Holidays, 2015

Holidays, 2015
A Winter Scene - red door, a dusting of snow, and a vintage bicycle

Monday, August 29, 2011

Making lemonade out of lemons

If you know me, you KNOW I love to garden and moving into this house did a couple of things for me:

1.  it made me super sad NOT to have a garden
2.  it offers me time to do other things if I'm NOT taking care of a garden
3.  It provided a challenge (not that I needed one)

It has NEVER been anything---no grass planted- deck never taken care of....nothing.

So, the first thing I did was tear out all of the weeds.  It was 4 or 5 HUGE yard bags full- you know, the big black ones that look like boulders when they're full?  Yes....I'm sure the trash man was very pleased with me.  After that, I power-washed the deck with a cleaner and stained it.  BIG IMPROVEMENT.  Then, I decided on what I wanted it to look like when I was done with it.  I bought three small shrubs for 10.00 at Home Depot and a 20.00 blue spruce to put in the corner.  It did have one burning bush in the corner that was hanging on for dear life---I only began to see it after I started removing all of the weeds.

Next, I laid several layers of 'paper' on the ground next to the deck to create a walkway....I then bought 10 bags of sand and poured that on top.  Next: rocks---I brought in large rocks, medium rocks, small rocks, all from a pile in our yard at the log house.  We had ordered 14 tons and I never used them I brought them in boxes, load by load over to the new place.

YES, I did this all of myself.  Poor Rod was dealing with being laid off and trying to find a job through this, so all of this kept me very busy and I practiced holding in my abs so I wouldn't completely throw out my back. 

Next: mulch

Then, bring in all of my potted plants from the 'ol place....that filled things in!

Laid rug on deck:

Brought in potting bench from 'ol place

Hung bird feeders

Fairy lights and other solar lights to add a bit of magic and VOILA! a mini yard

I know, you're thinking 'she's crazy; it's a rental house'

But I had to---I have to look at this every day and my surroundings make me happy....

so, the next renters will have something a little prettier....

OR, I'll pack up my rocks and take 'em along!!



p.s.  You twitterettes are my inspiration....I kept thinking of you while I work.  "They're gonna want pictures!" I tell myself.....

I should have taken more pictures of it 'before' so you'd really see how bad it was!
 And now?  A bit easier on the eyes....


some of the details:

I've put in some grass seed but it's late in the season....we'll see

brought some rhubarb from back home----it's coming with me!!

my pots, hanging baskets, cart filled up the empty spaces of the yard

the corner that had NOTHING is now BRIMMING and the birds love it!!

from an inside window----2 pots and 2 feeders---I'll feed them all winter long
So.....I'm making lemonade out of lemons and making pesto out of basil......I get grumpy sometimes, but I'm really very grateful.....and blessed.                         


  1. Oh, look at how cute you have made it!! All your lovely plants, hangers, feeders, and cart displays are so charming, Joann!! Thank you so much for putting up pictures for us all. I knew you would make a difficult space, just so lovely! The next time you head out on Balboa or Lido look at what can be done with tiny strips of land. Amazing! Good, though, to keep things in those containers so that you can still take all the green growies with you! Sending lots of love and hugs, Sherry xxxxx

  2. Thank you!!!! I tweet 'a little' but I leave the day long tweeting to my birdies!!

  3. The transformation is nothing short of amazing! You've done a beautiful job, Joann. You should be very proud of yourself! xoxo

  4. Oops, I left post about your amazing transformation on the last post about striped bedroom. Sorry!

  5. I never think it's crazy to fix up a place where you live. And I think it's better to start with little to nothing so every inch can be as you choose. Seems to me you really lucked out with this cute house and now you have a darling yard to go with it. And more plus side stuff: if ever you go to jail, you're already in shape for hauling rocks. Win-win-win. It looks adorable!

  6. Joann, your backyard looks incredible! I love what you did with the space! It's amazing what a little love and determination can do. I'm so glad you went ahead and fixed up the yard the way you like it. So what if it's a rental? You're have to look at it every day. And now you can look outside and see all the beauty that surrounds you. The little birdies must be so happy, enjoying the space you created. Wonderful job, Joann. And you did it all by yourself! Inspirational! XOXO

  7. Wow!! You need to present one of those transformation shows, Joann! What one girl (Real Girl!) can do with a few rocks & pots...nothing short of incredible, I agree with all the girls. I know how much more 'at home' this will make you feel...I don't think you're mad AT ALL!! Thanks so much for posting, love to see the details and share xoxo R


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