Around the House: Backyard Cleanup and Exterior Update Plans

With spring upon us extra early this year, we pounced on the opportunity to get the yard cleaned up and looking- well, looking better at least. We’ve mostly focused on interior updating since we moved in two years ago, but not because there isn’t anything to do out there. (Ha!)

Since I love lists, here’s my (dream) wish list for what I’d like to do outside. I’m hoping we’ll be getting several of these crossed off before next fall, but I would fall over backwards (probably with a winning lottery ticket in my hand) if we were able to complete them all this summer.

• Stain the deck
• Find a small table and possibly chair for deck seating area
• Clean up the yard and get grass on track- front and back
• Clean up brick patio
• Clean up landscaping, sides, front, and back of house plus fence line
– new weed blockers EVERYWHERE!
• Build up front retaining wall
• Evaluate current plants/landscaping and clean up, remove, or replace
• Build second brick patio in back
• Repair fences and air-conditioner cover
• Deck plants/flowers (plant and keep alive!!)
• Transplant tulip bed and plant garden
• Remove/replace all black plastic retainers in backyard
• Clean up and paint sandbox for V
• Replace deck lighting
• Find/plant deep shade flowers on porch (don’t kill them this time!)
• Clean/organize (dare I say decorate?) garage – maybe paint walls and floor?
• Backyard storage
• Beef up porch post
• Clean up porch railing
• New paint/siding (please???)

There might be a few others I’m forgetting, and heaven knows I’ll likely exercise my right as a woman to change my mind at least three or four times about a few others, but that’s the basic list. And as I mentioned here, this past weekend we got a good start in the backyard, thanks to a lot of work by my dad!

Let’s start with an overview of the backyard, so you know what we’re working with. (Maybe we can consider this a room reveal of sorts??) When we first moved in, it looked like this:

Obviously completely overgrown. Jungle-esque you might say. We spend the first summer we were here hacking away and just trying to get to a place where we didn’t have a pile of tree limbs stacked in every corner. Fast forward to last summer:

Clearly better, but still a lot of room for improvement. The trees were finally mostly under control, but the planting beds were still looking pretty wild and overall landscaping was lacking to say the least.

Now that you can appreciate where we’ve come from, I’m sure you’ll understand when I say our goal this year is to actually get to a place where the yard is nice, instead of just good enough. I know we won’t get to perfect yet, but nice would be nice.

I didn’t get true before pics this year, but let’s just say we never got around to cleaning up all the leaves and fallen branches from the ten trees in our backyard last fall, as evidenced by the several piles of them in the ‘during’ pictures below.

So all that clean up took a while. Luckily for us, we also got some help from Vera, who has moved on from lounging and watching like last year, and now prefers to help out. Although it takes a while, since she picks up her leaves one at a time.

While my dad (and Vera) were picking up leaves, I got to work cleaning up some of the landscaping. I started by cleaning off the brick patio, trimming up the overgrown grass around the cracks and edges.

I also cleaned up the planting beds and started transplanting those tulips you see above, from the space in the back corner of the photo below (area up behind the retaining wall), where I eventually want to plant that garden on my wish list.

I had a little helper again for that project too.

While I was working on that, Brett got busy cutting down some half dead and not-wife-approved bushes near the house. I barely snapped a photo before he got down to business.


Oh yeah! I almost forgot that I broke out a few outdoor pillows I scored on clearance at Costco last year after season, and some bright potted flowers that caught my eye this year. Although, I need to get some more flowers for those bare pots. Whoops… wait, it’s only March? Oh, ok, I’m good.

That was pretty much the extent of our work for the day. Several hours in and we had about twelve bags full of yard waste and we were all beat, so we took a break for lunch. Dania showed up to help us eat, scavenge my paint supplies, and do a little spring spruce up of her own.

Is there anything cuter than baby feet!? Maybe only baby fee with painted toes. Barely cuter.

Ok well after this long-winded post, I’m signing off. Has anyone else been getting outdoors in this early spring?? Hopefully mother nature isn’t going to fool us all with a late freeze. I want to get to planting!!



If you like my little blog, please make my day by clicking below to follow me or vote for us on Top Baby Blogs! I truly appreciate it. Thanks for reading! :)

Follow DesigningDawn on FacebookFollow DesigningDawn on TwitterFollow DesigningDawn PinterestSubscribe to RSS feed

Vote for DesigningDawn on Top Baby Blogs






No Comment

What do you think? Leave a comment below.