A sitting porch…sort of

As much as I enjoy spending time in my backyard garden, one thing that’s important to Boo and I is that we have a welcoming front yard that we also spend time in. We want to be able to talk to our neighbors as they pass by, and it’s kind of hard to do that if we’re hidden behind our house.

We would love to build a nice porch off of the front and south side one day, but we won’t have the funds or time to do that for a few years. In the meantime, we decided to uproot the ugly Weigelas on the south side of the front garden.

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of bushes in the front. I think that certain varieties look nice as a property border or a central theme in a garden, but I hate the traditional line of scrubby bushes along the front of the house. A nice perennial garden would be so much more attractive.

Anyway, in our case, we will be using the space to set up a more welcoming sitting area. We’ll move our porch swing out there, after we refinish it. Jason has plans to build a nice planter box. I will be constructing some trellises or teepees from the fallen branches in our backyard and planting a few varieties of trailing flowers.

This past weekend, Jason had to work for most of the day on Saturday. To keep myself entertained, I decided to try to dig up the bushes myself. I had to draw from the stalwart nature of my German ancestors and the stubbornness of  my Irish ancestors, but I managed to uproot all seven of them. Half the branches were dead and breaking off anyway. I’m so glad to see them gone! I spent the rest of the afternoon leveling out the soil.

On Sunday, my handsome farmhand had some time to help out :). He tamped down the soil and then we made two trips to the recycling center for mulch. I keep forgetting to take a photo of us hauling mulch in our tiny Honda Civic – it’s pretty funny. We lay out a bed sheet in the trunk and clip it to the frame with clothespins. Who needs a truck when you have a bed sheet and clothespins?

After laying down wet newspapers and putting the mulch on top, the area already looked a lot better:

Next, we moved on to the bench swing. Jason bought some nice cedar planks on Friday, and started cutting them to size and shape on Sunday.

I spent a few hours throughout the weekend scraping the loose paint off of the metal frame and sanding away the rust so it could be primed. I managed to prime about 1/2 of the frame pieces before I ran out of primer. You know, typical new homeowner move – not buying enough supplies and needing to make multiple hardware store runs…anyway, the end color will be a nice paprika red. The planks will be stained a darker color. I think it will look pretty nice!

 

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