Deuce Cities Henhouse

1 Year Later : Our Horizontal Fence

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown
Hey doodz, remember last year when we got our new fence installed? (Part 1, Part 2) Well today I wanted to share with you how it be lookin’ one year later. I’ve stained it since the last time we talked about it. I decided to go for a dark brown stain (semi-transparent chocolate by behr), and I really like it although staining was a total bear of a job. It took me 5 gallons of stain, many, many, M A N Y hours, and tons of slivers. It was worth it, although if I ever had to do it again I would seriously consider hiring it out.

What can I tell you about staining; it’s a pain, it’s hard, and slats are dumb. I used a brush because I wanted the color to look variegated and dimensional, so some of the slats had 3 heavy coats of stain and others had 2 lighter coats – it all took a lot of time and effort but I’m really happy with how it all turned out. Just to give you some idea, I began this staining project last fall and finished it at the end of April. It was a big project and took an enormous amount of time – I better like it.

To refresh your memory, we previously had a dated chain link fence with green plastic slats – not a pretty backdrop for the garden vibes we were going after. Last spring we had installed a horizontal cedar slatted fence. We had added a 4′ fence on one side of our yard, and a 6′ privacy fence on the other (can you tell which neighbor I don’t like?). We added gates to both sides of the house, and a big gate in the back opening up to a concrete slab on the side of our garage.

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown
Now that the fence is installed and stained we seriously love everything about the fence! I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Bros, I’m not gonna tip-toe around it, this is a sponsored post, and I’m proudly endorsing Fencein Deck, the company who built our fence. If you’re in the twin cities area and are looking to have a fence built, (custom or otherwise) please consider giving Dave a call (651-246-3176) or shoot him an e-mail, he is a good dude who has built a solid business (Fencein Deck) for himself here in Minnesota. He’s got years and years of experience, is friendly as hell, and will make sure you are getting exactly what you want. Look at me, I am crazy and came to him with very specific plans for my fence, he was happy to oblige and was easy to work with. When I proposed fencing in the back parking pad, adding a gate and drilling some holes through the concrete, he said “yeah, we can do that”! Not only was he easy to work with he took great care when it came to my yard and garden. Dave installed the Fence in the early spring, many of my perennials were barely showing and Dave made sure not to trample them, which I appreciated to no end.

Please feel free to shoot me any fence questions you may have – I’m happy to answer any of them :)

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown

FenceIn Deck Fences!
A few examples of Fencein Deck’s handy work.
 

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown

Horizontal Fence Stained Dark Brown

I’m so excited to be teaming up with a local company like Fencein Deck for this post. To the readers, you can’t get a nicer dude to build your fence than Dave and his team at Fencein Deck. Thanks Dave, for sponsoring the post!
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in Outdoor, Sponsored

Backyard Hammock

Arc Stand with Nicaraguan Hammock | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Guys! Check out the best new thing to happen to happen to my backyard dream scene. My new hammock, lovingly given to me by my boys for Mo’s day (aka Mother’s Day). I’e been thinking a hammock could be a really great addition to the backyard for the last year or so, I just wasn’t sure about the size. Our yard isn’t that big, and the lawn is valuable real estate. There are baseball games, soccer fields, bocce ball courts, croquet courses and wrestling matches that need to have room to be played on the lawn. Although I’d love to turn it all into gardens, the boys need their green space and I don’t want to impose on their lawn. We decided that if a hammock were to be purchased it could be tucked into the yard in the corner, nestled in right next to the crab apple tree, which just so happened to be blooming, “thanks, tree”.

The hammock is a little imposing, but I think generally it adds so much pretty to the yard that it’s worth it.

Last year I got tuned into Nicaraguan hammocks, and I knew that if ever there were to be a hammock for me, it would be one of those. Then after visiting Tulum this winter, I really knew hammock-time was in my future. I almost purchased a hammock in Tulum, but not knowing where I would put it, or how I would hang it, I decided to pass.

I spent hours researching hammock frames and hammocks before I came up with a combination I felt confident about. I purchased the hammock here, it was the best sized Nicaraguan hammock I could find to fit my 14′ arc frame. This was one of the only 14′ cypress arc frames that I could find that sold separately without a hammock. From what I could tell, there are basically two or three companies that make these arc hammocks in different sizes and wood varieties – the frames are sold wholesale to all sorts of catalog websites with different hammock combinations, so you just have to dig around the net for the best deal.

So far, so good with the hammock. I spent a few hours hanging in it with my boys mother’s day weekend. It can fit me and two young bros, and the kids can climb in and out of it easily. The hammock is anchored to the frame on all four corners so I don’t have to worry about those dudes tipping out of it – or what is more likely – they try to flip it on purpose.

Arc Stand with Nicaraguan Hammock | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Arc Stand with Nicaraguan Hammock | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Arc Stand with Nicaraguan Hammock | Deuce Cities Henhouse
My favorite part is the crocheted edges, perfect for the garden-dream-scene.

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in Around the House, Decor, Outdoor

Hello all you wonderful people! In case you haven’t noticed it, it’s totally spring now! That means there is lots of work to do to get your yard in tip-top shape. Are you feeling hungry to get out in the yard on these warm spring days? Take advantage of that ambition and use it your benefit before the dog days set in and drinking in your backyard outweighs any desire to mow, mulch or edge your yard.

The key to having a green, manicured and tyte lawn is to prep your yard in the spring and fall and spend a bit of time here and there throughout the summer maintaining it. It only takes part of a weekend to do spring lawn and garden bed maintenance, but is crucial if you want your neighbz to be jealous all summer long. It’s no big secret, but here are a few easy things you can do right now to get your lawn and gardens looking like a hot-babe-of-a-yard!

Remove Thatch

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

THATCH (THaCH)
noun
Lawn thatch is the layer of dead turfgrass tissue between the green vegetation and the soil surface that must be removed (a process known as “dethatching”) to maintain lawn health. It consists of stems, leaves, stolons, rhizomes and roots.

You guys ever notice that dead grass hanging out under your green grass in your yard? That stuff is called “thatch” and it can be exactly why your lawn isn’t looking super sweet. Thatch suppresses the grass from growing and can even kill it. Lucky for you it’s easy to get rid of. Just grab a garden rake and give your thatch-y areas a good deep raking, making a solid effort to remove as much thatch as possible. If your yard suffers from thatch it might take a good amount of work to get rid of it all, but I promise that every season from now on it will get easier to maintain.

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

Lawn Soil
Seed

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep
Now that you’ve raked your yard, you might notice that you have some bare spots. This is where re-seeding your lawn comes in. You could just go ahead and throw some seed on the ground, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You will have much better results if you use top soil, compost or a mixed starter soil with fertilizer. Spread the soil into the bare spot and then top off with some grass seed. Make sure to rake the seed into the soil (ha, ha, that’s what she said).

Re-seeding your yard every year is inevitable, folks. Don’t plan on seeding one season and having your yard be lush every year after. Although that would be amazing, it’s just not gonna happen. There are always going to be patches of grass that just don’t make it through the winter.

Fall and spring are the perfect times of year to plant grass seed; the air is cool enough and the seeds will grow easily. Until the grass is established enough to be mowed (usually around 4″) you will want to make sure to keep the soil moist. This means you might have to water up to two times a day, and set up booby traps to keep the kids off it.

What type of grass seed you should get depends on your yard. Make sure to pay attention to the amount of light your yard gets before you purchase seed. They even make special formulated seed for high-traffic areas and sun and shade mixes, wow.

Adjust Mower Blade

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

MULCH·ING LAWN MOW·ER (məlCH-ing lôn moh-er)
noun
In the case of mulching lawn mowers, the mulch consists of grass clippings from the mowed turfgrass. The clippings are cut into fine pieces that fall easily to the soil surface. There, they can be rapidly broken down by soil microorganisms, which release nutrients from the mulched plant material back into the soil.

Okay, I’m going to take a sec here to gush over my electric lawn mower. We got it three summers ago and it is totally the BEST – electric is the way to go and this Toro mower does an amazing job. You wanna know if it’s powerful and if the battery holds a charge well, right? The answer is YES. It’s super powerful, never hesitates even when mowing through the longest of grass, and YES the battery has a long-lasting charge — it could mow our city lot twice over before it runs low. It’s kinda weird guys, but I love mowing so much that I mow my neighbor’s front lawn as well, and I do it all without recharging the battery. I just plug the mower in between seshes so it’s all powered up for the next use. Our mower doesn’t do anything fancy; it’s just a standard push mower. But thankfully we don’t have any hills or anything, and I don’t mind the exercise. If you are thinking about going electric, I highly recommend the Toro e-Cycler. One last thing; it folds up for easy storage in the winter too.

Sorry that you had to just see me make out with my lawn mower. I bet you are ready to hear about actual tips that you could apply to mowing yer own lawn now? Did you guys know that you want to set your mower blade high? Adjusting the blade to a high setting allows the grass roots to stay shaded in the summer time, thus making your lawn super healthy and happy. Strong grass roots means fewer weeds too; the roots block new weed seeds from growing, cool huh? The downside of course is that you have to mow more often, but if you’re like me, you’ll think that is fun.

Speaking of weeds, if you want a nice lawn you guys gotta pull your weeds. When we moved in our front yard was crawling with dandelions –  thousands of them, I swear. We spent so much time popping every single last one of them. It sucked, but it paid off big. Most weeds are perennial, so they will continue to show up every year unless you remove them from your lawn. The good news is, after they are gone they will most likely stay away unless you have the misfortune of having a neighbor who’s yard is full of weeds. There should only be the occasional stray, but that’s nothing.

Back to mowing, don’t forget to make sure your mower blade is sharp. I’ve made it a habit to replace my blade every season. It’s easy to do, and usually only requires one or two nuts to be removed. Sharp blades makes for healthy grass. You can tell if your blade isn’t sharp if you see yellow jagged tips on blades of grass a day or two after mowing.

Most mowers come with mower bags, the bags make for easy clean up of lawn clippings, but consider removing the bag every-other mow to allow the clippings to fall into the yard and become mulch for the lawn.

Mulch Like You Mean It

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

MULCH (məlCH)
noun
a material (such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil.verb
treat or cover with mulch.

You guys know I’m a sucker for a good flower-bed-mulch-job. Not only does mulch help plant roots retain moisture, it also blocks weeds and can look really pretty. I love the way mulch defines my flower beds, and I can’t recommend it enough if you want to get a lot of garden bang for your buck. I wrote all about mulching last spring, there’s lots more info right over here.

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep
Holy Jeez, pals! I’ve been waiting to get to this part of the post. This is where I get to share with you my newest most favorite gardening toy, all thanks to my pals over at Ace. If only I had two working hands the entire block would be reaping the benefits of my brand new lawn edger!

Normally I edge my gardens and walkways by hand with a hand-edger tool. If you’ve ever done this you know that it is a major pain in the butt, and takes tons and tons of time, especially when it comes to pavers. Last year I removed each individual paver from my garden edging to get at the grass growing in between them. After, the pavers looked nice, tidy and clean in the end, but in no time the grass was growing in between the paver cracks, and the edging was looking nothing short of a hot mess. It was a super-frustrating losing battle.

Not anymore! Sorry crack-loving-grass, I win! In less than a few minutes my new Toro weedwacker (aka trimmer, aka lawn edger) can destroy all of that annoying grass. This trimmer is also multi-functional, not only can it edge your flower beds and lawn but with a quick 90º turn it can trim all those hard to get places that your mower can’t get at! This tool is going to take my lawn game to a whole new level.

This trimmer/edger/awesome-lawn-tool runs on a rechargeable 24v battery, and just like my mower, it’s powerful and runs for a long time. I even grabbed a back-up battery just in case this were to lose charge often, but I haven’t needed to use it yet.

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep
Here is my new trimmer cleaning up around my gardens and stepping stones, my mower has a hard time getting all the grass in this section of my yard and I usually have to clean up using a hand trimmer.

Edge Like a Boss

EDG·ING (ejiNG)
noun
a thing forming an edge or border.verb
the process of providing something with an edge or border.

Ace Hardware wants you to join in the lawn maintenance fun, aren’t they the best? Ace is seriously the place! Just follow the link below to enter to a win $100 Ace gift card.
I’m excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided me with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project! All opinions are my own. Thanks a biznillion, Ace!
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in How-To, Outdoor, Sponsored

My April Garden

Bleeding Heart


Guys! My hand is still ruined, but I’m not going to stop it from sharing my April garden with you. I still can’t do anything unless I use my left hand only, which has been problematic for a lot of things; like putting your hair in a pony tail, driving, writing to-do lists, and buttering toast. However my left hand still does just fine at getting cocktails to my mouth, so I am learning how to survive. Today I get my cast and will find out how long my sentence in hand-jail will be.

Anyway, It’s April garden time and I’m sharing all the pics. The gardens looks super good and lush this year — super stoked about the early spring. I’m dying to mulch, but will have to wait until my husband can help, I will have to use all the willpower not to join in. Hopefully by the May-garden-post my hand will be getting to semi-functional status.

My left hand is getting tired of writing to you now, so I’m gonna wrap this up. I’ve appreciated all the comments and words of support that you guys have left in the last post, and I will reply to all of them over the coming week.

xo

 

Hostas

 

Dogwood


I’m so excited to see the peonies this year, last year a bunch of the tiny stalks got trampled during the fence installation and I didn’t get to see all these pretties. Plus, I planted two new peonies in my anniversary garden last spring, ‘Raspberry Charm’ and ‘Coral Charm’. They be real purty.

 

Japanese Maple

 

Rose Bush


Look! Do you see ‘em?

 

Crab Apple Tree

 

Peony Bud

 

Huchera

 

Crab Apple Tree

 

Ferns

 

Jacob’s Ladder

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in gardening

Funny Story

Hey doodz, guess what? I am dictating this post to you from my computer because it just so happens that my right hand is broken and has four large puncture wounds in it, and when shit like that happens to your hand it doesn’t really work very well.

So how did this happen? Well pals, I learned the hard way that you should just keep your hands inside the fence. I was attempting to put my neighbors dog at ease – I was out in the backyard putzing around, the dog was barking, so I gave him a friendly pet – something I’ve done lots of times in the past. Turns out a friendly pet wasn’t taken as a friendly gesture from my 150lb neighbor dog. The dog is typically a very good dog, and I have a great relationship with my neighbor, so I’m not really worried about it happening again. Between my neighbor guy and I, we will make a plan and ensure the kids are safe.

If you read this blog, you know this injury has to be torturing me, because right now is the time of year where all I want to do is be in the yard; be diggin’ in the dirt, planting flowers, mulching flowerbeds and obsessing over everything green. It’s killing me.

So what does this mean for the blog? Well, as of this moment in time I’m unable to push the shutter button on my camera let alone do a DIY project and type of post. I literally need help taking my pants on and off when I use the bathroom. I am really hopeful that in the next week or so I’ll be able to do a lot more with my hand, and I’ve got a lot of good friends out there who I know will step in and help me out so I can get some of these projects done. I really have a lot that I want share with you guys including an Ace post & giveaway, an Aptil garden recap, a one-year-later review on the fence, and progress on the basement. Anyway I’ll share when I can wether it be a little or a lot and I hope to be back really soon.

Today’s lessons: keep your hands to your damn self & if you’re taking pain killers Jackass is the best show to watch.

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in My Life