The Exterior List

Since we’ve moved in, our yard and house exterior have been on our to-do list.  Unfortunately they have always come in behind our indoor projects, so over the years it has steadily gotten worse.  Now we have the time and the funds to get started outside, and we can’t wait.  Below is the list of yard projects we’ve compiled with the hope of finishing it over the course of the year.  It’s a pretty tall order, but with a little elbow grease and some outside help in a few areas, we think we can manage it.

1.  To re-sod or re-seed?  Our lawn has steadily been overcome by dandelions and other unwelcome weeds, so our first decision is whether we take out everything currently growing and start over with new sod, or try a fertilizer that will help kill the weeds and overseed  it during the fall.  Cost and time will both be factors in our decision.

2.  We are also struggling with the weeds under our rosebushes.  No matter how hard we try, they grow faster than we can pull them and we wind up with tons of scratches from the bushes themselves.  It’s time to dig up the area, put down a weed barrier, and recover them with new topsoil.

3.   Though we love our rosebushes, we need to find a way to tame them.  Two of the bushes are almost 6 feet tall and all of them are growing past their planting area and over the lawn.  Since mowing under rosebushes is no fun (and I have the scratches to prove it) we are either going to put some arching trellises in place and train the bushes up and over these, or we are going to do a major trim job in the fall when they go dormant.

Pretty pink rose bushes

4.  Because no grass will grow under the two large shade trees we have in our backyard, we’ve decided to put in some hardscaping to cover those areas.  Under the large tree in the center of the yard we will build a 3 foot diameter planter and finish off the bare area with a paver patio that connects to our current patio.  Under the tree in the corner of our yard we will build another paver patio and put a hammock there.

The mulberry tree in the corner of our yard where we hope to build a patio with a hammock.  In the background you can see the composter we are planning to replace.

The mulberry tree in the corner of our yard where we hope to build a patio with a hammock. In the background you can see the composter we are planning to replace.

5.  We have to figure out what to do with our side yard.  Basically it’s a lot of overgrown weeds and wasted space.  The downside is that it gets baked by the sun in the summertime (115+ degree heat), so that limits the plants and materials we can use there.

6.  The big, beautiful palm tree in our front yard needs a trim.

Palm Tree Before

7.  Our current composter is tough to use and a total eyesore!  It’s definitely time for a change.

8.  In order to minimize the flooding from our gutter spout near our back porch, we want to build or buy a rain barrel.

9.  The dated, dirty outdoor light fixtures on the outside of our house will be replaced.  Our big debate is over fans vs flush mounts for our back porch.

10.  We will finally paint the house a color we actually like.  The early 90’s yellow has to go.

11.  We will clean up and redecorate the back porch.  Wash windows, get new furniture, possibly hang outdoor curtains; the works.

Back porch

12.  Finally, we will replace all of our exterior doors and trim and add screen doors in the front and back.  We’re looking forward to getting rid of the animal-chewed trim and feeling a draft whenever its windy.

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