Deuce Cities Henhouse

4 Year Recap – Part 4

Garden – Spring 2008


Can I start by saying how great you guys all are? I received so many comments of encouragement and understanding on my last post. It was good to share with you and hear that we all have bad days. Something I know, obviously, but when you’re really feeling low it helps to know that you you’re not alone. Seriously so many THANKS!

Onward..I was going to save this recap for the last installment (there are five total) but I thought I would go ahead and share it with you today. If you’re local, you’re gonna need this post to carry you though the next 24 hours. The 8-14″ of snow we are to be receiving soon is highly untyte. We need to think positive!

Today I want to share with you my garden and exterior home improvements. When we saw the house for the first time everything was almost perfect, the kitchen was lacking, there was wood trim and paneling, but I could get over those things, I could see the positives. The house had a great layout, lots of room, and of course the porches. I knew we could make that bad stuff better. BUT then there was the exterior and garden. The house was covered in asbestos siding, trimmed with mint green awnings matched with a mint foundation and roof and dark peach steps. The yard boasted a green fence, a pee stained lawn and a giant rock garden. Every girls dream, not. How was I supposed to look past that?

My first mission after moving in was to whip the yard and exterior of this house into shape. I accomplished a lot by the end of my first summer and even more as the years go on.

Above you’ll see the house when it was listed in 2008, the yard had been maintained back then. The house was then sold to the people who owned it before us, they lived here for two years and had a dog who ran the fence and destroyed the yard. By 2010 when we bought it, the yard was looking bad.
 

Garden – Spring 2010


That’s my mom up there, sorry mom for the not so flattering shot, but it’s the only one I could find. So you can see that the bushes had been destroyed since 2008, we went ahead and chopped them down and let the two twiggy bushes begin to grow. It took me two years before I realized the twiggy bushes were dogwood trees. I kept trimming them into hedge shapes, poor dogwoods.

See the yellow pee stains too?, gross. I laid down grass seed (which I do every spring) and watered like a crazy person.
 

Garden – Spring 2010


Cool rock garden, right? No way, man. That garden was covered in dog poop, I scooped and scooped rocks. It took me two weeks but I was bound and determined to get rid of that rock garden. I added some manure and top soil and threw down a bunch of zinnias seeds. In no time I had a pretty garden along side the walkway.
 

Garden – July 2010


Finn and I would spend afternoons outside, he would play, I would dig and turn over dirt. I wanted a garden with an organically shaped border, I had mapped it out and thought about it for a few weeks. I removed all the grass and dug and turned the dirt, added manure and top soil. I used plastic garden edging to finish it off.

For the first year nearly all my plants came from my moms garden, she split off so many hostas (the nice kids), lilies, phlox, ferns and bleeding heart for me. It was such a sweet thing of her to do, and I love that some of my garden came from her. My grandma gave me tons of Iris, and that’s a nice memory to have too. Everything else was almost all annuals that I planted from seed. We didn’t have much money to spend on a garden, we had just moved in. I was focusing on making a good foundation for the coming years.
 

Garden – July 2010


Here’s that rock garden. As you can see I planted things pretty willy-nilly. I picked up a bunch of small hostas at a garage sale, that’s how we roll in the midwest. In 2012 I got frustrated with the disorganization, dug the entire garden up, split the perennials and planted it again in a much more cohesive fashion. I’m glad I did that! I’m looking forward to seeing strong, healthy perennials in this garden this year because of it.
 

Garden – July 2010


Zinnias are my jam – all planted from seed.
 

Garden – July 2010


See what the curvy border garden does for the yard, I love it.
 

Garden – Fall 2010


By the fall something great had happened. My folks got their house resided, in the process they took down a brick foundation. So you know what I did, I grabbed all those bricks, carload by carload, brought them home and made a brick border around my gardens. I think the brick border looks great and it makes for the easiest mowing. It’s also another sentimental-family-ties sorta layer to add to the garden.
 

Garden – Fall 2010


This is the fall, so everything is looking kind of worn, but I wanted you to see how much could be done in one gardening season! From here on out it’s just a matter of collecting and rearranging plants – I have all my gardens arranged and looking sharp.
 

Plans 2010


This is what I do always. Plan, make lists, and follow through. I fulfilled most of those note items on the left.
 

Garden – 2011


The next summer we got real fancy and added mulch. You can see already how much larger the perennials have become.
 

Garden – 2011


 

Garden – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse Garden
Awh, isn’t spring pretty. We added the crab apple tree in 2012 removing some sort of old crooked pine tree and almost killing ourselves in the process. I love this view.
 

Garden – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse Garden
This shot describes perfectly how the perennials have filled in over the years.
 

Garden – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse Garden
I love this planter, totally doing this in the front window boxes this year.
 

Garden – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse Garden
Coral bells, Impatiens, and Bleeding Hearts.
 

Garden – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse Garden
Gaw, are you dying, I’m dying. I want this to happen again so bad!
 

Garden – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse Garden
Can’t you just imagine it with a nice new fence?
 

Garden – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse Garden
The old rock garden with newly organized perennials and those short zinnias that I love so much.
 

Exterior – 2010


On to the exterior, see how bad it was, see? Woof. I wasn’t kidding about those dark peach stairs either.  

Exterior – 2010


You can see that the house is just looking old and tired. It needs some Scoops loving in a major way.
 

Exterior – Summer 2010


We did this all in one summer! We removed the awning, painted the foundation steps and window boxes and tried to do the slightest amount of landscaping. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a new set of steps this year, as our are crumbling.
 

Exterior – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse - Blue House
And then in 2012 we really painted. It’s been two years and I still love the dark blue siding and the dark grey storm windows so much. It has done so much for this house. We also got a new roof last summer too, now the mint green is all gone.
 

Exterior – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse - Blue House
The crab apple tree in the front yard is Finn’s tree, the other smaller one in the back garden is Gus’. It’s amazing to see how tall the tree in the front yard has grown in such a short amount of time
 

Exterior – 2013

Deuce Cities Henhouse - Blue House
The back of the house at sunset. It’s not so bad now, is it?

Stay tuned for one last installment of the recap!

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27 comments
in Around the House, gardening, My House

27 comments… add one

  • emily @ go haus go April 3, 2014

    Wow, it looks fantastic. You’ve made so much great progress. So my question on seeds is, do they grow and flower in that same season? I always eyeball seeds when I’m at the store but don’t know when I should expect the awesome end result. I love the price and the variety of the seed packets is nearly always better than what’s available in the trays at the nursery.

    • Scoops April 3, 2014

      Thanks, Emily! Yes, if you have a long enough season, which you should annual seeds will grow and flower in the same season. Just get them in the ground during the time the back of the seed packets suggest. I know we’re not in the same area, but I try to get all of my seeds into the garden between May 15 and May 31. They can really save you a bundle, however I wouldn’t recommend seeds for planters. Get full grown plants at the nursery cause you want your planters to look fantastic from the jump.

  • Alanna April 3, 2014

    Did you paint your house yourself or hire it out? I’m local and would love to know who you used if you did hire someone. I’m painting my house in Saint Paul this summer and hoping to find someone good but cheap so I don’t have to spend all summer on a ladder! I have an accursed MAUVE foundation and trim.

    • Scoops April 3, 2014

      Hey Alanna, We hired Bella Casa Painters to paint our house. They did a great job and we had them do some much needed window maintenance as well. They were middle of the road, not the cheapest and not the most expensive. You need to get rid of that mauve stat, good luck!

      • Alanna April 3, 2014

        Thanks! Finding someone for a big expensive job is always scary, so it’s nice to have a tip — especially since your house looks fabulous!

  • Meg April 3, 2014

    Your backyard is an inspiration to me! I just bought my first house and will be making big/small steps towards landscaping this spring. With a bunch of other time and money consuming projects on my list, it won’t be top priority, but I’m definitely planning to take advantage of divided perennials from friends. I have some zinnia seeds (which I love as well), but I’ve never grown them. In your yard, did you just sow them directly into the ground or do you start the seeds indoors? If you sowed them outside, how long before they started being lush and awesome rather than awkward and spindly?

    • Scoops April 3, 2014

      Thanks, Meg! That is so exciting for you, congratulations on your new home. I hear you about that to-do list. If you have time to spare, you really can do a lot to your yard with a bit of hard work and a good plan. Yes! Take as many divided perennials as you can get from your friend, that’s the way to go!

      Here’s how I feel about seeds. I have planted seeds all four springs. I’ve tried starting some indoors and have had it almost always end with poor results. I can’t quite figure out the best way to make transition my small plants from the safe indoors to the harsh elements. They survive but always take a long time to recover. I’ve had fantastic success with sowing them directly, so I’m going to stick with that. I always use Zinnias and a white flowered black-eyed-susan vine seeds in my garden. I also do the entire veggie garden from seed as well.

      I sow the zinnias in mid may and by the end of June I will start to get my first blooms, July is mad crazy flower time, everything looks perfect by then.

      This year I’ve tried to start some impatiens and petunias indoors. I always spend a bundle on them at the nursery and figured it was worth a try to see if I could do it. Blog post on that to come, of course.

      Hope that helps, good luck!

  • Sarah April 3, 2014

    Our ENTIRE backyard was gravel when we bought our house. This is our second summer and we alllllmost have grass now. Last year we lost the battle with weeds. It was like a scene from Jurassic Park out there!

    Here is a Facebook album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10101041594832785.1073741826.38420413&type=1&l=899d4ea9d2

    • Scoops April 3, 2014

      Oh my goodness! What a huge job you! That looks like it was a ton of work, but it looks like you have made great progress. Thanks for sharing, I love to see what other people are doing in their yards. Those weeds were intense! Glad to see you made it through, and your fire pit area (I assume that is what the circle is) looks awesome!.

      • Sarah April 4, 2014

        Yes, my husband’s only requirement was a fire pit. :) I hope one day our yard is half as peaceful as yours looks – even with the green fence! And I loooooove the blue siding.

        • Scoops April 7, 2014

          Thanks, Sarah! Your yard already looks great! You’ll feel so proud of it when you get everything to start growing just the way you want it – waiting is the hardest part with gardening. I am excited for you.

  • Allie April 3, 2014

    This post is so inspirational! Gardening projects are a lot of work, and that sometimes keeps me from even starting the most simple gardening plan. I love the progress shots and that you worked with what you had and worked (and are working) to change what you can. Great Post!

    • Scoops April 3, 2014

      Hey Allie! Thanks! Yeah, garden projects are a lot of work, but I think so rewarding. I hope you decide to start something, I think you’ll be happy you did :)

  • caroline [the diy nurse] April 3, 2014

    Youve got some made gardening skills girl! Wish I had just one of your green thumbs ;)

    And oh- the house gone navy, slays me. I don’t think I had seen the outside or the before. It’s gorgeous.

    • Scoops April 3, 2014

      Thanks, Caroline! Don’t be scared of plants, they won’t hurt you. I don’t think I have a green thumb either, it takes a lot of trial and error to get things going sometimes.

      I do love my navy house, not gonna lie. Thank you!

  • JeNica April 3, 2014

    My new patio umbrella just arrived tonight – and now the box is covered in SNOW! :)
    Thanks for the inspiration- I’m excited to get my green thumb out there ….soon!

    • Scoops April 7, 2014

      That is so exciting JeNica! Have you put out your patio furniture yet? I was just thinking I might have to pull mine out on Wednesday and get it all spiffed up for the season. Just hearing you say that you got a patio umbrella makes me excited. Hope you get it out of that box soon!

  • Perry April 4, 2014

    what did you do with the rocks from the rock garden? We have something similar – rocks and a ton of lava rocks. must have been a minneapolis thing. thanks!

    • Scoops April 7, 2014

      Perry, this is kind of weird, but I put them on craigslist and a lot of people came and got them. However, there were still bajillions or rocks left. I had a space between the garage and the neighbors garage and I tossed the rest of the rocks there. My neighbor had a similar problem and he hired a team a lawn care team to come and dig them up. They just hauled them away. It cost him a few hundred dollars but I get that it was probably worth it.

  • june April 7, 2014

    I’ve loved your recap posts…just goes to show how much pure grit and will power can achieve! I love how your home is coming together, but that you also are sharing the transitional process of the journey! Your house has truly come a long way, and has real “curb appeal ” now! Keep up the good work! You are an inspiration!! Ps! Sorry to hear about the laptop/naughty cat incident…hope its all OK now!!

    • Scoops April 8, 2014

      Thanks, June! I’m glad to hear that you think it has curb appeal and it’s not all in my head ;) Sometimes looking back I realize the white house wasn’t really that bad, however it needed a new paint job and I really am in love with the white corner boards we added on all the edges of the house. It previously had metal edging that was rusty and broken.

      I love home renovation blogs, but sometimes it seems like it all happens in the blink of an eye, at my house it doesn’t – results are slow and thats okay too.

  • Laura April 7, 2014

    Seeing your progress is inspiring! I have to know- where did you get your patio furniture?

    • Scoops April 8, 2014

      Hey, Laura. I got the furniture 4 years ago from Ikea – since then they have discontinued the line BUT I have to say, for the initial $320 and a little loving every spring, I have been able to keep this patio set looking almost new. Considering some patio sets get into the thousands of dollars, I think this one is a pretty good deal. I have a crush on a bunch of new Ikea patio stuff this season, you should check it out and see if anything that speaks to you.

  • Debora Martinez April 8, 2014

    Allison, I love what you have done with your home and yard! Love the colors! Where did you get your outdoor lights. I am so wanting to get some this year for the back yard. Thanks, Deb

    • Scoops April 10, 2014

      Hey Debora, I got the lights at Target – you should be able to find them online too. They are pretty inexpensive – 14.99 for a strand of 25. They really make a backyard magical at night. We had an ice storm this year and the weight of the ice caused mine to fall down, but I plan on getting them back up in the next week or so.

  • Kate April 28, 2014

    Your grass looks great. What do you do?

    • Scoops April 28, 2014

      Thanks, Kate! I add seed to the bare spots every spring and then water it like a crazy person all season long. Usually every other day if it doesn’t rain, and mornings are best for water retention. I also do a lot of hand weeding. If you get the weeds before the go to seed they won’t spread so quickly.

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