Backyard Oasis Update

Well, my backyard might actually look worse now, in October, than it did when I last updated in July.

I am slowly finishing the long job of painting the exterior siding and trim and all that’s left are the really horrible bits like the roof eaves, the rake and the very tip top of the back paneling which required the purchase of a new 22′ ladder. So the #1 goal is to FINISH PAINTING THE HOUSE!

I believe I can get it done with one really good day of weather (not 100 degrees, no crazy winds) and the courage to get back up on the ladder. I should also have enough paint to finish the project which is, in itself, a minor miracle.

But other than the house, the rest of the yard is looking terrible. Dead lawn, dying flowers, lots of crap lying around, and a ton of projects I want to finish before my excuse is that it’s too cold to work outdoors.

Here’s my October-Get-Ready-For-Winter List to complete: 

Outdoor equipment

  • Finish building a cart for the table saw, cover it with a tarp for winter
  • Empty out the compost bin, put the lid on for winter
  • Move string trimmer, power washer and rototiller to the garage for winter
  • Wash the gas grill and then store for winter
  • Power-wash the outdoor chairs (6), swinging bench and side tables (4)
  • Spray paint the plastic adirondack chairs

Garden Beds

  • Add landscape fabric and new mulch to the flower beds in the backyard
  • Cut back the roses and remove 1 from the backyard
  • Take apart the narrow flower boxes and reassemble them for the corner.

Backyard landscape

  • Take out the corner patio and level the dirt
  • Remove the sprinkler system from the backyard
  • Begin digging down and leveling for new pathways and patios

Front yard clean up

  • Continue to pull weeds and level out the front yard
  • Add landscape fabric to the flower bed and new mulch
  • Cut back roses and mint
  • Cut back volunteer maple trees

Potting Bench

I’ve also been working on my potting bench and I’m just about finished for now. I used some dark walnut stain to even out the weathered wood and then stained some wood for the shelf I’ve wanted to build since creating this bench years ago. I couldn’t install it until the kitchen’s garden window was taken out so now is the time!

  • Add Thompson’s water seal to the potting bench
  • Install the shelf and cross supports
  • Screw in the hooks

Then there’s just a lot of crap to deal with…


  • Donate the dog crate
  • Hang the old garden window in the yard
  • Install old gutters on the fence with flowers
  • Take old old gutters to the dump for recycling
  • Stack up bricks to use in new projects
  • Sweep out all the cobwebs
  • Install new solar lights in the front yard
  • Install hanging lights on the side yard
  • Install lights along the fence
  • Clean my garden tools for winter
  • Move empty flower pots to the front yard bench/storage for winter
  • Store leftover mulch and potting soil for spring
  • Plant bulbs for the spring
  • Deal with the lattices for the raised garden beds