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Backyard Progress

On any given day, there are at least a dozen projects that need to be done around our house. Anything from tightening up a loose handle, cleaning up the garage to repainting the kitchen. Most of these we successfully ignore (ha!), but sometimes, something we've lived with for years all of a sudden becomes a problem that needs to be fixed RIGHT NOW. That's how it was with our back porch. Here's what it looked like on Friday:

Ohmigosh, this Before photo couldn't be any worse. This long and hard winter really took a toll on our porch (I swear it didn't look this bad last September!). Let's take a tour, shall we:
- peeling eaves troughs that need to be replaced
- mismatched finishes - the red-brown wood is the original deck; the privacy wall was added by the previous owner as was the big picture window; the stair railings and spindles were added by us around 2011
- a big old (constantly growing) mess consisting of outdoor toys, bubbles, and garden shoes
- worn stain everywhere
- a broken gate latch
- more hand me downs from the previous owner (climbing lattice and rotted bamboo blinds we've never used)

Ugh. I can't believe we've lived with this for so long. But no more! By Sunday morning, the back deck looked like this:

Already we've made a vast improvement. Why did we wait so long?!

But that's not all we did. While I was busy screwing in the boards under the deck, HandyMan was taming our garden.

Photo from 2011
The previous owner was an avid gardener and filled 2/3 of the backyard with plantings and rock edging. It was pretty but rendered the rest of the backyard pretty useless for any sort of activity. Plus, being yardeners not gardeners, we've managed to kill off many of the perennials and are terrible at general garden maintenance so everything is overgrown most of the time. So, good bye plants and weeds and jagged rocks...

... and hello new lawn. This is a bit more manageable for us. We kept the flowering rose bush on the right (it needs trimming!) and the plants on the left were prettier so they stayed too. There was a gate on the right hand side (not pictured) that was falling down so we decided to take it out as well and keep an open entryway as you see in the second photo. The opening lines up with the stone pavers, which was a nice surprise.

There's still a lot to do, both in the garden and on the porch, but at least things are feeling less chaotic outside. Next up, finishing the cross railings, clean up, and then paint. Here's hoping we have a breezy, calm back backyard to enjoy before the summer's over!

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