Entries Tagged as 'Yard Work'

Summer Yard Plans



Hi everyone, Happy Spring, we’ve had wonderful weather and it has prompted us to head outside and get to work.  The past weekend involved lots of time spent outside and a trip to Home Depot to buy some plants and trees. Early spring is a great time for tree planting right before the leaves bloom.

High View point Lake View

But before I share what we’ve been working on outside I want to share what we’ve had in mind for the yard this summer and beyond as it continues to evolve and grow into a backyard retreat. When last we left off on the yard I had promised to share some plans we have to finish off the area of the yard that’s closest to the lake. Right now we have large amounts of white stone blanketing the entire area down there.

On of the least pleasant aspect of living on the water is spiders. Can I just say ew, ew eeeew! We have all kinds, small ones, HUGE ones and lots in between. We have what are called Fishing Spiders they don’t bite and generally stay in the water but can scare the begeezus out of you when they pop up out of no where. I won’t post a picture of them here because they make me cringe just to see them, but if you’re brave you can check one out here.  They are creepy, crawly, generally gross and the white stones make perfect spots for them and other random insects to crawl and hide. Needless to say we’re a little anxious to move the stones and confine them to the paths and walkways instead of spread out near the water.

Backyard plans with notes copy

But enough about spiders let’s take a look at my little preliminary drawing of how we’re thinking it’s all going to lay out. Of course some things will likely change as we go along. We’ll probably do some additional tweaks in other areas as well and our plans tend to get adjust over time but we always like to begin with a general idea of where we’re going to get things rolling.

#1 in our annotated sketch above is to move the vegetable gardens, we built them the first summer we moved into the house. They were great there for a while but we think they’d be better located just beyond the fence as you can see below. It’s pretty much dead space down there and needs some love. It’s a good spot to keep the vegetables tucked out of sight but still maintaining relatively easy access to them.

Back Yard

Admittedly it’s looking a little rough right now, but it’s been coming along slowly but surely.

Back Yard 2

#2 on the list is to add a new garden in front of the pool area, where the little guy is playing, and moving the pedal boat of course. We’re all about snagging some additional “lake appeal” wherever we can.

Although we love having a pool it sort of looks like a can of tuna especially with the cover on and all closed up for the winter.  The garden in front should camouflage some of that it will be rounded to match the curve of the pool. We’ll plant some tall flowing grasses some perennials to add color and maybe a few bushes which should go a long way to break up the gray exterior walls of the pool.

Back Yard 3

#3 and #4 on the list, include adding some seating areas along the “sea wall” You can see dirt in the photo below since the lake is still low from the winter. But during the summer the water sits right against the wall.

Back Yard 5

We’re going for something like the image below, with an additional larger area off to the side for a possible fire pit and a walkway with a floating dock that will lead out to a platform for sitting right on thee water. Picture Adirondack chairs, fire pits and dipping your toes in the lake as you drink in a cool refreshing glass of ice tea while simultaneously drinking in the view.

image via

#5 is all about adding some additional greenery and lushness through some much needed grassy areas. We’re really looking forward to the natural cooling properties of some lush green grass over the hot spidery stone that we have now. It’s incredibly hot in the summer due to the lack of shade and the reflective properties of the water and the stones are not helping that fact. We’ll also probably need to add some shade from a combination of trees and umbrellas to make it more comfortable during the hot summer months

#6 and #7, are about rounding up the white stones and moving them into manageable pathways, because let’s face it there are far too many of them to remove them all and not to mention we’re always down for using what you’ve got to keep costs down.

Back Yard 4

Along the path we’ll probably have another garden to break up the expanse of the privacy fence, which is way over 100 feet long and in desperate need of some shrubs to soften it up.

Hopefully all that will go a long way to add to the use we get out of this space. We love being outside and during the warm summer month we probably spend about 90% of our free time outside enjoying the lake and working on projects which we actually like to do. We’re definitely not just about the indoor projects around here outdoor projects top our list of things we love to do as well.

So is anyone else enjoying some lovely early spring weather like we are? Are you itching to take your project time outside? Do you like gardening or do you prefer other kinds of outdoor activates? Do tell.

Spring Cleaning the Lake



Hi everyone, hope you had a great weekend. The temperature around here are taking a turn for the warmer. On Sunday we had beautiful weather for getting out and enjoying the sunshine. The warmer days combined with longer nights thanks to Daylight Savings time now in full effect have made me especially anxious to get outside.

Spring Cleaning LakeStyle

With the lake still low enough from the Winter drawdown to be able to walk around in waders, Bryan took the time to go do some spring cleaning of the lake variety. We have a rubble dock at the corner of our property. A rubble docks means the wood platform sits on top of rocks and stone to hold it out of the water versus other kinds of docks which are held up by wooden pylons that are pounded deep into the ground. 

Each year tons of vegetation, sediment, fallen leaves and general muckiness get stuck right in that cove where he’s standing. It’s not absolutely necessary to take some of it out but it certainly makes for a nicer area come summer time.

Fixing the stones

My Dad also got in on the act by fixing some of the rocks that had fallen over the winter and removing some dirt and debris that was partially blocking the road drainage pipe nestled in the corner.

I probably haven’t mentioned it in a while but for those of you who are new around here. Our whole house is actually a complete Mother/Daughter arrangement, we have 2 kitchens and everything. We’re not considered a two family house due to an interior access door that connects the upstairs and downstairs living areas.

We love the arrangement and as the summer approaches you’ll be seeing more and more of my parents around who are always up for a good outdoor project. I like to think of them as the original project people around here, I think I get all of DIY skills from them as they built multiple houses as we grew up. It’s in my blood and as most people were watching cartoons on a Saturday morning we would sit down and watch This Old House that is of course when we weren’t outside doing projects.

Mom Dad and Nik digging

Bryan’s no stranger to a DIY family either. His father built two complete houses from the ground up and now tinkers in the garage and builds furniture in his spare time. It’s in the gene pool I tell you! Of course we put Nikolas to work every chance we get and so the DIY cycle continues.


But back to our projects, we also got a healthy amount of some rich top-soil delivered as the next step in the continuing saga of our yard makeover. We’ll start to work on that soon as the temperature continue to rise.


We plan to use a lot of it in front of the pool to create some garden beds. We hope it will help camouflage the large tin can sticking out from the ground. I’m thinking some cutting flowers, tall flow grasses and few bushes thrown in for good measure. It should be good.


All in all it was a pretty good an productive weekend here on the lake. We had some fun outside, got our hands dirty…. some maybe dirtier than others.


We brought out pale selves out into the sunshine.

Maria and Bryan

And watch the the first boats of the year come out to fish.


So how was your weekend? Are the temperatures rising where you are? Did you get a chance to go outside?

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