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Never Again... | Mulching with Hardwood ChipsThe Newlywed Notebook

The Newlywed Notebook

Monday

22

June 2015

Never Again…

Written by Lindsay Ropella

I did something this weekend that I’ve promised myself I will never do again.

Everything hurts. Muscles I didn’t even know I had are screaming at me to sit down and not move for a week.

This past weekend was pretty much the only weekend Eric and I were home this month, so we decided to make the most of it and attempt way too much in the DIY department. Although at the end of it all both Eric and I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for a week, we are so happy we got it all done and super happy with the results.

We started by finally replacing and updating the ugly lamp post we have smack dab in front of our house. In a perfect world I would get rid of the thing entirely, but that seemed like a lot more time and effort than the outcome would be worth. So instead, we decided to spruce it up a bit. Now, I so apologize but I completely forgot to snap a “before” photo. I know it’s not nearly as good, but the light looked exactly the same as the old ones that replaced in this post. This post also had a weird sign sticking out of the left side of it that had our house numbers on it. The numbers were tiny and peeling, so we decided to just remove the sign altogether. We took it off, sanded the pole, and the re-spraypainted it. We still have a tiny bit of touchup to do but overall it’s much better.

At that point all we had left to do was purchase a new lantern for the top and switch out the old with the new. We decided to go with the Allen & Roth Castine Post Light from Lowes as it matched the new lights we just installed on the garage and front of the house.

I think I actually really like the light post now…and at the very least it’s now not nearly as much of an eyesore. P.S. If you look really closely you will notice a young pup very eager to see what her mom and dad were doing outside with a camera. Probably embarrassing her in front of the neighborhood dogs, that’s what…

This past weekend Eric and I did something we vowed we will never again do. Mulch our entire yard with hardwood chips in one day. Read how it went here...

Next, we decided to take out our most physically exhausting DIY project to date — redoing the plant beds all around our house. I don’t think the people before us cared much about what the outside of their house looked like, because when we moved in the yard was just completely overgrown with plants. Last summer my wonderful husband took on the demanding job of cleaning out the beds all the war around our house. He took out probably just over half of everything that was in there to give the plants some room to spread out a bit and breathe. #yourinmybubble

The craziest thing is we still have a ton of plants left, but at least now they look a bit more purposeful. The front of our house is a bit bare (I want to be able to plant some flowers) but the sides and back of our house are still pretty lush. Eric had accomplishing nothing short of a miracle last summer, but we knew this summer we want to tackle “phase 2″ of the project as we like to call it, and take it on home.

So this past week we decided it was time. We took a ton of dirts out of the beds to make room for some hardwood chips, moved a few more plants around to make everything look uniform, and regraded all the bed away from the house. When we were done with that step this is what it looked like.

This past weekend Eric and I did something we vowed we will never again do. Mulch our entire yard with hardwood chips in one day. Read how it went here...

Next it was time to move the mulch pile that had taken up residence in our driveway. I wish I would have asked Eric to stand next to the mound in the picture to give you a better idea of truly how large it was, but let’s just say that it was probably over 50 wheelbarrows full…and yes, I wheeled them all.

This past weekend Eric and I did something we vowed we will never again do. Mulch our entire yard with hardwood chips in one day. Read how it went here...

We went back and forth quite a bit between getting actual mulch or something a bit more unique. I refused to get brown mulch because I thought it would look too much like just dirt in our small beds. We liked the idea of black mulch, but read a lot of reviews saying that the black coloring in the mulch quickly fades to leave an ugly, faded gray/brown color so we opted against that as well. We finally decided on these hardwood chips. I liked that they were a bit different than just shreds of wood pieces; it even included pieces of wood that looked like they had at one point been a part of a ship or a building.

This past weekend Eric and I did something we vowed we will never again do. Mulch our entire yard with hardwood chips in one day. Read how it went here...

10 long hours, 3 beers, and a few bruises later, we were finally done! here is the “after” photo. We think it looks a lot better, especially in person!
This past weekend Eric and I did something we vowed we will never again do. Mulch our entire yard with hardwood chips in one day. Read how it went here...

Here’s a better overall look at our yard. I really love how the color is very natural but the texture adds a fun element to our yard. Best of all it will match whatever else we decide to do to our yard next.

This past weekend Eric and I did something we vowed we will never again do. Mulch our entire yard with hardwood chips in one day. Read how it went here...

Here’s a closer look at some of the mulch beds in the front yard.

This past weekend Eric and I did something we vowed we will never again do. Mulch our entire yard with hardwood chips in one day. Read how it went here...

This past weekend Eric and I did something we vowed we will never again do. Mulch our entire yard with hardwood chips in one day. Read how it went here...

And that’s it! If you want to see some photos of how the back of the yard turned out, I will post some more photos of our yard over on my Instagram and Facebook channels.  Overall I’m so happy with how this project turned out and am ready to move onto the next one! However I think our next DIY endeavor will be something a bit less physically straining. We need a few days weeks to recover.

So what’s next on the list? Well we are ordering new shutters in “tuxedo gray” to replace the worn evergreen ones we have now. We also want to paint the front door a rich, glossy black and get a new handle for the front door. We also want to replace the storm door with something a little more modern like this black storm door from Lowes.  We also have to repaint the front porch railing, but we will have to wait until it cools down a bit for that. A word to the wise – paint does not dry during a humid, Wisconsin summer.

So tell me – what do you think of the finished look so far? And what big projects do you have on your own DIY list? Let me know in the comment below!

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  • http://justmurrayed.com/ Elyse Murray

    Looks great! Definitely worth all the pain!

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com/ Lindsay Ropella

      Thanks Elyse! LOL I think I will think that too in a few days, my body just needs a bit to recover ;)

  • http://www.gracemakesnew.blogspot.com Julia Strong

    That looks awesome! I love the idea of the grey shutters and back door, sounds like it will look so good!

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com/ Lindsay Ropella

      Thank you! Yes, I am SO excited to do the door and the shutters! Hopefully only a few more weeks!