Renovating a historic home brings with it a lot of discoveries within the structure. One aspect of the home, which isn’t always a top priority, is the existing landscaping. With this home came English boxwood shrubs that have become so overgrown after years of neglect that many assumed they were a lost cause.
The shrubs have not been at the top of our initial to-do list, but in talking with friends around town about the home, we found someone who might be able to help. John Colley, a sustainable gardener who also lives in Berlin, recently stopped by to take a look at the bushes, and he said they can be saved. We decided it would be wonderful to be able to take these large, overgrown and somewhat damaged old shrubs, and bring them back to life. They will only accentuate the home.
While concentrating on the exterior of the home, we also had an expert look at the trees we have in the yard, and determine which ones may eventually cause damage. Shawn Gillin of Gillin Landscape & Tree Service visited the property on a Sunday to give us an estimate on tree removal.
Many of the trees in the yard appear to be overgrown, half dead or just crowding out other trees. We have large walnut trees and a beautiful cedar tree we want to allow to flourish. This was not an expense we initially had in mind, but knowing that some of the dead branches could do damage to the home we are spending much time on, we decided to work this into the budget. Removing these trees and branches will allow the remaining trees to fully blossom. 
While getting some planning done for the yard, the interior was not forgotten. The ceiling in the kitchen has now been completely torn out, old electrical system has been pulled, and plans are being made for the kitchen cabinets that will be delivered in two weeks. Having 10-foot ceilings in what was previously a dark kitchen will help open the space and give it a farmhouse look.
Also, the four to five layers of wallpaper have now been completely removed from the stairwell, exposing all of the plaster that will need to be repaired. I, for one, am looking forward to fixing up the wall surface. It should make for a wonderful before and after shots. 
You can click through the photos below to see the areas discussed in this week’s column.