Less flowerbeds, more lawn and dreaming of what could be – part 2

The flower beds get cleared of all the garden junk | funkyjunkinteriors.net

My brother is a professional gardener. And one of his tips is, if you can’t maintain everything in your yard, it’s best to go back to lawn.

Ok Les, I hear you loud and clear. For awhile now!

I’ve been falling behind in the yard the past several years and just can’t afford to spend the time needed to maintain what I had, time nor health wise. So back to basics we go!

And Les’ theory is actually very easy to do. Imagine before you had all those flower beds… 

So part of Walter’s pruning session was to remove some overgrown existing flowerbeds and go back to lawn instead.

Once all the garden junk was finally located and piled up, (yep, some beds were just that bad) the pruning began.

Overgrown flower bed before | funkyjunkinteriors.net
The plan

Remove everything here except for the two skinny trees in the back.

Turn everything back to lawn.

Overgrown flower bed gets pruned and cleared out - before | funkyjunkinteriors.net

Overgrown flower bed gets pruned and cleared out - before | funkyjunkinteriors.net
This little corner was destined to get hit first. That bushy tree on the right was my nemesis! It needed pruning every few weeks and this was the result of giving up for just a few months. I was over it! It had to go.

Please know, I’m sincerely a tree and nature lover, however if you have stuff that you can’t manage, there isn’t any point in keeping it around.

A few other overgrown trees got removed too. They became imbedded with each other and it was just one big bushy mess.

Overgrown flower bed gets pruned, cleared out then reseeded with grass - after | funkyjunkinteriors.net
And here’s where we are now. It resembles a little forest park!

Two skinny tall trees and the honeysuckle on the fence were left for a little somethin’, but the rest got completely cleared out.

The soil then got planted with grass seed which I’ll be babysitting over the next while until the seed sprouts.

This visually dramatically increased the space in my yard! And just offered me a place of ‘rest’ until I decide if something else should eventually go here or not.
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The dream…

I’ve always visualized a shed built here. My yard is super limited where you can put stuff due to the septic, so it’s certainly a consideration.

However as is, I can certainly visualize a rustic picnic table on an angle at the very least. Functional and fun to look at.

What do you see?
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Next spring Walter also suggested a clever way to revamp the lawn. You kill existing weeds in the lawn first, then add soil on top, then seed it. Instant new lawn! We’ve just had a drought type summer, so it’s pretty sad right now. However I love his idea…

Septic area behind house gets revamped - before | funkyjunkinteriors.net

Septic area behind house gets revamped - before | funkyjunkinteriors.net
Next up was this garden that is positioned on top of a cement pad, due to septic tank access.

When septic tank issues became urgent, I had to start digging myself before Walter could come, so it sat like this for quite awhile. Yuk!
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The plan

Scoop this area free of most soil. No more garden!

Re-seed it until a different plan comes up.

Septic area behind house gets grass seed waiting for final revamp - after | funkyjunkinteriors.net
And now it looks like this. The area got a skim coat of soil then seeded with grass as well.
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The dream…

Yesterday Walter and I mulled over what to do with this area. It would be much more ideal if the septic areas could be more easily accessed.

We visualized a small wood deck built with access doors to the septic lines, placing a small hot tub where the hydrangea is and a pergola across the top with a clear waterproof roof. I need the area in front of the windows clear of shade and stuff because that’s my photo studio.

All the sidewalks and driveway are a cracked mess and really do need replacing. If I went there, I can visualize french doors replacing the sliders, then a gently curving exposed cement walkway that connects the deck to the rest of the other areas.

And more. I’d like to enlarge the garage workshop with an addition to the back of the house with LOTS of windows that would connect all this together.

Guess I’d better stop spending on travel one day, huh? (doubt it…)

Messy compost and garden shed area - before | funkyjunkinteriors.net
Next up, the garden shed area around the corner of the house.

HERE’S where we left off last.
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The plan

Remove all the junk wood.

Smooth out the soil and re-seed with grass.

Messy compost and garden shed area - before | funkyjunkinteriors.net

Getting pruning and garden junk hauled away by my pruner | funkyjunkinteriors.net
Walter cut down the garbage wood and hauled it all away.

All in all, he did 3 HUGE loads when the total yard was complete. Egads.

Messy garden compost and shed area before | funkyjunkinteriors.net
Before

Garden compost and shed area gets cleaned up and seeded, ready for new fence planks! | funkyjunkinteriors.net
And now today. YES! Let’s fence!
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The dream

The fence will be covered with reclaimed fence planks. Can’t wait to hang stuff on it!

The shed will get a new look.
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Once again, lawn seed was spread out that gave this space a much more inviting presence!

It would have been ideal to get my fence up side before planting seed, however we were due for rain (which can go on for DAYS) so it was important to get the seed in now.

I can just throw some planks over top before it sprouts if I get to the fence before then.

Garden shed with grape vine and plants | funkyjunkinteriors.net
And lastly, the shed compost area.

Behind the shed was YEARS of compost that I was no longer taking from. It just became infused with overgrown plants and weeds that decided to live instead of die like instructed. Basically put, a jungle of a mess.

I had been staring at that compost thinking if I ever moved, it would have to be gutted.

“Oh Walter… if you have time…”

So we (he) threw it in.
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The plan

Completely GUT the compost and reseed it. For now.

Compost area behind shed gets cleaned out and reseeded for lawn | funkyjunkinteriors.net
And there it is.

If I need to compost, I’ll use the city’s green can system. I’ve been having to pay for something I wasn’t using, so I certainly will now! But honestly, with less flower beds, I may not have very much anyway.

Rustic garden shed in the backyard | funkyjunkinteriors.net
The dream… maybe.

Here’s an older photo of the shed and yard.

Walter had a pretty creative idea for this area. It’s the only shade tree (which is MUCH bigger now) I have in the yard which can really get brutally hot. If the wood shed wasn’t there, it would provide a pretty sweet sitting shaded sitting area…

I can’t plant shade trees in the yard due to the septic field, so it’s worth mulling over.

But don’t you worry! I’d rebuild some rustic interest elsewhere, depending what else went up. The shed is starting to rot and fail, so it’s only a matter of time…

Rusty garden junk being grouped in order to be sold | funkyjunkinteriors.net
With every square inch of the back yard totally cleaned up, (and now no where to store surplus unless I want to stare at it!) it’s time to let some garden junk go!

I’ll list a few things in my Facebook bidding group and hopefully someone else will enjoy it.

Rusty garden junk being grouped in order to be sold | funkyjunkinteriors.net

Just with cleaning up a home indoors, all the same rules apply outdoors as well. Ya gotta clean up before you can dream about what is possible.

I’ve been watching a little too much Flip or Flop on HGTV lately, and boy, they gut these junky places to the bones then build up from there in order to flip them.

It’s so tempting to start from nothing! So welcome to my mini nothing. I do plan to draw out a dream backyard scenario, then mull over how far to take it. Some of it would depend on whether I stayed or not, however anything I’d add would only serve to increase the value of the place anyway I’m sure.

Rusty garden junk being grouped in order to be sold | funkyjunkinteriors.net
But the best news is, it’s finally clean, and I don’t have to decide anything today.

Yesterday on Flip or Flop, they gutted this yard, and added EVERY dream element you could imagine. Fire pit. Pool. Hot tub. Curvy walkways. Eating area. It looked like a high end resort!

I’m not going in quite that direction (I wish…), however I do have some changes that could really change the way I do and enjoy life and work here. Once I have my dream yard drawn up, I’ll share that with you.

Old wheel barrows and rusty garden junk being grouped in order to be sold | funkyjunkinteriors.net

I sure wasn’t kidding about this being a clean up season for me! I don’t recognize the place.

But just wait until you hear the story about what I got rid of next… connecting all the dots, it could make all the difference in the world.
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Care to share any dreamy yard ideas that you came up with? I’d love to hear!
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Read all the posts to this Garden Shed 2 Update series HERE

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Categories: Junk Drawer, Outdoors
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  1. What a lot of work!

    I have always loved your woodshed, but if it is failing perhaps you can use some of its decor on the fencing you are putting up and on the shed that is attached to the house that you are revamping.

    A picnic table area would be fun, but I would opt for a swing. An old fashioned swing. But I hate eating outdoors… Just me.

  2. Where did you ever find Walter? Can he be cloned and sent to my house? Haha! What a sense of accomplishment for so much work completed. You’ll have all winter to dream up how you want the yard to look. I’m absolutely sure that whatever you decide on will look wonderful in your signature style!

  3. Wow, that’s some serious clean up that happened Donna, but now you have a beautiful, clean slate to create new masterpieces. One suggestions only, you need a hammock girl 😉 So you can park that butt of yours with a good book and a cuddly furr baby and dream all those dreams of yours.

  4. Wow! Looking good! I’m in nearly the same boat…except I do have a husband but he’s not able to do anything so it’s up to me and I can’t keep up. I have to take out a LOT of stuff; please send Walter!

  5. Wow!! I agree with your brother on no time to maintain – go back to lawn. I am a Master Gardener & love the tips you include from your brother. Ever thought about another blog featuring your brother with gardening tips & design advice? Would definitely subscribe. We gardeners are always anxious to learn new things & I have a feeling he would have a lot to offer. Love your column – keep up the good work. Will be anxious to see what you decide to do to your new found space.

  6. Hi, think long and hard about a hot tub as they too require maintenance. If you sell it can be a draw back or a selling point. I have seen most are ripped out when property changes hands. Your free time is sooo valuable. Just saying, Ruth

    • Agree with Ruth on the hot tub. Unless it is something you really want for yourself, don’t necessarily think it is going to be a “plus” if you try to sell your home.

  7. Since I’m a gardener and flowers make me happy, I found this post sad, but I get it, I really do. The day my passion for gardening fades, is the day the gardens will be turned to grass again. Your plans sound wonderful though.

    • I totally get it! I feel a little deflated too, however I’d like to add more flowering perennial bushes or more natural forest type plantings that I can mow up to. It was the soil weeding that did me in. And with even mulch, you have to keep adding to it. Who knows.. maybe I’ll die of boredom with all lawn and put it all back? haha

      My front yard is still fully intact with lots of gardening. That’s all I’ve been able to keep up with so it was just a sign to cut back a little…

  8. Your very first picture on this post, with all your rusty junk gathered by the wood shed, makes me wish I lived closer to you! I clearly need to have access to your bidding site, and someone who will deliver all the treasure to the prairies for me!

    Clearing things in life can take many forms, I’m glad you’re seeing your way through. You have lots of other flower beds in your yard, clearing these will only make room for whatever is in your future.

    • Your brother sounds like a wise man (you don’t have to tell him I said so, I know how brothers can be). The same wisdom can definitely apply to interiors — if you can’t maintain it, get rid of some stuff or downsize!

  9. Wow! I am eager to learn what it is that you get rid of next and see how the dots connect. These are exciting times! Thank goodngoodness for Walter. He’s so far steered you in the right direction. Have you read up on “She sheds”? Some have a floor that is loose pebbles. It does have some footers driven into the ground. Is some thing like that feasible? Would some footers or the weight of the structure be too much. Probably not if it replaces the existing(And might I say a favorite of mine)current storage shed for wood. Goodness, but the views in your yard are gorgeous! I am eager to see the progress. The plan to use reclaimed wood on the fence is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing your fun and exciting progress. Hope your son,sister and brother are well. Take care!

    • Hi Nicole! It’s a closed group specific to my area, so I can’t share it to those living elsewhere. Most towns have them now… try a search in your Facebook using your town name and the word ‘bidding’.

  10. Hi Donna…I am so proud of you! Sometimes it just takes closing our mental thoughts off and JUST DOING IT, it looks so neat and refreshing and relaxing. I can imagine going out there to enjoy and the unwelcome thoughts of “ohhh this is such a job….” taking away from the moment. The old saying can’t see the trees for the forest. Now what is left can breathe and be relaxed too. How nice of Walter,I am sure he is pleased also.🤗❤️

  11. What the heck were you going to do the the automotive alternator? The potting shed area sure looks better all cleaned up. I have dreams of building a potting shed behind my garage, but then I would have to cut down the gorgeous lilac bush that is back there, and that ain’t gonna happen! Only other space is a small triangle in the opposite corner of the yard, between a hedge and some evergreen bushes and the fence. Ah, the stuff of dreams!

    • Haha, I have no idea where I even got that thing or when! I use to just stick it in the soil for garden junk interest among the plants. What I love about metal is no deterioration. The blade just struck me as looking pretty cool.

  12. I love posts like this…renewing, revamping, re-dreaming…it’s looking good! I like the small deck idea, I could also picture it wrapping around in front of the slider, or someday French door area. Dreams are wonderful, and I enjoy watching your planning become reality!l