previous address] Memorial Prairie.


While Pete moved most of the stone, I dug up a few more select plants. I’m happy to report that the few plants we transplanted from our previous house last fall have started growing and seem to be doing well, and hopefully these new transplants will adjust quickly.

Last week we also bought two more Arborvitae and planted those, so now we have our privacy hedge ready to grow! The new addition to the right in front of the garage is an American Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis). In time that should fill up a good portion of the garage wall.


As of last night, here is the state of our yard:


We’re hoping to enjoy some beers on the patio by Memorial Day Weekend. Wish us luck!


  1. Jennifer on May 6, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Looking good! That patio will be so nice for summer. I love how you are using native plants!

  2. Cheryl on May 6, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Hope your arborvitae don’t get as big as the ones here do – they get huge – some of the old ones must be at least 12 foot in diameter & 20 foot tall. But hey – this is Florida – the rules are different here!

  3. southsideandy on May 6, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Good luck getting it done by Memorial Day weekend…I bet you will. Looks great though…I wish I had that much land next to my bungalow, and behind it, and all that. 🙂

  4. denise on May 8, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Cheryl: Yikes! I think we’re safe with our arbs — this variety is supposed to reach only 4 feet wide x 10-12 feet tall. Our neighbor has something similar which I think is a cypress is as big as yours — same family as arbs from what I understand.
    Jennifer and southsideandy: Thanks!
    We definitely have our work cut out for us — I wish the threat of rain would go away. Andy, although I would love to live in the city again, it’s nice to have more breathing room here in the ‘burbs!

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