Summer is almost over. My family and I have been soaking up the last bits of summer and spending more time outdoors. We recently hosted a party for some friends and right before my husband and I spent some time cleaning up our backyard space.


We didn’t have a lot of time, or money for the project, so I started making a mental list of all the things that I want to improve on for next year. There is so much! My true dream is to run into the team from Yard Crashers in my local home improvement store and have them come over. 🙂 And when they do, I will know exactly what I want!

Here is a list of the major things that need to be done in my yard to make more comfortable.

Install a Fence

When my home was built in 2006 the builder put up a lovely PVC fence across the back of all of the yards. The problem is that he left it up to us to close in our own yards. In all the years that I have been here only one house has done that. Why? The cost. Our yards are quite large. We were quoted thousands of dollars for closing in our yards. Hopefully one of these days soon we can get that done. I really want the privacy. I am friendly with a couple of neighbors and don’t mind having an open yard with them. However it constantly creeps me out knowing that my yard is so open to strangers.

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Redesign the Patio

About 2 years ago we built a patio next to the deck. I used some awesome patio stones that I picked up at a bargain from a local nursery. The problem is that the ground was not in optimal condition. We were doing it in a hurry and we did not take the time to do all of the digging, leveling, etc. that we should have. And the landscaping fabric that we put in place to keep out weeds is not working all that great. Does that stuff ever really work right? My dream is to get a proper nice patio done with patio bricks or concrete.

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Refurbish the Deck

My deck is now 8 years old. If I knew then what I know now from endless hours of watching HGTV it might be in better shape. The deck builders built it with nails. Some of them have loosened so there are a few deck boards that need to be replaced due to warping. Once those are replaced it needs a good staining and sealing.


Upgrade the Lighting & Electrical

There is only one socket and one outlet on the back of my home. And… the outlet stopped working a couple of years ago. So obviously the outlet needs to be replaced. And, I think that I would like to replace the light to something larger that allows the use of a bright LED bulb like the Cree PAR38. The current regular 60 watt bulb is just not cutting it. A brighter bulb would allow more light to cover the deck and the patio. And of course LED bulbs save money.

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The Cree® LED PAR38 lamp delivers 1500 lumens of warm 2700K and bright 3000K light. And since it is an LED bulb it offers up to 80% energy savings over a traditional bulb.

Bring the Lawn Back to Life

Sigh… this is the biggest problem. I am convinced that my home was built on the worst patch of land on this block. The lawn was started from sod, and it started out OK.


We watered it and took care of it as best we could with 4 small children. However since then we have battled weeds and more weeds.

And that’s not all. We have had to kill trees that have started growing up under the deck. We recently cut down quite a big tree that was growing in the window well on the side of the house. You name it, we’ve battled it. I think that the ground and soil were not prepared correctly at all before they laid down our sod. There are hard spots, clay spots, and just general bad soil. I have tried weed killer. I have tried fertilizer. We recently thatched the front of the lawn and reseeded. But guess what?? MORE WEEDS POPPED UP!! Bad seed? I don’t know. The front lawn was not horrible, now it looks worse than it ever has. Gah!

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I am going to have to give in and pay one of the pro services to start taking care of my grass. I was hoping that we could get a handle on it ourselves, but nothing is working. I get depressed each day when I walk outside and look at how my grass looks compared to the neighbor’s grass. All we can really do it keep cutting it for now so that it doesn’t look as obvious.

Build a Garden Box

I’ve had a container herb garden for a couple of years. It has been moved from my living room windowsill to my deck and will soon be moved back. I love the convenience of having fresh herbs throughout the winter.

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However I am ready to expand my gardening horizons. I want a garden box where I can plant tomatoes, spinach, peppers, Zucchini, and a few other things.

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Once these things are done I think I will be a lot happier with my yard. We don’t spend enough time out there now, but with a few tweaks it will be perfect.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cree. All opinions are my own.