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Just the Ugly - Outdoor Projects

Welcome to the outdoor version of "Just the Ugly". If you missed the first round of ugly stuff it's right here. I have Spring projects on the brain lately. Almost to the point where I am already overwhelmed by my list. We have a tendency to start projects and leave them unfinished for one reason or another. I have resolved to complete as many things as possible before starting any new projects this year. Here's my half finished list that I hope to complete this summer and a few projects that I would like to squeeze in when they are done.


Obviously the doors are a problem. The door on the far left goes into the coop and the other three go into the shed. When Jake built the first door we intended to build all 4 out of the same materials and then stain them. When he went back for lumber for the other doors they didn't carry that tongue and groove anymore so he chose a different material. Clearly the big shed doors don't function well- hence the cinder block keeping them closed. So this year we are going to find a new material and remake all 4 doors. I'd like to put on some heavy duty hardware as well. The gutters were make shift from our old house gutters and need to be removed or replaced with black gutters like we have on the house. To be determined.


Obviously this is an old photo and we are further along than this but you can see in this photo that the design is a little over half complete. We have 3 more 10 foot raised beds to build in the back half. We bought the lumber last Sunday and we are hoping to build them this weekend! (I will put together a tutorial for them.) Once those are built I am going to repaint all of the boxes. Then I need to finish the side beds. The back length of the fence and half of the right side are incomplete. I would also like to get to the paths this year. I spend so much time keeping up with the weeds and crab grass. Thinking about pea gravel. More on that soon.

From this view you can see that our property is surrounded by pine trees. It's our favorite thing about this land because they offer us so much privacy. Unfortunately they were planted 4 rows deep and so close together that they are choking each other out. We are thinking about thinning them out a little so they stay healthy. A neighbor told me that when they were planted there were 450 trees so that project blows my mind a little. Even just cutting branches could take us 4 million years I think.


We gave this deck a serious makeover 2 summers ago. We sanded and painted the floor, railings and pergola but the floor needs a fresh coat because it hasn't held up well at all. Looking for a better product for that, I'll keep you updated.

Last Spring we put in a second set of stairs where Kevin is standing but we never got around to painting them.

I do like the wood against the black house but the other set of stairs is already painted so this one needs a coat too. Now you have a great view of the lattice which is spotty at best. We added some supports under the deck last summer and the lattice is rotten but we never got around to replacing it because the foliage grew in so fast. This project will come after the garden beds this year so we can get them done before that happens again.

There is also red lava rock around the front and left side of the deck that I would like to remove and replace with black mulch that I have used around the rest of the house.

Here is the other set of stairs and some really awful half rotted landscaping. Something needs to be done about this whole area but we haven't figured out what yet. It leads down to a good sized concrete pad that would be great for an additional outdoor seating area. Unfortunately the concrete is also in bad shape so I'll be scheming up some plans for that area too.


Our sad little fire pit gets a ton of use as you can see. It hasn't held up well to the abuse. I want to move it over about 10 feet closer to the garden so it's square on the house. I'm thinking about landscaping around it with pea gravel to tie it into the garden which you can see in the background.


The decking was here when we moved in but the edges of the boards are all unevenly cut. We need to replace a few and cut them all down to the same length then stain the whole thing. I like that there are no railings on the porch because it keeps it open but the stairs can be a problem for some people. I'm searching for some inspiration to add a railing just to the stairs. We'll see what happens there.

I've been adding to the landscaping up here over the last few years and hope it comes in nice and lush this year. I need to freshen up the black mulch though.

Not pictured is our outdated lamp post behind me. It's super Narnia. We don't use it because its solar but has the brightest bulb and is right outside our bedroom window. We need to either remove it completely or find something that better fits the style of the house with a dimmer bulb.

We also want to plant more trees. We have 2 1/2 apples trees right now. The big ones out back weren't properly cared for and one of them split down the middle and is on its last year. We added a Kinder Crisp apple tree a few years ago to help pollinate the one good tree but that one won't be around for long. Apple trees cross pollinate so you need more than one to have apples. Thinking about future apples means we need to plan ahead for the young apple tree we planted.

All in all it doesn't sound like much on paper but all of these projects add up monetarily and take time. Remember I have to keep up with the garden as well. Hopefully we will get them all crossed off the list over the course of the summer. I will keep you updated as we do!

XO, Meg


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