Micro Improvements

You remember the newly relocated downspout?


It’s now painted! The lower-most section is just temporary until all the scaffolding is removed.


Egads! The scaffolding, which has been stuck in the SE corner for 584 years, has now moved forward!


See! The Tyvek has been on the first-floor walls since 2014! This area will be done after all the second-floor shingling is completed. If anybody had told me in 2014 that the Tyvek would still be in place in 2019, I would not have thought this possible.


The two pots on the front porch steps needed some attention, so this spring I planted these. They were stated as FULL SUN/PARTIAL SUN. No, they were not. The sun just beat them. So, I dug them out and will replant them in the shade. The poor dears. 


I replaced them with red and purple vinca’s, which my friend Patrica has been recommending. 


The vines are now six-years-old. They (seemingly) die off each winter but come back in the spring. I have no idea how. The purple bush thingys also die off each winter. I mean really die. But, each fall Scott takes two cuttings and grows new ones during the winter. So, the current purple thingys are, sorta kinda, also six-years-old. Thanks, Scott!


There are three things which, I think, announce that a house is loved:

  1. A crisply cut/edged lawn.
  2. Flowers on the front porch.
  3. Clean windows.





  1. Jonathan W on July 22, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Shes looking better every day Ross! I luckily have no grass, but I’m afraid I have neither clean windows nor flowers on the front porch, I have been wanted to place some kind of flowering vines against my front porch though, perhaps when it is time for them to be planted I will do so. The porch is cinderblock foundation and aluminium, so I dont worry about them bothering it. Definitely need to get those windows done….

  2. Meike B. on July 23, 2019 at 4:49 am

    How came they recommended fuchsias for full sun? It’s one of the seldom plants that has flowers in the shade (lesser but still). They love bright places but tolerate only morning or evening sun otherwise they burn or get spider mites. You can take them inside in Winter(dark,cool,pruned)and they become nicer every year. Ideal for hanging baskets.
    This is at least my German opinion and situation…
    The petunias are excellent, wheras I have problems with busy Lizzies (are these b.L.?)in full sun…
    I’m fond of your big pots on the stairs!

    And: round downspouts are the normallest thing here, you can get them from every DIY-market up to your diameter (12 cm), and they are usually connected to the sewage line… You have to import them from Europe 😉

  3. Sandra Lee on July 23, 2019 at 6:08 am

    Beautiful 💐, crisp lawns & wonderfully clean sparkly windows are truly signs of a truly loved house! The Cross House is adored & all because of you the Amazing Ross! You are a Magic Man & transformed this old tired lady into a showcase of uniqueness & perfected restoration. You’ve taken to what was created & new in 1894 & I think perfected with superior materials. Thus it is to last & not deteriorate to oblivion as sections or parts have due to sun, water damage, fire & just neglect. All wrongs thus far have been righted & each issue is tackled as you get to it & done correctly. I am smazed how you juggle your vintage lighting business, the Strong City home, Cross House mortgage & then continue restoration step by step….. you are a marvel & model to us all!!!

  4. R. Montilla on July 23, 2019 at 6:12 am

    I can give another European opinion on the matter, this time Spanish. In my experience living in a very sunny climate, geraniums are a great choice: they love direct sunlight, require little care and come in lots of colours. I’m very clumsy with plants, but my geraniums are always happy and with flowers, even when I forget to water them (which happens more that I would like to admit).

    By the way, round downspouts are also the norm in Spain (I wasn’t aware they existed in other shapes).

    • Miss-Apple37 on July 25, 2019 at 3:16 am

      ahah I thought exactly the same because here in France the round spouts are the norm too. In the south they have flatter ones (kinda square or rectangular with flat profile instead of round).

  5. Cindi M on July 23, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Geraniums are great and love to overwinter in big Victorian windows. Plant tags are pretty generic for North America, other than the tropical zones. But folks at an independent garden center can tell what works for your yard because they live there too. My little yard in Virginia has very different full sun in front yard facing west than my backyard facing east. But there’s not enough room on the tags for all that.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will NEVER be made public or shared, and you may use a screen name if you wish.