I never promised you a rose garden

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life36 Comments


As construction on our remodel has officially wrapped up, it's time now for us to a) try to recreate some semblance of a yard and b) finish the interior painting and c) get a dang couch already.

So far, the interior painting is about halfway there, and the yard project is in full swing thanks to Dan, my Dad, a few shovels, some grass seed and a lot of manly muscle.


This manly man is looking pleased with himself because the grass seed on the boulevard is taking root.


Why grass seed and not sod? According to Dan, "I've never had much luck with sod." You heard it here first.


Step on my grass, I'll kill ya.

We planted a few rhododendrons in the front, Purple Star variety, I believe. And that lone hosta?  The sole survivor from back hoe trauma. Those things are the cockroaches of the landscaped world.


And right on the corner of the house we'll be doing a small rock garden to catch the water from our yet-to-be-purchased rain chain.


We picked up just a few little plants for the steps, to add a touch of color. This year is all about catching our breath and growing grass. Hard core landscaping may or may not come next year. For now, we're just enjoying the new look and feel of our house.

And incoporating a little bit of nature into the process.


Cathy ZielskeI never promised you a rose garden

36 Comments on “I never promised you a rose garden”

  1. #1

    It’s look beautiful and colorful and I love it. How exciting for your family to have this new look and porch to sit on and enjoy. Good luck with the yard and hope it grows nice for you. By the way what are the kids doing this summer? Are they home yet? Have a great week, I’m off to Florida for my oldest graduation from art school, yipppeee!!

  2. #2

    Wow the house looks fantastic Cathy! Love your colour choices and the cool front porch! We are almost there with ours, house has been rendered but still to be painted, and yard is still a rubbish dump. Can’t wait until we are at the final stages too.

  3. #3
    Jennifer Larson

    This is going to be a good, cool week for seeding. Good luck with that–it should take hold in a bout a week.

    And I love your hot pink flowers–way to work the colors!

  4. #4
    Carol Hopkins Clayton

    Everything looks AWESOME, Cathy! Your house has truly been transformed!! And I absolutely LOVE the fact that your colorful house appears to be sandwiched between two white houses — FANTASTIC!

  5. #6

    Hi Cathy – I LOVE your house! So cool. Dan is a man after my own heart. I live in Colorado now but lived in Michigan before this and we built a house there. When it came time for the landscaping we put our own grass in using a combination of seeds from the local co-op. (One of the seeds was a Kentucky bluegrass.) What they told us to do was to put the yard in and plant oat along with planting the seed. The oat come up, hold the soil while the grass really takes root. After about two weeks we looked like we were growing a yard full of weeds. But we pulled out every oat and were left with the most beautiful yard. The landscaper who had given us the bid (and we didn’t go with his very expensive bid…) came by almost every day and he would just shake his head and say, “you’s are some industrial folk”. I am sure living in Minnesota you have heard the “yous”. So tell Dan… carry on. Hope you love your sassy new house!

  6. #8
    Rachel B.

    Aidan is the most adorable little landscaper in her straw hat and pale pink nails! I hope your grass grows as thick as thieves. Your house is looking so lovely, funky and fun. Now it is as photogenic as your family!

  7. #12

    Your comment about the hostas made me laugh. We finally just won a 5 year long war against the hostas growing in our backyard. They certainly are a hardy plant. I’m fairly certain after the world-ending asteriods hit and the hostile alien life-forms take over the planet War-of-the-World-style….you’ll still find hostas thriving. 100% indestructible. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. #13
    Becky H

    Cathy you are a trip. I have to say that Hostas are the cockroaches of landscaping and I will have to tell my dad that. He is constantly complaining about haveing to divide them. Your house is beautiful and I hope you know how lucky you are to have a man who does yard work! Keep the updates coming, I love them.

  9. #14

    Oh my that front looks so wonderful! So “stylish” and modern! Is that a hanging lamp in the corner – it appears white in the right corner? If so, where did you get it?

  10. #16

    It looks great! I have never heard of a Rain Chain before, but I checked out the link and I’m officially in love!

  11. #17

    LOVE the colors of the house. Looks perfect. I applaud your chutzpah and going with less-than-traditional colors.

  12. #18
    madeline St onge

    Looks great Cathy and I know how Dan feels about his grass growing, I do a happy dance every time a blade pops up

    Go Dan

    Love the way it is looking

  13. #20
    Marian Hein

    Dan sounds just like my husband. Our last front yard remodel was complete with lawn seed as well. At least Dan waters it. I was the one out there with the hose twice a day.
    Your house looks great. Can’t wait to see the inside complete.

  14. #24

    It is so much fun to see your place – it is amazing and is such an awesome reflection of you and your family! Only wish I could be sittin on the front porch enjoyin’ a nice cold lemonade while watchin’ the grass grow!!

  15. #25
    jacquie d

    Hot Pink flowers on the steps, hot husband watering the grass…..I’d say your life is complete.

  16. #27
    Pamela K.

    Love it! And you are right about the hostas. Checking out those rainchains. They look so cool! Hope your grass comes in nice and thick. My hubby refused to put in sod for the same reason Dan gave. I love instant yard, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. #30
    Jennifer W

    I sure wish I had strong Hostas like you! In our area, the deer and rabbit eat everything. I had such beautiful hostas and candy tuff and within a year it was all gone!

  18. #31
    Karen P

    “I beg your pardon … I never promised you a rose garden.” Loved that song, and seeing your title brought back memories of being in seventh grade and listening to it on the radio with my friends. Nobody could sing it like Lynn Anderson!

    By the way, your house looks fabulous. I am a survivor of a five-year-long remodel project, so I know firsthand what it’s like to live with sheetrock dust covering everything.

  19. #32
    Jamie Danford

    Ya know, before I started scrapbooking, my first love was gardening. Then I transferred my passion for combining textures and colors in the yard into my scrapbooks. Have fun with your new/used yard girl!

  20. #34
    Nicole Hoffman

    Every time I see a picture of your daughter I have to look twice to make sure it is not you. A compliment to both of you. And the house looks fantastic!

  21. #35

    Cathy. My husband and I have been picking paint colors for our house for months and have settled (i think) on Kendall Charcoal. In an earlier post about accent colors you mentioned kendalll charcoal as being the base color and I just wanted to confirm that you stayed with that color because it looks a little lighter in the pictures. We are using a similar green for the accent. Your house has the right about of punch!!! If it’s not the kendall color would you be nice enough to let us in on what color you used?

    Thank you for your time and awesome posts about your house remodel. They are inspirational.

    1. #35.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hmmm. It has been so long I can’t rememberโ€ฆ I just got back from the basement where we keep our paint. I am not seeing a Kendall Charcoal. I did see a can of Chelsea Gray, that looks like the color, but it’s from a local paint shop called Hirshfields. It doesn’t even have a color code on in. Hubby said he’d keep looking. Sorry. I thought it would easy to find the color.

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