More Yard Work for the Dekkers

posted by Andrea | 04/21/2014

simon helping with yard work

As some of you might remember, Dave and I spent a lot of time outside last summer — and not for relaxation purposes :)

On and off from May through August, we had various yard projects going on around our house.

  • We had 17 trees removed (two of which were massive beasts) and the stumps ground out
  • We removed thousands of pounds of dirt, stones, rocks, and other yard waste from our property
  • We dug up a huge (and very awkward) cement pad that was right in the middle of our back yard
  • We put up over 300 feet of wooden privacy fencing
  • We fixed and rearranged parts of our underground sprinkling system
  • We created a really fun play area for Nora — complete with swing set, trampoline, and kiddie pool
  • We planted hundreds of new bushes, perennials, and tree throughout our property
  • We spread over 25 yards of mulch
  • We revived our lawn and FINALLY figured out how to get rid of all the weeds and dead patches (this was honestly one of my favorite accomplishment of the summer!)

Here are two of my favorite before and after photos from our work last year…

BEFORE:

AFTER:

BEFORE:

AFTER:

.

Our 2014 Yard Project List:

You can read more about last year’s projects in this post (there are also a bunch of before/after pictures in that post) but make sure you come back… because we have a BUNCH more landscaping projects to tackle this summer!

Here’s a list of what we’ve already accomplished this year (most of it was done when Dave was home over spring break).

  • We had 7 more trees cut down and the stumps ground out
  • We cut back all our perennials, pruned our shrubs, and trimmed several other trees
  • We raked out all our planting beds and “cleaned up” the yard from any remaining leaves, branches, etc.
  • We filled a 10-yard dumpster to the brim with all our “spring clean-up” yard waste!
  • We spread the first application of fertilizer on our lawn
  • We spread Preen on all our flower beds
  • We spread another 8 yards of wood chips to “top dress”  all our beds.
  • We changed the oil and oil filters in our mower and other yard equipment
  • We cleaned out our supplies from last year and stocked up on any other fertilizers and other yard products we’ll need to maintain the yard this season.

I was absolutely thrilled with everything we were able to accomplish so far — especially with the cold snowy weather we’ve had. However, we still have a lot of landscape projects we HOPE to accomplish before school starts up again in the Fall.

  • Dig up our mailbox post and replace it with something new (it got smashed by a snowplow this winter)
  • Landscape a larger area around the mailbox
  • Landscape the area in the middle of our turnaround driveway (we had the huge dying maple tree cut down and now need to do something in that area)
  • Landscape the area in front of the fence we built last year
  • Put up about 150 feet of fencing on the driveway side of our property (this is why we had to get a bunch of trees cut down this year)
  • Landscape the areas on both sides of the driveway going back towards our garage (see diagram below)
  • Build one or two smaller raised beds and then plant a small vegetable garden
  • Extend the deck on the back of our house so we can actually use it (it’s currently only 8′ x 10′ and we would hopefully be able to extend it to 14′ x 20′)
  • Enclose the current breezeway between our house and garage and turn it into a MASSIVE mudroom (this is not 100% for sure yet, but my fingers are definitely crossed that it will work out for this year!!)

The blue areas in the picture below are the areas we’re hoping to relandscape this year…

yard-plans

So we definitely have our work cut out for us — but since we’ll have help with some of these projects (like the deck and the potential mudroom) it’s really not as bad as it sounds.

I do realize that we’ll have two kiddos to manage this summer — one of which is a still super tiny — so that will definitely slow us down a bit. However, I’d rather “dream big” and fall a little short!

Yard projects aren’t always the easiest to document, but I’ll continue sharing more updates and photos as we knock projects off our list — and I’m sure they’ll be one big update at the end of the summer, just like I did last year.

Yay for spring finally arriving in West Michigan! 

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10 comments

  1. Paulette Smith

    04/21/2014

    Wow. Sure wish I had your energy! I noticed you mentioned figuring out how to get rid of your weeds and revive your lawn…please share what you did? We’re struggling with our lawn. Thanks, Andrea!

    [Reply]

    Nora Reply:

    Yes, I would love to know this as well. Our lawn needs lots of help.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Paulette — I’ll actually be talking about our “grass project” from last year in another post later. Stay tuned!

    [Reply]

  2. Paulette Smith

    04/21/2014

    Andrea, after my comment posted, I remembered that you linked to previous posts…sure enough, there was the info on what you learned. I’m off to increase my knowledge! Thank you so much!

    [Reply]

  3. Leigh

    04/21/2014

    I adore my mushroom. It is just a glassed in porch, but having the landing spot for everything including the stroller makes a huge difference. And babies you fall asleep in the stroller can finish their nap in ours and they usually sleep better there,

    [Reply]

  4. Stel

    04/21/2014

    Grand plans! You’ve come a long way :-) The mudroom is going to be a great idea, should work really well.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Stel — we have our fingers crossed that the mudroom plan will work out!

    [Reply]

  5. Laura @ porchandtable

    04/21/2014

    Wow!! You’ve done such great work!

    How did you create that blueprint, did you use a software to plan out the area around your house?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Laura, Our “blue print” was actually created by the people who designed our landscaping. I just took a picture of it and edited it a bit with a photo editing program (picmonkey.com)

    [Reply]

  6. Barbara

    04/21/2014

    Um, I read the prior yard work articles and I still don’t see what the secret is for the weeds and reviving the lawn. Any help would be appreciated.

    Barbara

    [Reply]