Tag Archives: Outdoors

It’s Fall Ya’ll!

27 Sep

I’m back with a little outdoor project we did last weekend.

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I love the weather and the colors of the leaves changing.  I like that first chilly night where you can sleep with your windows open.  Plus, I love the fall Bath & Body Works candle line! Pumpkin Pecan Waffles – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? My whole house smells like waffles – it’s glorious.

I took a quick trip to Joann Fabrics to grab a new wreath for our front door.  I saw one I liked, but it wasn’t full enough. Cue the large bin of miscellaneous individual leaves and acorns.  I picked a few of those up (plus a fun pumpkin sign) and started gluing my wreath together.

Pretty right? I added the acorns and the honeycomb things.  Just a few details to beef it up.

The I moved outside and hung up my fun pumpkin sign.

Then the real fun began.

The husband ripped out the flower beds earlier in the morning and tilled the beds.  We had a nice blank canvas.

We headed out to Home Depot and picked up our supplies. (We actually did two trips because we didn’t get enough the first time!)



Mini Hay Bales:

We planted three Mums in pots we had used for vegetables during the summer, the rest went into the flower beds.  Then I just arranged, arranged, arranged.  I would move things around, stand back, figure out what looks wrong, and go tweak some more.  It took about 20 minutes to get everything just right, but I’m really happy with the outcome.

It’s like fall threw up all over the front of our house.

Fall – Nailed It!



21 Jun

Just a quick update on this lovely Friday.

The blocks have been placed and the beds have been mulched. The backyard looks like a million bucks.  I’ve been waiting patiently for my hydrangeas to bloom.  I would go outside and check everyday after work.  One day I went out and it was an explosion of color!

My Nikko Blue’s have bloomed and they are gorgeous. I’m just waiting on the white ones to get there now. I think I’m going to fall more in love every year with these plants.

We added a few small stakes into the Nikko Blue’s until the branches are stronger to support the flowers.  They were sagging a bit before, but now they look a lot fuller. I’m hoping I can slowly take them out as they grow.

Now if only my hydrangeas in the front garden beds will bloom. They are SO CLOSE. My huge plant (probably about 4 feet tall) has buds all over it. It’s going to be beautiful when it blooms. It’s looking like it will be fuchsia this year.

I think I am starting to have an unhealthy obsession with these plants.

She’s such a ham.

Happy Friday!

My fingers hurt…

29 May

We are 97% finished with the backyard makeover.

Even two days later I’m still so sore from digging, planting, carrying 40 pound bags of dirt, etc.  The joints in my fingers will never be the same. BUT it looks beautiful and that’s all that matters.

This is where we left off.

Fence was cleaned and dried.  In between the bouts of rain we were able to stain the back fence Tuesday night.

We gathered our supplies – Olympic Maximum Stain & Sealant in one Toner in Caynon Brown  (buy it here) and two large polyester brushes and went to work.

Here’s after two hours of staining.

We might have continued staining the side fence, but we ran out of stain. The back took an entire gallon.

So we let it dry, bought some more stain, and waited until the rain stopped. Weren’t April showers supposed to bring May flowers? Seems like Sub-Arctic April temperatures are bringing May Monsoons. It won’t stop raining!

The rain stopped Friday night and by Saturday morning everything was dry.

Here’s after the side fence was stained (If it looks a bit uneven – it is. I touched up a few places Sunday to make it more even)

Ignore the arborvitae’s thrown around everywhere. We were trying to figure out placement in very windy conditions!

With that done, off to the local nursery we went to pick up our tree (we put it on hold the day before), some additional shrubs, and flowers for the front and back yards.

Without further ado – here’s the 97% finished project. I’ll explain the unfinished business in a minute.

Working from the outside in we have two large green arborvitae’s on the ends (approx. 5 feet tall), with two fuchsia rhododendron,  two smaller arborvitae’s, then two golden euonymus.  The middle is our autumn cherry tree. She’s a beauty and we were lucky to get it since it was the only one left!

We added the rhododendron and golden euonymus for a nice bit of color and I think it turned out really pretty.

We lined the side fence with itty bitty aborvitae’s.  It ties in the larger ones on the back wall and makes everything look put together.

(Taken the day before. Notice the uncut grass and lack of bird bath)

I gave the bird bath a fresh coat of paint and it makes that back corner nice and bright.

That’s a bright blue bunny beside the bird bath. I am trigger happy when it comes to spray paint and I’ve never met a ceramic animal I didn’t love.

My husband’s pride and joy – his garden.

In no particular order he planted sweet corn, basil, cucumber, spaghetti squash, green peppers, carrots, broccoli, lettuce (two types), tomatoes (big boy, roma, and cherry), sweet potatoes, and zucchini.  We are hoping to live off that during the summer.

This is where the unfinished 3% comes in. My hydrangeas.

We dug out the flower beds (there were none before) and realized it looks better with a stone surround. We only had enough to finish one bed (while stealing one block from the border) so we measured, planted, and figured we need 10 more block to complete it. Another trip to Lowe’s is in the near future.

So after we level the blocks on the left, and lay the ones on the right this backyard will be DONE! (Oh yeah and lay mulch on everything)

Both beds have two Nikko Blue hydrangeas on the edges and one Incrediball Smooth Hydrangea in the middle. I’m excited about those. They bloom white and almost twice the size of your hand. I can’t wait. (Seriously – look)

So it’s a pretty dramatic makeover but we are really happy with how it came out.  I pulled out the patio furniture Monday night and cleaned it. All we need to do it strap on the cushions and finally enjoy the backyard.

Not too shabby.

Upgrade U

16 May

Thanks for the title inspiration Beyonce.

This past weekend we took a big step towards upgrading the backyard.

When we bought the house there were cute flower beds around the fence line on two sides. Here’s a photo from our final walk through (Please note that all the clutter is now gone. I’m not a big fan. Also red mulch – gag!)

I liked the idea of them, they add some nice color into the backyard, but the execution was poor. There was no spacing between the flower beds and the lawn.

So we did what we always do, get the cheapest thing and hate it until we upgrade!

We bought the rolls of black plastic edging.

The stuff that doesn’t really bend, and you can’t get it in an even line if your life depended on it. It was a nice satisfying feeling ripping that out of the ground last weekend.

We lived with that for about two years.  Here’s what it looked like before we ripped it out.

Ignore the bushes, they are being trimmed and then transplanted – somewhere.

Also ignore the bird bath that looks like it’s dripping blood. (WHY would you paint it like that?!?!)  That’s getting a nice bright upgrade very soon.


We went to Lowe’s with the intention of getting stone. We wanted something to match what we had on the garden, which is on the far left in the photo above.  Well, looks like they don’t make the stone we used for the garden (we only bought it last year!), so it was back to the drawing board.

We both ended up loving the allen & roth Cassay low profile edging.  (You can see it on Lowe’s website here )


It was heavy (it’s concrete!) so it wasn’t going anywhere and it matched the length we needed.  So we picked up 50 blocks.  My poor car was riding low on the way home.

This isn’t even all 50…

So we worked from one end to the other, ripping out the old edging, digging a small trench to stabilize the blocks and making sure everything was lining up nice and even.

We liked it so much we went back to Lowe’s and bought 20 more stones to replace and expand the garden!

We are going to level out the side on the left, add some flat pavers as a walkway of sorts and add a few pots so we can grow herbs.

It’s a subtle upgrade, but it polishes it up a bit. Plus, it matches the pavers on the patio.

We bought 70 blocks for $2.52 a piece (they are cheaper in the store than online) for a grand total of $176.40.  Not too shabby.

Up next – stain the fence and add some landscaping!