gardening and landscape

Outdoor Update from this Ol’ Colonial Farmhouse

I thought if I wrote a posted titled ‘Outdoor Update’ that it would force me to actually make an outdoor update or two around this ol’ Colonial Farmhouse.

Basically, you guys are my version of a support group to hold me accountable.

No pressure.

Here’s where we are at with some of the projects that might break me our outdoor projects.

Outdoor Update #1: Front Yard

I have a grand plan for our front yard landscaping. I mentioned it in this post.

Here’s where I’m at with that:

I dug up the sod in our front yard, earned three blisters, and made an unholy mess.

outdoor update front yard landscaping during

Then I cursed myself for even starting this project because now…are you ready for this?

Now, I’m going to have to finish it.


For me, digging up the sod was not the hard part.

The hard part is the minutiae involved in taking care to save the existing plants, digging out the weeds around those plants, dealing with the incessant number of tree roots, etc.

I don’t deal well with minutiae.

Hold me accountable, folks. Or maybe just hold my hand and tell me if I don’t hurry up, that dirt will be replaced by weeds in no time flat.

In other front yard landscaping progress, we have cut down two of the three birch trees that needed to be removed. The third one is giving Handy Husband some consternation because it is considerably taller than the other two trees. He’s worried about it falling into the road when we cut it down, so we might have to recruit help.

Outdoor Update #2: Front Door

Surprise! I painted our front door!

Here’s the before picture. It looks like a wood door with that texture and color, but it is actually a metal door.

I really wish the window insert had a simpler design, but it is what it is for now.

From a distance, the door was fine. In fact, in the before picture, it looks pretty darn good.

This is why you can’t trust photos. Except the photos that show me without any grey hairs, dark under eye circles, or blemishes of any sort. Those are all completely trustworthy.

Up close, you could tell the door had started to fade, was scratched, and looked a little worse for wear.

Here’s the after picture.

Honestly, the door almost looks TOO good now. Ha!

I’ve been painting so many old, wood doors that I didn’t know a freshly painted metal door would be so satisfying. If I didn’t know better, I would think it was brand new.

However, the fresh paint really highlights the corroded front door hardware and the fact that we haven’t replaced the trim around the door.

Whomp, whomp.

Last summer we took off the front door trim to add a hidden, retractable screen door. Nine months later and we still haven’t replaced the trim. Someone has walked through that hidden screen door at least nine times though.

There’s also a patch of wood putty visible where I filled in some holes and just left it. Classy.

This will be the summer to finish this project. I can feel it.

Outdoor Update #3: Garage Lights

Our front door hardware isn’t the only thing that is corroded.

Our garage lights are too.

outdoor update garage light before

I guarantee you I will spring for a new front door handle before I spring for garage lights.


Plus, I don’t really mind the shape of the lights. They don’t make me swoon with girlish delight, but I don’t detest them.

That meant they were a surefire candidate for a quick coat of spray paint.

The plan was to quickly detach the lights from the house to make spray painting easier, but nope. My plan fell apart with the use of the word quick. I should know better by now!

I think there is caulk between the light and siding because those lights were not budging.

If there’s one thing I have learned by now it is when to not make a problem worse. I ended up dismantling the light the best I could and spray painted the rest in place.

The lights look so much better! In fact, it looks like the people who live here halfway care about this place now!

Although, if they REALLY cared, they would probably put lightbulbs back in the lights.

Outdoor Update #4: Brush Removal

I’m going to throw out a wild guess and say a quarter of our property is still covered in overgrown brush. Not just brush, but also downed trees that were dumped in piles. We’ve found some piles of broken up concrete and rotting wood hiding in the brush too.

It’s driving Handy Husband nuts.

He’s been working on clearing out the brush so that we can use the rest of the property…or at least mow it. He can’t mow the grassy parts until he is sure there are no downed limbs or anything hiding in the tall grass that will break the mower.

Handy Husband would probably make faster progress if I helped, but I seem to be allergic to brush clearing poison ivy and Virginia Creeper. A few lucky people are allergic to Virginia Creeper and we suspect I’m one of those.

Handy Husband’s always said I’m special.

Oh, and the other reason I’m avoiding helping out is that Handy Husband has made a new friend who lives out in that brush. A very poisonous friend in the form of a 3-foot long Northern Copperhead!

Not cool.

The other project I’m actually happily chomping at the bit to tackle this summer is a deck makeover. I’ll have a deck plan ready to share with you soon.

Now then, someone send us a big dose of motivation because we’re going to need it to make more outdoor progress around here.

Whoop, whoop!

Project Sources:

Front Door Paint: Behr Exterior Premium Plus Paint in Limousine Leather

Front Door Rag Rug: Home Goods

*affiliate links listed here*

Thanks for being part of my support group! Here are some other projects you might enjoy…ones I’ve actually finished. Haha!

That gate was begging to be painted.

Closing a waistband jeans gap with elastic. 

You have to try making your own ginger ale. Seriously. It is the best. 

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  • Saundra Smith

    This is the time of the year for yeard work. sounds like you have a real project ahead doing the front yard. Yes once you start something like that you have to finish,

    I like your front door makeover and garage lights. They look really nice. The rug in front of the door sets everything off.

    I have porch lights similar to your garage lights. I need to take them down and refinish them . Only they will be done in brass as it goes with the house. I just need someone to take them down for me. If I try I might get electrocuted. Randy did the years ago but they are showing their age and need a makeover.

    Looking forward to seeing the finiished product in your front yard.


    I lol’d when I read this – my husband says I am special too! And no, I am not going anywhere near something that may have a snake. Even a garter snake – never mind a poisonous one! Good luck!

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