Weekend Warriors

It was a beautiful weekend here at the cottage and we took full advantage of it.

We haven’t done a lot of projects outside since we moved in last July (besides yanking a couple of bushes out) because we’ve been busy with our long list of projects to do inside. All of that’s about to change though because, like the inside, there’s a ton of things that need to be done and we can’t put it off anymore. This was our first winter here so it’s the first time we’ve really gotten to see the whole front flowerbeds and back yard without all of the leaves, weeds, trees and bushes in bloom. Wow, it was a rude awakening. We knew the yards were a mess but we didn’t realize how bad it was until this weekend.

The list is long, and overwhelming, but we’ll do what we did when we lived in Illinois and confronted that messy yard…take it one project at a time.

This is the house before we moved in. The front flowerbeds were sparse and in need of care. The pine tree at the corner of the house would drop needles at the slightest touch (plus I just didn’t like it).

Spending a weekend to clean up the front flowerbeds to prepare them for new plants. www.chatfieldcourt.com

I won’t bore you with the whole list just yet but I’ll fill you in on what we accomplished this weekend. I don’t have any of my indoor projects done, and I’m still working on painting the kitchen windows black, so today is all about outside progress.

Starting in the front of the house, I took the scraggly bushes out from one of the front flowerbeds and left the boxwoods, liriope and hydrangea (that I planted last fall). The little pine tree that was losing it’s needles also came down.

Weekend outside DIY projects www.chatfieldcourt.com

One of the previous owners planted azaleas everywhere on our property, even in the middle of the back yard. We had six around our oak tree, all in poor condition, so I dug them all up.

Weekend outside projects www.chatfieldcourt.com

The next bed to get the treatment was the one in front of the porch. There were a couple of junipers that I removed last fall (too many memories from our Illinois house 😉 ) and a few dying bushes. The rest of the dying bushes were dug out this weekend and all we’re left with are a few nandinas.

Weekend outside DIY projects www.chatfieldcourt.com

The last flowerbed that I cleaned up was the one on the side of the front porch. Tons of weeds and 3 scraggly azaleas used to live here. Now it’s a clean slate and ready for something new.

Weekend outside DIY projects www.chatfieldcourt.com

I’ll rake the beds out next weekend and then they’ll all get fresh pine straw. I’m going to take my time to decide before I plant anything new.

This is my ever growing pile of junk, misfit bushes, an unused satellite dish that was still on the roof and some rocks and cinder blocks.

Weekend outside DIY projects www.chatfieldcourt.com

One bright spot was the pretty daffodils that are popping up.

Spending a weekend to clean up the flowerbeds to prepare them for new plants. www.chatfieldcourt.com

I also have a beautiful red camelia bush on the side of the house with tons of blooms.

Spending a weekend to clean up the flowerbeds to prepare them for new plants. Adding curb appeal. www.chatfieldcourt.com

Another surprise was this bird bath that I unearthed in the back yard. After a good cleaning, it was ready for visitors.

I didn’t take any photos of the back yard this time. The only thing we did was rake the leaves and pick up some of the bricks scattered around the property. So many bricks and rocks…

It will take us years to pick them all up.

It was a full and busy weekend that left us tired and sore. If it’s nice next weekend though, we’ll be right back out there.

I’ll keep you posted on our front flowerbeds.

Have you been able to get out and work in the yard yet?

Check out some of the outside projects we did at our last house.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights

Front Flowerbed Makeover

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  1. Pam Kaufman
    Monday,February 20, 2017 / 9:37 am

    It’s been unseasonably warm here in SW Michigan and we are taking full advantage of it (upper 50’s/low 60’s!). My husband and I dug up a mountain of blackberry bushes and grape vines. The blackberries have become a real nuisance the last couple years and I always try to keep the grapevine under control to prevent it from strangling the trees. I am sore today but it’s a good sore. We have a couple more days to enjoy and then it will be back to winter but it was a very nice break from the cold. Hopefully the warm up doesn’t cause problems with the fruit trees. Your house is so cute! Can’t wait to see the finished projects!

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,February 22, 2017 / 3:52 am

      Sounds like you’ve been really busy too, Pam. It always feels good to get out there at the beginning of spring and get things all cleaned up. I’ll just be happy when we can get to a point where we can enjoy the yard. Unfortunately, it ill be a while.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your fruit trees do well in this crazy weather.

  2. Pat M
    Monday,February 20, 2017 / 10:35 am

    It’s always nice to be able to get outside after being inside all winter, but Spring always brings sore muscles and backaches. In Indiana, I haven’t had much chance to clean up last fall/winter’s mess yet but those chores will come soon enough – ugh, the leaves I have this year that didn’t get mulched last fall due to the rain are still there. I too have bare flowerbeds due to removing old perennials last fall and am looking forward to planting something new. Here we have to wait – as you no doubt remember from living in IL, the rule is plant nothing before Mother’s Day if you want to be sure it won’t get frostbitten. So many times I’ve gotten overanxious and had to protect newly planted things with sheets and other coverings from a late frost. Still, am looking forward to the season where the grasses, trees and plants awaken from what seems to be a long nap.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,February 22, 2017 / 3:58 am

      We are in the same boat, Pat. We didn’t finish our raking when the leaves fell last fall and now we’re paying the price. It was a tough job but they’re almost all cleaned up. Hopefully we learned a lesson and won’t leave them next fall.

      I do remember having to wait to plant and I was always overanxious to get out and do it. Now we’re learning the ins and outs of planting in North Carolina. It’s been a fun challenge.

      Soon enough you’ll be out there planting. Thanks so much for dropping by. 🙂

  3. Monday,February 20, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    Wow Kristi I thought I accomplished a lot this weekend but you sure did a lot. I worked inside unpacking more boxes and trying to organize. I probably will not get to the outside until Fall or maybe even Spring. You did such a great job on your other yard so I know this will be great too. Take care of those sore muscles my friend.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,February 22, 2017 / 4:03 am

      I’m sure you did a lot too, Debbie. Are you in your house now? I know it’s been a rough road so I hope that things are looking up for you. 🙂

  4. Brenda Lane
    Monday,February 20, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    Isn’t it surprising was one can uncover? I found a brick edging all around the back lanai and along the side of the house! Talk about sore muscles.
    The pine tree you cut down looks like a blue spruce. I’m loving the daffs, as here in Florida bulb plants do not survive because of the warm winter. Is that a rhododendron bush by the daffodils? I had one at my Charlotte,NC home and it was a beautiful purple. I have the same red camellia bush as you do, it has been blooming since Thanksgiving. Do you have any dogwood trees? Have a great week.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,February 22, 2017 / 4:11 am

      Yes, it’s fun fining hidden treasures.

      It was a blue spruce but it was slowly dying. You couldn’t touch the branches without all of the needles falling off. Actually most of the plants aren’t in very good condition. They haven’t been properly taken care of for years so sadly, most will have to go.

      I’m happy to see the daffodils. They are in a huge bed along the driveway that has nothing but azaleas in it. Most of them are in bad shape so they will have to go. It’s a huge project and will wait until next spring though. So to answer your question, no…no rhododendron, on azaleas.

      I think we do have a couple of dogwoods. One had some issues last summer so I’m hoping it will bloom this spring. Can’t wait to see them.

      Thanks for visiting, Brenda, and I hope the rest of your week is good.

  5. DyanaSue
    Monday,February 20, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    Hello, my name is DyanaSue. I would like to know what I can do about pine needles. We live in Oklahoma and we have a long needled pine tree in our yard. Every where the dead needles fall is barren of any thing, even grass. We are too old to cut down such a Big tree by our selves, we have ask some people about them cutting it down but they want $400 to $500 to cut it down & haul it off. This pine tree is Really big and would be money making if they would haul it to the lumber yard. But so much for that idea. Do you have any idea what we could do so we could grow grass or plants around this pine tree?

    • Kristi
      Friday,February 24, 2017 / 1:39 am

      Hi DyanaSue. Thanks so much for stopping in. I understand what you mean about growing plants where there’s pine needles. When we lived in Georgia we had a similar situation. I’m not an expert at gardening, not even close, but I would say that you probably won’t be able to grow grass. Maybe you could try a ground cover or shrub, like azaleas. I had to experiment with our garden. I ended up planting things and, when they would die, I’d have to try something else. I finally did well with a few azaleas. I tend to go sparse with my garden so a few were enough to satisfy me. Not sure if this would help, but I came across this post if you want to check it out. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/plants-grow-under-pine-trees-49224.html

      Hope this helps. Best of luck.

  6. Monday,February 20, 2017 / 4:48 pm

    Hi Kristi, The cottage looks charming, you are going to have a real spring there. We are having a mld winter but it is not warm enough for anything to grow or come out of dormancy. Don’t rush on planning, you are wise to wait, see what looks good in your growing zone.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,February 22, 2017 / 4:47 am

      Hi Tara. I don’t want to waste time or money buying plants that may not work so I’ll be taking my time picking them out. I know you’ve been having a mild winter. It was due after the last few bad ones. Enjoy the warmer temps!!! Hugs to you and Don.

  7. Monday,February 20, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    There is still snow on the ground here, despite the 55 and 60 degree (gloriously unseasonable) weather, so gardening of any kind is out. Looks like you have made some awesome progress though. Knowing how totally talented you are when it comes to decorating, I have no doubt that you will transform that charming cottage into a curb appeal showstopper by spring! Can’t wait! 🙂

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,February 22, 2017 / 4:15 am

      You are too kind, my friend. I don’t think we’ll have the yard picture perfect for spring, or summer, but it’s good to clear away the old. I’ll be glad when it’s all done but I (mostly) enjoy the process. 😉

  8. Julie
    Wednesday,July 19, 2017 / 11:20 am

    Wow I can’t believe that you can do yard work in February! I live in PA and it is not a thought until April. I bet it can feel overwhelming to see all there is to do, but it will come together. I am looking forward to your garden and yard posts. I love to garden. Love what you have done so far!

    • Kristi
      Thursday,July 20, 2017 / 3:34 am

      Yeah, working outside in February is one perk to living in the South. Of course we can’t work out there in the middle of summer because it’s too hot and the ground is rock solid from no rain. We haven’t been working outside a ton with all of our indoor projects going on. I’m hoping to get them wrapped up by Fall so we can get out there. It’s really a mess and in need of attention. Besides, I enjoy getting my hands dirty. 😉 Thanks for looking around the blog. I appreciate the visit and comment.

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