Monthly Archives: September 2013

It’s Fall and Time For Planting!

Happy Friday all! I wanted to share with you the break we took this past weekend (from boring unpacking and tedious setting up) so we could to enjoy the beautiful Louisville, KY weather! While we didn’t spend much of that time exploring Louisville we did enjoy working in our new yard. Gardening is one of our favorite things to do and Fall is the best time for planting trees and shrubs. It is much less stressful on the plant, as it requires a lot less attention and watering from you, plus the weather is usually cooler which is a plus!

We aren’t planning on planting too much more in our yard (we have over an acre) but we did want to deal with some unsightly issues sooner than later…

Here is one of them, these pavers surrounding ALL of the borders and trees… I really don’t care for this look, even if the pavers had been installed perfectly I still wouldn’t like them.

BEFORE

Unsightly borders

I wanted these pavers gone ASAP… but honestly I didn’t want to have to remove them myself, it would have been a HUGE job. So I decided to list them for free on Craig’s List, being sure to make people aware they had to remove them from the landscape. I had 20 emails within the first 15 minutes! I was stoked, not only would I not have to remove them, but now someone else would get something they needed! By the way it took the guy 2 days to remove them all… once again sooo glad he wanted them!

I just really think the landscape looks so much better now with those pavers gone and a fresh layer of mulch!

AFTER

Unsightly borders improved

There were a lot more pavers around back too…

Unsightly borders

Our main outdoor project for this Fall was to remove this unsightly bush/weed combination from the corner of the house, expand the bed and plant a privacy “hedge”. The first thing I did was cut all of the limbs off the unsightly shrub so that my Hubby could do his “manly” thing with the chainsaw, cutting the trunk down as close to the base as possible. The remaining stump is just too close to the house for me to feel comfortable about having a stump grinder come in so we will just let it degrade naturally.

See the two shrubs in one mess below…

Removing unsightly shrubs

We wanted to add a row of Arborvitae in this area and connect the two borders into one larger border. The screening will allow for some privacy from the neighbors while also screening their 3 Great Danes and Bloodhound from our VERY nosy dogs! I want to mention that the neighbors are great, but sometimes a little privacy is important too…

Here is just one of the Dane’s and our little Schnoodle…

Great Dane Schnoodle stand off

By the way do you see the drool hanging from the Danes muzzle… I think he wants to eat poor little Chewy! Let me tell you our little Schnoodle acts like he will tear him up!!! I know that Great Dane is thinking “thank goodness for the fence” Winking smile

After removing the large shrub our next job was to mark the area where we wanted to link the borders together. I then sprayed the area with Roundup in order to kill as much grass as possible before we started planting. You can see the sprayed area still has grass, but there is no need to remove it. We put down a layer of paper (we had plenty from our unpacked boxes) directly over the dead grass and then a layer of mulch. Installing a paper barrier is a REALLY important step to help with future weed control.

Paper under mulch for weed control

We purchased 6 Arborvitae and planted them slightly closer than the recommended 3 foot spacing. I REALLY love the look of black mulch, it makes your plants look super green and sharp!

Adding privacy screening to your landscape plan

Here is how the two borders connected together. We will eventually be installing a small flagstone pathway from the patio to the hammock in the border… I’m on the hunt for a stone supplier here in Louisville.

Planting in the Fall

Here is the view from our patio… and one of the Danes checking me out…

Now you see him…

Adding privacy screening to your landscape plan

…now you don’t!

Adding privacy screening to your landscape plan

These Arborvitae will get about 25ft tall and 6 feet in diameter at their base. They are very quick growing, which is why we chose the cheaper, smaller plants, they will grow about 18 inches a year and will be HUGE in no time! We are also going to install 3 trellises behind the planters. The planters have vines in them that need a place to climb and will be full of flowers come Spring.

So if you have some trees or shrubs you want to add to your landscape go out and get it done this Fall! You will be so glad you did when you see how beautiful they will be come Springtime! My tip for you is if you can wait for the plant to mature, then go ahead and buy a smaller plant. Not only is it less expensive, but the hole you have to dig will be smaller which is very appealing to those who have to dig the holes (which in our house is my Hubby)…

As always thanks for stopping by… now go out and get your hands dirty!

Until next time…

My Signature

The Chest of Drawers No One Wanted

I’m back!! I may be posting sporadically, but I’m trying to get somewhat into the swing of things since we moved from Richmond, VA to Louisville, KY… lots of boxes still to unpack… I think writing these posts will help me not dwell on how much I still have left to do! One day… one box… one area at a time… it’s slow, but it’s progress.

Anyway, on to the furniture part!

I finished this piece a couple of weeks before we moved, I loved it so much I wanted to hold onto it just in case I had a spot for it in our new home. Well I’m here now and I’m pretty sure that not only do I not have a spot for it, but I will also have to make some other hard “letting go” decisions before all is said and done… yes, it could be worse… I could NEED furniture and not have it I know, but I do tend to get “attached” to certain pieces… and I really do LOVE this one!

I thought it was sad that no one else wanted to tackle this beauty as I saw its potential right away! The chest had quite a bit of veneer loss on the top, not just the little piece you see missing from the front, so I enlisted the help of my SAH (Super Awesome Hubby of course) to help me remove the rest of the veneer from the top. It was not fun… he didn’t like doing it… and he gouged the crap out of the top so I wasn’t very happy… oh well I guess you get what you pay for right? Sarcastic smile

BEFORE

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Just look at all of those gouges in the picture below… ARGH! I had already started filling them by the time I took this photo. I used Minwax High Performance Wood Filler which is made specifically for problems like this. If you haven’t tried this product yet, I highly recommend you do, I also use it to rebuild missing furniture pieces because you can sculpt it, it is just a great product! Basically it’s a 2 part product you mix together then you have about 5 minutes of working time with it, also you can sand it and once it hardens it is VERY durable and sort of miraculous.

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The below photo is after I sanded the filler down with my orbital sander, starting with 100 grit paper and finishing up to 150 grit. If I was planning on staining the top then I would have finished with 220 grit, but when I am painting a piece I only sand to 150 grit which is still a very smooth surface for paint but still has enough grit for the paint to adhere to.

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While the top was drying I started to work on the drawer fronts. There was a big piece of molding missing on one of the drawers so I chose to remove all of the molding from the drawer fronts. Sometimes I replace the molding, but I didn’t have the time or the inclination to do so with this piece.

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I used a stiff spackling knife and gently pried the pieces up. The trim was attached with little nails that I removed with needle nosed pliers once I had removed all of the trim. I will usually hoard save the trim to use on future projects.

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I filled the holes with stainable wood filler and sanded the entire surface down with 150 then 220 grit sandpaper, I’m going to try to stain these beauties and I hope they come out looking good.

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The center decorative piece on the top drawer is actually an inlay of different wood types, so very pretty, I’m going to attempt to keep this a focal point when I start to stain the drawer fronts.

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At this point I either forgot to take pictures or I’ve lost them… but I stained the drawer fronts Dark Walnut then I added another layer of Kona stain to darken them even more. I painted the cabinet Valspar Satin Black and the knobs I sprayed with Krylon Gold.

AFTER

Painted black with dark stained drawers chest of drawers

The dark stain still allows you to see the grain, but helps hide some of the imperfections with the wood. I also waxed the drawer fronts with Annie Sloan clear wax a few days after I applied the stain.

Painted black with dark stained drawers chest of drawers

I’m a HUGE fan of this gold spray paint of Krylon’s, it really dresses up the piece makes it feel very masculine, like I should be wearing a smoking jacket or something…

Painted black with dark stained drawers chest of drawers

The finish isn’t “perfect” but I think it turned out much better than I could have hoped for considering what I started with.

Painted black with dark stained drawers chest of drawers

Here is the Before and After… I much prefer the Dark Walnut / Kona stain to the original mahogany. What about you?

Before and After refinished chest of drawers

So now I’m back to unpacking… why oh why do I have soooo many candles??

Thanks as always for sticking with me and stopping by!

Until next time…

My Signature

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