Monday, May 2, 2011

Some weekend progress and a look at the yard

Matt and I took advantage of the nice weather this weekend to get some work done outside. While Matt worked on the yard, I dragged our bathroom vanity into the driveway so I could sand and paint and get rid of that bright blue.


Please forgive all of the tools/supplies in this pic.

Sometimes I get lazy with painting but since this will be a permanent fixture in the bathroom, I tried hard to sand it evenly, fix all of the old nail holes with wood filler, and clean it well. I thought it actually looked sort of cool all sanded.


Don’t worry, I didn’t keep it that way :) Now its in the garage waiting for a final coat of white paint before finding its home back in the bathroom. I’ll share our progress in that room soon!

But back to the yard.

Its finally dried up enough so that our squishy lawn is not a mud pit and Matt was able to mow. Then he started clearing out a small patch of weeds under the deck. I mustered up what little I had left in me* to help him.

*The day before, we’d planned a 5 mile run in Forest Park. Well, my sister-in-law and I missed a turn and ended up running three EXTRA miles. Needless to say I was a little sore.

I used the electric hedger to start attacking the jungle near the shed that’s been bugging me all year.


I quickly ran into some branches that were too big for the hedger so I asked Matt to help me with the clippers. He was really enjoying clearing out the mess that is our back yard.

While he was concentrating on clipping the big branches, I slowly backed away… slower… slower… snuck into the house… and took a nap :)

When I woke up, the back yard looked like this.


Matt had pulled ivy, trimmed the trees, and removed holly, all while I slept off those extra running miles. What a good surprise when I woke up! Here’s the before and after.


Hopefully Portland will continue the rain-during-the-week sun-on-the-weekend trend so we can pick up where we left off next weekend. There is so much to do!

The rest of the back yard is a massive deck and a barely alive lawn.


The branches on the lower deck don’t fit in the yard debris can… yet.

We’re not sure if we’ll keep this deck or not. We already have a big deck and there is so much we could do with that area!

The side yards are just lawn.


South side


North side

Matt likes the big lawn on the south side so we’ll keep that (he actually goes out there to play soccer sometimes). We’re not sure what we’ll do with the north side. If we remove the deck, we could make horseshoe pits or a vegetable garden and a stone patio.

Last year, we focused on the front yard. When we moved in, the front yard was a bunch of overgrown bushes that had been neglected for years.


We forgot to take a before pic so I grabbed this one from google maps.

We ripped out 15 bushes, tilled the ground and laid sod. I wish I had pictures to share because that was hard work!

Matt also watched many youtube videos to learn how to trim the Japanese maple. It is as tall as me and the branches used to hit the ground. It looked like Cousin Itt.

Here’s what our front yard looks like now.


Like everything, its a work in progress. Since the bushes were so close together, when we removed some of them we exposed the dead sides of the existing bushes.

I’ve trimmed the two hydrangeas but still have quite a few to prune.


Also on the to-do list is weeding, planting flowers, and laying bark dust. Not to mention that awesome ‘70s rock facade on the house. Good thing Matt seems to enjoy working outside!


Were you able to get outside this weekend?

What do you think we should do with that massive deck in the back?

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  1. Wow! What a difference. We used to work putside every few weekends, now there's no way I can get my husband out there. We have a decent gardener, which helps for maintenance. But our yard needs to be made pretty. Your yard looks great.

  2. Your yard is really coming along. I love that deck. If the wood is in good shape I would definitely stain it and put out some furniture. Great job. Can't wait to see the finished bathroom vanity.

  3. I bought some hanging baskets for the back patio this weekend. Does that count as yard work?

  4. Sally, if I count napping as yard work, you can definitely count buying hanging baskets :)

  5. Hmmm...that IS a lot of deck. If you already have a decent sized deck, I vote for more yard. :)

  6. I can't tell from the pictures - do you have a deck on top and more deck underneath the top deck (as in one is covered?)? If you do you could make the lower one a more intimate space by adding curtains and some cool lights, and then leave the 'open air' deck for a more informal, get-together space!

  7. Great idea with the google map before picture...


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