Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Small and Basic Steps into the Outdoors

My proposed hardscape-landscape design for
areas close to the house... Now for the rest of the
2 1/4 acres!
We have big plans for our yard... We like to say that, like our last home, it has "potential."  That is a nicer and shorter way of saying, "It looks like crud at the moment, but we HOPE it won't when we do some things we have in mind... Some day."  

Meanwhile, Hubby likes to quote our former neighbor, who said, "My dad always said it doesn't take money to keep things clean."  But from the looks of the clutter around here, I'm not sure anyone's listening, and I also suspect a "Do as I say, not as I do" vibe from him at times, also.  This is due, largely, to his tiny amounts of spare time spent building the garage addition, so I can't really blame him.

The yard plans include major excavation and dirt work to redirect our driveway and redesign the gardens, both vegetable and ornamental.  It makes no sense to begin that until we're further along with the garage, so I'd given up on this year's veggie garden, and closed my eyes to the embarrassment that is our yard right now.... And then the Mission Possible crew, the space betweenThistlewoodfarmit all started with paintEclectically Vintage, and The Cottage Marketannounced their next challenge: "The Great Outdoors."

I can't seem to pass up their challenges, but was at a loss for ideas to share, and have, honestly, remained so, wondering what might come up to suffice. 

You see, part of the problem is that we seem to kill weed trimmers and mowers.  We fix or replace one part, only to have another go.  Each of our dads gave us mowers that, for them, worked wonderfully for years.  For us, less than a season.  We've especially struggled the last 3 years.  Last year, we seemed to be able to get one mower at a time to limp along enough to almost keep up with the lawn growth, but this spring, none would volunteer.  The yard was becoming a shambles of overgrown grass and weeds, and I was supposed to share photos of something?

Never thought I could love a string trimmer, but this one is
also my mower, brush cutter, and skinny limb trimmer! This
Echo SRM-225 is super easy to string, besides being tough.
We replaced the weedeater, and that's been our edger and mower over the last couple of weeks.  Let me tell you, 'mowing' 2 acres with a weed trimmer is not the way to go.  Between the 3 of us who use it, we were able to make improvement on about 1/3 of our yard (that most visible from the house), but the rest continued growing into jungle.  So this weekend, after looking at new mowers, I realized I'd rather spend the money to fix what we have than add to our mower fleet, and had Hubby visit the local rental shop to help us in the short run.

So a big accomplishment I have to share with you is.... Tah-Dah!!!... 

We mowed the lawn!  I know-- you're all amazed you hadn't thought of doing that in your own yards ever before... How clever... how ingenious... not.  But it does look better.  WAY better.

And I am excited about two other projects that are underway.  Princess Sassy and I, inspired by the beautiful blooms surrounding us when we entered Lowes to buy a toilet seat (another story for another time), dreamed of brightening up our front entry with overflowing pots of floral color.  
We have the pots, and the baby plants, but the princess ran out of time.  I could've planted them all myself, just to have them photo-ready for this post, but I'd rather wait and share the experience with my daughter.  So I can show you the ingredients to our project only.  I will link the results to this post later.

The bird feeders on view from our largest window

My other project is with Prince CuddleBunny.  He has gotten interested in the birds that visit our yard, and, knowing I share that interest, gave me a hummingbird feeder for my birthday.  Hoping to see more types of birds, Princess Sassy and I purchased 2 suet feeders (with 4 types of suet blocks), and a thistle sock on our outing, and the youngest prince helped me put up the stands to hang them.  
We're not finished, as we just ordered a Bronze Hourglass Bird Feeder, that with all metal construction, and good reviews, will hopefully attract more songbirds.

I am, of course, linking this to The Great Outdoors – A Link Party, which I will be oh-so-glad to visit, because I could use some clever and attractive ideas, and I'm sure there'll be many.

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