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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Landscaping Experiments #DIYproject

If there's one thing that I am not scared of tackling is doing some DIY landscaping experiments.  I love  gardening and I can do it all day long and do it again the next day without feeling tired.  When we first bought this new home a year ago, there was a big  crab apple tree in the front yard.  I liked that it provides  shade and cool win during the summer time but  the roots was  causing the  side walk concrete to pop out.
I talked my husband into removing it  but the thought of  digging the roots out made him not  want to do it but he  recognized the problem the roots are causing so he eventually agreed to remove it.  This was covered with grass so my first task was  removing it.  I used the  suds of grass  to cover the side of our garage  that does not have  grass so it wasn't wasted.

Crab apple is pretty during Spring when it blooms but I have issue with the seeds, they  grow everywhere in the yard which is annoying so I am so glad that we removed it.  We have all the tools that we needed to  cut it down and dig the roots out.  It was a lot of work and one of our neighbors even doubted that we will  get it done but we did, in two days!
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Removing the tree was the easy part, digging the roots out was the hardest.    They have huge roots underneath.  I asked my husband to  cut the  wood in pieces and I used it  as a boarder in our backyard.  I will  posty it the next time.
I planted some perennials once we got done digging the roots.  Why plant another tree, you might ask?  It is a dog wood tree and they don't grow  very big, as long as you keep it trimmed.  I love dogwood because they look beautiful during the Spring.
We used a lot of mulch doing this project but luckily, they were on sale when I did this project.
Thanks to my husband for taking these photos.
I love how it turned out.  Now, I don't have to deal with  dried  leaves blowing everywhere and new  crab apple popping out  in the yard.
Here are the kind of plants  that I  planted in our triangle  garden.   My husband love this Silver Mound Artemisia.  I  love how soft it is and that rabbits and deer doesn't like it.
This variegated Liriope has beautiful   purple  blooms during the summer and they are very easy to care for.  It's a great choice  to cover ground.
The Blue Star Juniper (Juniperus Squamata) has always been my favorite evergreen shrub.  It has a steel-blue foliage  that retains it's color all-year round, it makes a beautiful  shrub even on Winter times.
I I hope that this dog wood survive over the winter so I can see  its leaves turn  white  during the spring.  I wanted a pink dog wood but we didn't find one  around here.  I ordered one online but it never grew so I  didn't have a choice but to get the white one.
HOsta is always  my first pick when it comes to boarder plants.  They are very easy to care for although deer and rabbits love to eat its leaves and flowers.
I added a couple of annuals on the pots.  I also planted  Little Heath Peiris and  Compact Andora Juniper to complete the landscape.
I had to spray  deer repellent on the hostas because they keep eating them.
These are just some of my landscaping experiments.  My neighbor  always compliments us of how our  garden looks which makes me happy.  I will post some more DIY  garden projects we made next time.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

#DIYprojects : Path Lights

I always admire  well-lit gardens whenever we  go on our afternoon walks.  So When I saw these path lights  on sale  during one of the major holidays,  I thought it was a great opportunity to buy them in bulk for our garden.  I always wanted some  for our garden but I always shy away from getting them because of the price.  Glad I got lucky to find them   on sale.
They were very easy to assemble and putting them on the ground is also easy.   My husband joked  that the deer  is happy because they see clearly where the flowers they love to munch on are, lol.  I told him that the deer need lights too.
We have a long  driveway and  a decent size of  backyard garden so we bought  9 boxes of these  path lights.
These solar lights  are great addition to our garden.  It looks beautiful  at night time .
Even though our front  yard  is  well-lit with the  lamp post, we  decided to  put some in it too so it would look uniform.
I took a short video so you will see how the lights illuminates  the garden  especially in the dark  areas. If you want to add character in your garden  during night  time,  these solar lights are the perfect  way to do it.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Picket Fence #DIYproject

My husband's initial plan was to put fence  just around the back porch but  I thought  that it would be easier and less expensive  if we include the  concrete side of our backyard since we would need less material.  The  challenge he had was that he didn't know  how to put  a fence post on a concrete.  I told him that we will figure it out and he did.  
By having a picket fence attached to the side of the garage, we can let our  dogs  without  worry that they would ran out and wander around the neighborhood.  I mean it is easier to let them out  and I am glad that he agreed with me because  our backyard looks a lot bigger for the kids and  fur babies to run around to.
 He used his  special  tool to  make  specific cuts for the posts.
 The picket fence comes in a kits also so we  put  it together when it arrived.
We used a metal post holder for the posts.  His buddy at work lent him  a drill for the  screw.  He tried doing it manually but it was taking so long to make the hole so I am grateful that his friend  lend us his tools.
Our fence project took us a long time to finish but I am really satisfied how it turned out.  Our neighbors are complimenting us for  doing it by ourselves and we even had a guy who was visiting our neighbor's house came and  asked us where we got the  fencing that we had, he said it looks beautiful.  I told my husband that we should do this for a living lol.  It was  fun doing it with my husband and our kids helped us a lot too.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

#DIYproject : Planters We Made Using Scrap Materials

Our picket  fence on the side of our house has bigger  gaps in between the panels so the rabbits can still get our from it.  I asked my husband if he can build me some planters to block the bottom of our picket fence and he said  yes.  I told him that he can just use the scrap of woods available in the garage but just like  every project that he work on, he doesn't like  making something that isn't to his standard.  He told me that he will go to the store and buy some piece of wood but I really didn't want to  spend  any cash  for it so I decided to build it myself using the wood I told him to use.  I am always into up-cycling stuff.  I mean why spend money if you can  use the  ones you have available already.  I do agree that my husband's projects always turned out great but I love  avoiding unnecessary expenses.  Anyway, here's what  I ended up creating.
My husband   helped me put some screws on the first planter.  I think it was painful for him to watch trying to use nails hahaha.  I am not comfortable  using the   electric tools yet so I was using all the manual tools that I know how to use.  So this project  took several hours to make as oppose to getting it done quickly if  I use his  wood cutting tools.  When I was growing up, I was always my Dad's right hand girl when he is fixing something in our home.  He always calls me his  personal  assistant which makes me feel special.    I just love watching and learning about carpentry.
I even used  the small  cuts of  wood to decorate the  center of the planter.  I couldn't use any nail to it so I just glued them using wood glue.  My husband think that it would have  looked cleaner without those  triangle wood I added, so I build another one without it.  Then he told me that he like the first one I made, ahhhh he makes me go bonkers sometimes.  He told me I  did a great job though so that is  a really nice compliment from a man who is always a hard  critic.
I drive my husband  crazy sometimes when I want us to do project because I don't like  waiting.  I  would  start working on it  until he gets on board.  As a former  Navy guy, my husband always  want to  do things by the book whereas I do things very differently.  He does a lot of planning and sketching, I just work on whatever  pops in the small nugget of mine.  Most of the time  my idea works but  sometimes it fails, it doesn't  discourage  me because it's the failure that I  make that I learned a lot.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fence is Done, YAY! #DIYproject

Our fence project is finally done, at last after two months of working on it!     Oh let me tell you how relieved I am now that this big project is done. We ordered the panel kits in April and it did not get delivered until the first week of May.  It took   almost an hour to assemble the very first panel, the first is always the  most difficult but as the time goes on, it got easier and  we assembled it   a bit faster.
We decided to buy the kits  although we knew that it would take us an extra time to  do it.  There is no design that we like on the  pre-assembled ones.  At first, my husband  got frustrated but he was okay after we got done with the initial shock lol.
There are many pieces that comes in a kit so it takes a while to put it together.
The kids had their summer job working for us staining the panels after we assembled all of it.  He did  a really good job.  I love including  our children in doing projects like this because it teaches them to be a team player.  They might not realize it but it is a good  lesson for them  in real life when they get older.
I think if we dedicated time just to do  this project all day long, the project would have last  for a week but since we  could only work on it  full days on Saturdays and  a couple of hours  during the weekdays, it took us almost two months.  
There's no instruction how to attach this kind of panels to a post so we figured it out as we go.  On regular fence panels (see  the fence we put at our old home here), you attach the panels at the back of the posts but on this specific kind of panels, we  have to attach it on the side of the posts so  every  holes that we dig  has to be precised in measurement.
We were kind of worried but  at the same time finding humor  when the top of our street burst  in flood.  All the water ran to our yard and flooded our new fence that  wasn't even finish.  My husband said, now is the true testament  to test the panels if the stain we put would protect the wood from water, and it held up pretty good so it was a relief.
I am so glad that  the fence is up already because our dogs can stay in our own backyard.  They used to love running around our neighbor's yard and I feel awful because they feel  terrorized by our pets.  Granted that  our dogs don't bite but for them it  was scary.
Anyway, as soon as the fence was almost done, I did not waste time  and did some gardening around the fence.
We had to order the  hinges and other hardware online because we couldn't find something that my husband like on our local  stores.  Our order  took a week before  it arrive so it made the timeline of pour  project a lot longer.
The empty  dishwasher detergent bucket was  a great tool to use  for the stain.
We had to  buy additional wood panels  to put on the side of the doors.
We couldn't find a matching panels for the  side of the  garage so we decided to use this picket  fencing.  These are made of cedar wood also so  after  staining them, it kind of looks similar to the  other side of the fence.
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The bunnies can  slide in between the panels so I put plants  in front of  it to serve as a barricade.  I made two planters for this specific sports but that would be another post next time.

I also chronicled our project via Instagram so it serves as our timeline.  Now I can breath and relax before  school start again.  




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Coming up are some projects that we did in the yard.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Magnolia Tree We Planted for Rylie's 12th Birthday

When we  moved out from our first home, it was  bittersweet.  because  we made a lot of great memories from that home.  EJ is still having a hard time accepting the fact that we sold our first home.  He was  very attached to the  house where he  grew up and lived in for 9 years of his life.  
Another thing that we will always remember in our Park Avenue home  was the cherry tree that we planted when Rylie was 2 years old, she helped us plant it in the front lawn.  So to recreate those memories, we planted a Magnolia tree on her 12th birthday.  
 Planting a tree is not  a typical  thing to do on birthdays but I thought it would be memorable and symbolic to do that.  This tree would help  shield us from the business  part of our area.  Right now, the only thing that separate our home to the  business area is a fence which is  starting to fall apart.
 I can't wait to see this tree grow and  see  it's beautiful bloom in the Spring.  It would take probably a couple of years before this blooms, we will see.
 We planted  pines last year with the same reason, shielding our home to the business area.  Hopefully, the tree and the pines will grow  quickly and  give us shade and barrier from the  other side of our property.
 I wrote the message  on a piece of wood and  stained it.
 Right now, the tree is as almost as tall as the kids so we will see the growth each year.
 Even Bolt was very enthusiastic in helping out with the planting.
 You can learn more about the Magnolia tree here.
I love how Magnolia tree looks like when it blooms during Spring time.  I can't wait to see ours bloom in  few more years.  

About Me

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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