gardening, Home Ownership, Home Projects, Homemaking, Little Makeovers, Our Home, Yardwork

Proof I Haven’t Totally Given Up On Working Outside Until September

The other day while at a neighborhood activity, I made the comment to someone that I was impressed with her dedication to her yard (since she goes out every day to work on it) and that I had basically given up on the idea of doing any work outside until September due to the heat.

Of course, I happened to be part of a community garden with this particular friend years and years ago, so she knows all too well that I am, indeed, capable of ignoring weeds and yard work for an embarrassingly long time (so she probably took me at my word).

But, much to my own surprise, I actually HAVE been doing some stuff outside lately, even though it’s about the last thing I want to do. (Let’s be honest—a lot of it is largely because my mom offered to come up and help me, which is always the kick in the pants I need to actually get stuff done around here. Some things never change.)

Just a little reminder (or maybe you’re new around these parts), but the exterior of the home we just moved to in June looked like this:


I maybe would have considered keeping the red longer than we did (just because I didn’t want to put in all that extra work so soon), but the front door’s paint had bubbled so badly that we decided to just give all the exterior trim a little facelift while we were at it.

In addition to painting the door and shutters, we also drastically pruned back the shrubs (mostly just so that we could actually GET to the door and shutters), and we installed a couple new sprinklers so that we would have sprinklers on both sides of the lawn (and would therefore not have any major dry spots, like before).

We still have a ton of work to do, but if I waited to post until everything was done, I probably would post…um, never, so here you go.

This is the mid-process point (please note how overgrown the shrubs by the right-most shutters were):

And a picture of it currently:

Some other things that will happen fairly soon are that I plan to replant that container right by the front door (since all our flowers up and died when we moved), and I do plan to make Matt move those boxes of rocks and dirt left over from the sprinkler project to the garbage, where they belong.

(Of course, he’ll use the excuse that he can’t move them to the garbage because it looks like this, but #wheretheresawilltheresaway, right?):

When my mom was here yesterday, we did a thorough walk-through of the whole yard, and since my mom and stepdad have a yard I’ve long since admired, I think we’ll be putting many of her ideas into action within a year or two.

One thing I really want to change is that there are hardly any flowers in the yard. You could tell that the yard was designed to be super easy on the upkeep end, which means lots of shrubs and bushes and small trees, but hardly any flowers to speak of at all (other than the tulips planted in the front beds).

I’ve been dreaming of having scads of flower beds for about as long as I can remember, so we plan to reconfigure the two beds out in the very front by cutting the grasses and bushes WAY back, extending out the perimeters of the bed itself (which is currently outlined by rocks), and planting lots of perennials in there.

I’ll also probably be planting more flowers in the beds closest to the front door (besides just the tulips) and investing in a few more large containers to put around that area, too.

As everyone and their cat seems to have said to us since we bought our home, “There’s going to be no shortage of projects now, eh?!”


The verdict is still out of whether or not we keep the wood chips out in the very front (by the two big trees), or whether we plant grass there. Wood chips, in theory, would be less maintenance, but they do require that you spray for weeks every month or two (just because of all the weeds), so I’m not sure if it wouldn’t be worth it to just add it to our mowing every week rather than add the spraying to monthly chores. Thoughts?


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