There’s a Monster in My Shrub! (and Other Garden Horrors)

I am ashamed to say that for approximately 8 months now, our front garden has resembled something out of a horror movie, the kind where the girl runs around in skimpy clothing before being dumb enough to go skipping down the dark hallway that says DO NOT ENTER, where she is promptly devoured by the nine-tentacled monster with bad breath/slaughtered by a machete-wielding maniac.



PLEASE NOTE: No scantily clad girls have been discovered running around our front yard.

Now, I don’t know the first thing about garden maintenance/enhancement. It’s on my to-learn list for this coming spring/summer. But in the meantime, we decided it was time to weed, trim, de-leaf, and yank.


You’ll notice I’ve taken 0.48 seconds to badly blur our house number out of these photos. This is obviously to ensure that those aforementioned nine-tentacled specimens suffering from halitosis don’t come here looking for girls to devour. Or mouthwash.


Who knew that under all of that mess we’d find a pretty flower?


By the way, this is what the front of our house looked like last spring:


Rick disposed of those gigantic shrubs and the decapitated wire couple that had obviously succumbed to the shrub monster. The wife does appear to be missing her top. No wonder the monster pursued her.


I would like to turn our front garden into something gorgeously beautiful with exotic plants and flowers that any respectable Enchanted princess would be proud of and invite her forest friends to, but I have no clue how to go about doing that, so for now I’m just content with no dead trees, no giant shrubs, and no scandalous wire people.

then and now

What have you done for the outside of your house so far this spring? Do you like to work outdoors, or are you like me and gravitate toward the inside? Have you ever met a nine-tentacled monster and lived to tell about it? Share your secrets.


  1. I can see such potential in your front garden bed! Such a lovely spot for a bistro table or bench.

  2. Getting those bushes out of there looks so good! Can't wait to see how it ends up! And you, as always, know how to write a hilarious post. :)

  3. The yard looks so much nicer! Your house is adorable and it'll look even cuter once you're done :)

  4. What an improvement!! Your front beds are looking good! Oh and I mentioned you in a post today! :)

  5. I say removing those wire people made a 100% improvement! Who buys things like that?
    I'm inept outdoors. I want to have a green-thumb but typically maim and kill. I bought some native plants for the front this year. I'm hoping they fare better w/ the outrageous TX summer heat. We'll see.

  6. So much better! I've done a LOT of weeding, seeding the yard, weeding, trimming the roses (that are actually not dead despite my attempts last year) and moving plants (John's done that part). It's coming along but I also have no idea what we're doing. I just watch things and see if they die, if not, then I go with it.

  7. Removing the bushes make it look tons better!
    We recently removed some little evergreen bushes from the the flower bed in the front of the house and I attempted to plant some flowers, but I forgot about them and they died... and they are still sitting in the front garden bed in all their dead glory... I am so horrible! haha

  8. It already looks so much better! All you need are a few pops color here and there! We've done a bit of yard work, but we still have a TON more to do. I'm hoping to get everything mulched this weekend.

  9. Looks so much better already!! I started weeding our front garden this past weekend and only got a very small section complete after a substantial amount of time. lol. I guess the saga will continue this weekend... oh joy.

  10. Two things: 1) I like how the broken window pane continues to sit on our front porch a year later :-P 2) You missed blurring out our house number on the second then and now shot.....now I won't be able to sleep tonight in fear for tenticalized monsters with halitosis. What ever shall I do???

    1. hahahaha the window. And I'll make our house anonymous once more asap...who is supposed to protect me if you are cowering in fear? :P

  11. I love the way your mind works. I'm not hitting on you. I'm just glad someone else's mind turns to serial killers.

    Here's the secret to gardening......you go to your favorite/cheapest location for plants (I'm a Lowe's and the Wal-Mart (only for plants) fan.)...pick out the stuff that fits your sunlight description for the area and is also pretty. Plant it. Easy. You can't lose with my method.

    We have more planting to do this year. We're taking it slow.

  12. Lovely! Nice job. You should share on the Mission Impossible Great Outdoors Challenge party hosted by a great group of bloggers later this month. Check out the info at The Space Between, It All Started with Paint, Cottage Market, Eclectically Vintage, or Thistlewood Farm... Or click on the button on my blog.

    That share party is bad timing for me...I have a sorry yard at the moment and no time to make it look so nice.

  13. Hi Erin - it looks much better - you're on your way to that beautiful front yard. Gardening is not something you can learn overnight - and even those of us who garden enthusiastically still have a lot to learn and make mistakes. My suggestion is that you get a couple of good design/maintenance books that are specific to your climate (SW California is a lot different than Wisconsin for example) and perhaps join your local garden club (it's also a great way to get to know other gardeners in your area which usually equals free advice and plants).

    But most of all, have fun with it. I liken gardening to painting with nature. Since I'm terrible with a paintbrush, I have some success this way.

  14. Loving the splash of red/purple from the shrub to the right! Buy plants for evening fragrance, too, if you'll be spending porch/patio nights gazing at the stars...
    My gardens are my "prayer" beds, because while mindlessly weeding & pruning I can empty my heart to the Lord.

  15. I believe this is the first time I've seen the front of your house. Sweet little set up you got there! I've not run across any monsters myself, but that topless wire hussy had it coming. ;)

  16. Looks so much better already! My yard is currently a haven for weeds. My MIL came to visit and actually spent time pulling weeds. It was SO EMBARRASSING. I can never remember if "embarrassing" has 1 R or 2. Please share the tricks of getting an exotic beautiful yard. Or just come help my MIL pull weeds.

  17. Already looks super improved- nice job! I'm not much of a gardener myself, so I don't have any advice to offer (sorry!) BUT I am hoping to learn and turn my dirt pile front/back yard into something brilliantly green ...someday.

  18. I just found you on Whitney's blog :) You are HILARIOUS! I kept laughing when I was reading. Thank you so much for making my day!


  19. LOL.
    I'm slowly coming around to this whole gardening thing. The problem is that I'm impatient and I hear that gardening is a "work in progress" sort of thing.

  20. You're a hoot...and I didn't even notice the blurred numeros.

    You're ashamed of THAT? I have flowers that I bought in November, still in their pots (from the STORE!), that have now rooted, which at least means they're getting natural nourishment and I water them less often. They're growing quite beautifully (minus the bit of tackiness.)

    Looks like I found another things for us to do when you come down! ;)

  21. Proud and happy to hear another person ready to become a gardener! On the left side of your garden (the smaller section) you could go with some basic grows like basil, possibly some flowers. Give it life! This is what a garden is all about, growing beautiful life.

    -Oscar Valencia


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