Spring is here... and so is the yardwork

It is incredible how the change to Spring boosts my spirit and makes me so much more active. Instead of watching a 3rd episode of The Office, I grab my garden gloves and weed a little in the front yard before dinner. I find myself just sitting on the front steps thinking about pretty much nothing or mentally reconfiguring the yard for a more optimal layout. Casual stuff :-)

That being said, there has been a fair bit of progress in the outdoors. Many, many trips to Lowe's and the local hardware stores. It is an excellent skill to know which stores carry which brands of spray paint. I hope to pass this crucial knowledge on to another homeowner. 

A rough summary of the last month? 
  • I spent probably an entire week raking the crap out of the lawn with my new dethatching rake. It was absolutely worth it. I hauled 5 barrels of stuff to the dumping place. Hindsight? I probably could have paid someone $100 to do the whole lawn with a machine. The upside is that I'm now very strong from all the raking.
  • Researching fertilizers for the plants around the house... and fertilized. It is oddly satisfying to know that peonies like a "low nitrogen" formula.
  • Obsessively searched the internet for the right white planters for the front porch. Turns out they didn't exist ... at least in my budget :-) ... so I bought a lower cost option and spray painted them white. Works great.
  • Purchased a whole pile of wood for the veggie garden. I'm still not completely confident about the size and layout but this won't be the end of the world to re-do it next year. I'm a very iterative thinker.
  • Decided against adding another granite step to the front porch for now. It's so expensive. Instead I just reconfigured the furniture to force walking traffic one way. 
  • Turns out my rain barrel got busted open in the winter freeze. I never drained it fully :-( So, instead of just adjusting this one I need to buy a whole new one. Trying to decide if this is worth it.... I think it is?

decide on veggie + flower garden setup
build garden (w/ help from my dad)
add a second walkway to the front door with granite step

fix rain barrel spout
fix garage gutter --> creating a soggy situation
re-dig some of the lawn edging that popped up over the winter
reach out to original landscaper for dead plants (if there are any)
fix the leaker hose for the front hedge (accidentally got cut)
Switch the location of the latch on the fence gate

Seasonal Prep:
rake crap out from under the trees
rake out lawn
weed beds
think about putting down weed blocker on some beds
replant front steps flower box [half done, waiting for geraniums]
spread mulch
set up rain barrel
trim rose bushes (maybe? I have no idea. they seem big)
fertilize the front hedge
fertilize the hydrangeas
fertilize the peonies
apply spring fertilizer
stake up peonies

lawn edger
1 more garden barrel

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