Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Keeping It Real

Sooo as it is SLOWLY warming up here in the northern Midwest, I am turning my attention to our yard and garden.

However, as I walked around our house I began to feel a sinking feeling that this yard and house are helpless and hopeless.

Please, take my hand and I will guide you on a tour of the wonders of a home where two people have NO idea how to landscape.

This is our garage door. It has new guts but the shell is still the original that was built with the house about 20 some years ago..
You can see where I attempted to cover the bare spots, hence the two shades of gray.

Come closer....
There is no paint that will cover this.
This door is OLD and broken and chipping, and not the good chipping, the wood is actually peeling from whatever it is that is trying to hold it together.

But wait! Come closer...
See that crack?
Wanna hear a funny story?
Sure you do.....

I made that crack!!
How you ask?
Well, I actually tried to back out of the garage while the door was closed!!!
Yup, while it was closed.
Imagine my surprise when I stopped suddenly!

Wanna hear what else I have backed into?
Sure you do!

A Garden Weasel - remember those, I think I punctured the tire.
A grill - don't ask, I think it was planted there on purpose.
My friend's car - totaled the front end, I am still blaming my 6 year old at the time.
A couple trash cans, some bushes that scratched the car
of course the garage!

Hey, at least I am consistent!! :)

OK, let's continue..
In the front of the house you see that I am making the best of my Christmas window boxes.
Sad, I know.

You can walk up the pathway past the boxes right up to our...

kitchen window!!
Be careful not to roll your ankle on the rocks on the way to front door.
We added on about 5 years ago and have yet to fix the front.
Our front porch needs help.....alot of help.

If you are able to sit on the front porch you look out in our front yard or dirt hole.

Believe it or not I planted grass seed last year in the bare spots.....not really sure where it went.

Ok, lets take a stroll to the backyard.
Please be careful on the railroad ties because they are all rotted out and will give way at any time.

When we moved in there was greenery that covered the bottom under our tree.
Not really sure where that went either.

Same thing on this side of the "stairs".......just gone!!!
We did have a Rose of Sharon in the spot next to the water spout but we had to take that out because it was planted so close to the house that it blocked the dryer vent. We tried just trimming it but it was just not in a good spot.

That is also the sad state of my garden. I was able to get out yesterday and work on it so it looks a little better.

I am completely and utterly stumped when it comes to landscaping. I have a dead thumb and cannot keep anything alive. Our yard has slowly begun to wash away and the trees make it hard to grow grass.
SO, this year I am just cleaning up the garden a bit, maybe plant a couple new things, but I am going to turn my attention to pots and hanging baskets.

If I can't make it pretty, maybe I can cover it up!!

Thank you for coming on this tour with me, hopefully soon I will be able to show you a few pretty things outside as the buds are beginning to come out.

Have a great day!



Val said...

You are so cute....come closer. I think if I were to drive into your drive-way I would never notice the garage because your home is so charming. Hugs

At The Picket Fence said...

Wow! That was some tour! LOL! You just crack me up Michelle and I love that you keep it real. When we moved into our house there was a tree growing through the deck so you are speaking my language! And, I just thought your garage door looked "distressed" which is a term that I think covers a multitude of issues don't you? :-) The thing is, you really do have a lot of lovely space and I know you will be able to transform and beautify it just like you have on the inside of your home!
P.S. My hubby backed out of the garage with the door closed too so don't feel so bad...and don't tell him I told you! LOL!

Anne said...

Michelle, email me! I've got just the thing for you....

Deborah said...

Oh my sweet, you made me giggle this morning! :)
Your home looks lovely..love the colour of it and accented with the widow surrounds!
It must be lovely in the country like that!
I hear you though...Im not a landscaper either and my hubby is usually too busy running his own business to have lots of time for lawn care..so if the lawn gets mowed, Im happy! :)
Im planning to go with the hanging baskets too..because of reasons we both well know (dogs lol). Or maybe try putting planters on a stool or something else which wont be at pee-level..no I dont mean sea-level; you heard right..pee-level..lol
Ive got lots of plans for the outside,
but whether they will all happen or not is the question! lol
Not expensive things, just garage-sale finds made into creative stuff :)
But I also know how you create so beautifully
and give everything you touch the "awe" factor!
Thanks for the tour...I can just see myself there with you.. at your door, with two chais in hand xo
Love you!!!

Deborah xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Deborah said...

oops my sweetie...I said widow surrounds..I meant "window" surrounds xo
Must have been because of your last post! lol

Deborah xoxo

Unknown said...

Yay for being real!!

I really really want to get my hands on your yard!! I know you feel it looks a bit unloved, but it has loads of potential!

It looks dry - I would go for gravel planting with lots of Mediterranean plants that don't mind being baked in the open spaces. Dry shade under trees is more of a challenge, but there are plants that would work. You would need a ton of compost! Wish I lived closer! Look forward to seeing what you do, and your container cover-up, I mean, planting!;)

Sandy said...

I laughed through your post...especially about your "dead" thumb! I think I have that too. I tried and tried to do the front of our house...trimming, taking shrubs out...planting flowers. It didn't work...everything kept growing and growing until it was a jungle. We finally had all of the it pulled out last fall and this year we had new paver sidewalks put in, enlarged our front door slab and planted small shrubs and it look better now. The backyard we are still working on but we have finally bit the bullet and have hired a landscaper to do the work.

Don't feel bad about backing your car into the garage door. I too have backed into things - the worst one was one of those concrete based lamp posts in the grocery store parking lot. I backed our car right up on to it (the lamp post was missing) and it dented our gas tank in. I had to walk across a busy four lane road to a gas station to get someone to come over and get the car off it. I bet they had a great day laughing about that crazy woman.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

I give you points because you can at least park inside your garage. I can not. But I did hit our garbage can backing out of the driveway! Our grass slowly disappeared too. When hubby gets back we get back to sodding! I can't even control the weeds! I will say that adding mulch does seem to give the illusion of a sort of landscaped yard. I bought some flowers last night, I should plant them huh?

Low Tide High Style said...

Sorry I haven't emailed you back...more house stuff, but I had to stop by and say that you gave me a good giggle, and I really need that right now! Our last house had lots of trees and all we could grow was moss! We blamed the lack of sun on our bad lawn, but now we are in the middle of a field and all we have are weeds! At least when you keep weeds trimmed they "look" like nice green grass! And our garage door is bowed where the previous owners tried to back out when the door was shut...see, you aren't the only one!

Kat :)

Rachel Noelle Pallas said...

lol you are too cute!!;)
Hope you are having a great week my friend~Hugs,Rachel

French Farmhouse 425

Brandi said...

Oh Michelle, this post cracked me up. Not because of the state of your yard, but your humor! You are hilarious! I'm sure your yard will start to brighten up once the weather in your area stays above 60 degrees! LOL!!!

Seawashed said...

You are funny. Yardwork/gardening is alOt of work. It also cost money! and is always a bummer when most of what you plant dies. We've planted so many trees, flowers, veggies that just die. Ugh...makes me mad everytime. You definetly would be happier if you could pour some concrete for a front porch patio. You may enjoy building a raised bed somewhere to plant something in. If you can find some scrap wood planks to nail or skrew together, toss in some garden dirt, sew a pkg. of wildflower seeds, water and watch grow. If you want some food...tomatoes are by far the easiest to grow. Plant a tomato or cherry tomato with a few sunflower seeds, water, and watch grow. When we lived in a townhouse in MO. near a forest and creek(looked similar to your surroundings), my hubby built a small raised bed for me to plant sunflowers and wildflowers in and Oh how happy it made me. We were rented so we couldn't do anything else to the yard. Just begin with something small...you can always add to it each year.

Helen said...

:) I think it looks cosy.

Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

That was a funny story! I have a black thumb as well. Perhaps you can add some sand or sea shells to cover things up a bit:)

Anonymous said...

You are going to think I'm weird, but I like the garage door. It looks coastal and sea salt worn, Yeah... seriously, I like it. Are you laughing? I'm laughing at you...ahem with you. Our backyard has patches where grass won't grow, too. Think there are too many trees and too many dogs :) Hubby is in the (slow) process of making a dog run. I bet you will make it beautiful! Hope the sun is shining for you today, girlie! Loved this post. Just what I needed today!

Passionate for White said...

Great post!

Jessie Saxton said...

Thank you for your kind words last evening. I was having such a bad day. It really helps to write it down. And to have support:)

Your story about backing into EVERYTHING made me smile. I do the same thing! Bikes, rakes, garbage cans...you name it, I smash it. My husband gets so frustrated with me!!


Your yard is hilarious. I swear we have so much in common! There is absolutely NOTHING in our yard. One tree. The other one, a red maple, died two years ago, and my hubby just chopped it down this past weekend, because Lily's kite got caught in the branches.

Thank you for brightening my day:)

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

Ok, my friend, ready for the good parts? Sure you are!

-You're car can go IN the garage (major points right there!)
-Garage door is "Distressed". Pretend you it came from a chippy cottage somewhere by the ocean.
-The window boxes are already there so might as well throw in some dirty and little potted plants.
-If your ankle rolls on the rocks, you have some fun beachy chairs to sit and cry on. 3 of them! So technically, 3 people can twist their ankles and the beachy chairs will comfort them.
-You have some green in the yard. You live in Michigan for gosh sakes! That's like almost Alaska! You're lucky to have any green at all!
-The railroad ties add character.
-Beat of all, the outside condition of your home is not a reflection of the wonderful people INSIDe the home. ;)

beachcomber said...

glad it's warming up for you..it's cold here : ( i like the weatherboard on the outside of your house. happy gardening!
cheryl x

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

I like Yanet's comment a lot. I have dead spots that occur ever year in my backayard. I have planted seed once again and have my fingers crossed it will grow and then last, but it probably won't. YOu make things look so great and I know you will love your outside as much as your inside eventually. You have a magic touchhawill over ride that dead theumb of yours.

erin's art and gardens said...

too funny. do you have a drivers license? don't let your garden overwhelm you...start small and focus on an area that really bugs you (like the front porch or a view that you see out of a window everyday). once you see the results and feel good about it, you can move on (or not). gardening is not for everybody. i'll be right over for a consult. ha ha


kidding about the drivers license........

Kelle Dame said...

Ohhhh...I needed this laugh! Don't feel bad my dear...my house is just as bad!!! I haven't run into my own garage door yet, but it's merely a matter of time.
I know this might sound insanely expensive, but if you really have no clue what to do with your yard, it might pay to have a landscaper come up with a plan. You could then implement the plan yourself in phases over the years as money and time allow. Having a plan makes everything so much easier and saves so much time and money. Just a suggestion :) Hope you're having a great week!

Cassie Bustamante said...

i love how real you are keeping it!!! i am horrible with exteriors... and i hate doing it. so i totally feel ya! and i ran into my washing machine with my car in the garage of our old house, for what it's worth. i killed it and we had to buy a new one!

Joyce - Quilted Nest said...

Ha - this post made me smile! I've backed into plenty of stuff too with 'war scars' to prove it. You're not alone. Whatever you think you lack in landscaping skills - you more than make up for in your interior DIY skills! So hey - pat yourself on the back!! Baskets and containers sound like a plan. Bark mulch and wood chips or playground chips do alot for improving landscaping as well. Have fun!

Restoration House said...

Oh my, this was a very humorous post! Lol. The problem with gardening is it's a lot of work and can get expensive. I agree with some of the other comments, focus on one area at a time and then move on. You will have a feeling of accomplishment and have the energy/drive to tackle the rest. I also think your ideas of baskets and pots are right on. Look on the bright side, you have all that lovely land and trees!

Pam Kessler said...

Are you still allowed to park in the garage? I knocked my husband's very heavy motorcycle over one day and scratched the heck out of my bumper. Had to get the neighbor to help me get the bike back up. Thought my husband would never know, but the neighbor squeeled on me. Just think of all the cool before and after projects you can highlight on your blog!

Leo said...

That sounds like something I would totally do. Try to back out without th door open!! Haha. I am always distracted and not paying attention. OK - look on the bright side of your yard...you have lots of land to work with!! That is a huge piece of property your house is on. Lucky you!! I look forward to seeing what you pull together.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hey Michelle..
Just let me move away from behind you before I start commenting.. don't want any nasty accidents.. hahaha

You know I love the grey colour of your house!! love it... it's the colour I would have.. that is .. if I had a house!! hahaha.. My brother used to be a landscape gardener. perhaps I can send him your way for a vacation.. working vacation..!!!

Ok... have a lovely week.. love all that space you have outside!! wonderful.. ciao ciao xxx Julie

Amy@HomeRemediesRX said...

I feel your pain with the ugly yard thing. I think you're on the right track with the hanging pots and planters. Flowers make everything better!

Kirsty Girl said...

I love that it's all cracked up! It looks rustic and beautiful! hehe.

Tonya @ Love of Family And Home said...

LOL!! Girl..I was laughing through this entire post! Your humor is cracking me up! I know you saw the pics of the exterior of my home last summer...the flowers in my flower beds were Vincas. I plant them every year...they are seriously LOW MAINTENANCE!! The ones I plant in the ground I NEVER EVEN WATER!! If you plant them in pots, you will have to water though. Just a tip, may wanna give them a try!

Amy Kinser said...

I bet there is some wonderfully talented blogger out there who would love to share some landscape design plans with you if you will share some interior decor plans with them. Barter, girl, barter. For real, you have mad decorating skills so I think anyone would love your advice.

You are a funny lady...thanks for making us smile!

NanaDiana said...

Okay- So I needed a good belly laugh today. I LOVE it when people are real here! I mean REAL!! You have such a wonderful interior that you would expect the outside would be just as great! NOT SO! :>) You will eventually coome into your own...and find your way...just apply the same talents and traits you use inside to the outside. Make "rooms" with blooms!

I do have ONE tip for you- just a tiny bit of advice. Don't sit on those chairs on your stoop before unstacking them...okay-I am leaving now before you put your dead thumb on me! xoo Diana

Deb said...

You are too funny Michelle! Your house looks super cute and really that's all that matters! I am so not good with the yard stuff either...guess I better get to work too! ~Deb~

Desire Empire said...

Woo Hoo a gardener after my own heart.
Lookikng forward to seeing your baskets and pots
Best Carolyn

the fishermans cottage said...

Well I like it, there is a lot of potential there, a good tip is to look at neighbours plants and if the plant is doing well there it will in your garden too, also maybe some trees to create height and echo the wonderful backdrop you have. You could also add corylines they don't need any attention :) x

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh dearest, I had to chuckle....your tour was absolutely adorable...and it made me think of something I did recently. You backed up with the garage door closed? Well, the other day I was getting ready to go to work. I put on my clothes, put on my WINTER COAT, got my lunch and went out the door into the garage, got in the car. As I straddled to jump into my Honda Element (it is a bit high for little old me), I felt a breeze. Hmmmmmm.......I FORGOT MY SKIRT!!!!!! I ALMOST WENT OFF TO SCHOOL WITH NO SKIRT, JUST MY TIGHTS!!!! SOOOOOOO.....you made me laugh. And we need to laugh because this WEATHER is making us sick!!! teeeehhheeee.....EVERY ONE ELSE HAS ALREADY HAD THEIR BLOOMS AND JOYS OF SPRING! AHHHH! Well dearest, we are in this together! KEEP THE FAITH! I shall make a full report tomorrow to let you know if we get more SNOW!

Much love and laughter, Anita

tinajo said...

Haha, you crack me up!! :-D

Well, to comfort you - our garden is not that pretty either. You could say it looks just like yours... Nah, not THAT bad - but it´s at least not pretty..! :-D

(just teasing you,I´ve seen worse - I think... Oh, there I go teasing you AGAIN, what´s the matter with me, haha!)


High Street Cottage said...

I think landscaping is a bit like cooking, in order to be good at it , you have to enjoy it. I'm not one to garden at all. I think there are sites you can look into that you can sort of map out your yard filling it in with virtual flowers. I am not one for advice on the matter but my first thought is color, what color do you want to come home to? Then pop over to Lowes or Home Depot one Saturday and fill your trunk;) Your home is very pretty Michelle, just so you know. xxx

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

My yard need ALOT of work!
We are gone most of the summer so we just make sure the grass is pretty green and our bushes are trimmed. I am sure your grounds will be looking beautiful in no time!!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Hi Michelle,

I LOVED this post. You made me smile lots. Thank you!!!

Your poor car!!! That's so funny! Although, it probably wasn't funny for you at the time, I imagine. :-(

Your front garden is such a great size. Really gorgeous. I look forward to seeing what you do!!


Cynthia@Beach Coast Style said...

oh my how funny! I think we all have had a love hate relationship with our garage doors. I almost allowed the thing to close down on my suv just a couple of months ago not paying attention. So I feel ya!

Seaside Style said...

Oh God girl! You had me laughing out loud, you are so funny! It will all work out!

Shellbelle said...

Have I ever told you I ADORE you?! I'm still laughing as I write this comment. Everyone always shows all the gorgeous things around their homes and it is so wonderful to see that all those who live in Blogland are NOT perfect, lol. We need more of this type of post!

I was so tired of fighting the weeds in our yard that I tried to convince my sister that we should just do pathways and little patios everywhere, so that NO blade of grass or weed could come through. Since then, we've moved, but when I go back to the east coast of Florida I know one thing I no longer want — GRASS!

If I'm ever in Michigan remind me not to park anywhere close to you!


René said...

Ha! You were probably late for a basketball game when you backed into the garage. Glad to know that I am not the only with bare spots in the yard. Enjoy your warmer days.

Anonymous said...

I am so with you about landscaping....I don't think my brain was made to think about it....It feels completely stuck on zero....nothing.

Your post made me laugh because I can relate so much!

michele said...

omg, michelle. i am grateful you introduced me to the technical name for what i too have: A DEAD THUMB. really. my husband and i both suck. but we just go for it.

some of the stuff our landscaper planted wasn't even the right choice. there's a lot of hit or miss. so rather than go for perfection, i say get it good enough. i mean you don't want the neighborhood envious--who needs that?

i loved this post!


Completely Coastal said...

Lucky me, my husb is the gardener. We do have bare spots too and can't figure out why. My take on that..., it won't look so bad when the grass is kept short and if lawn is not watered in the summer, then ALL the grass will be brown and it'll look consistent and harmonious, haha. Trying to back out of a garage with door closed could totally happen to me!

Anonymous said...

Michelle, this post cracked me up so much, that I had tears in my eyes! I went for the kleenex! I read it to my husband, laughing as I went. And then he started laughing.

Now, for the positives. You have window boxes! I want window boxes! You have a cracked, pealing garage door! I want a garage! And, I will repeat what several others have said, thanks for keeping it real! When I see on some people's blogs, these "perfect" homes, I have wondered how the heck they "have it all together" with young children around, and a "life". Your blog post has truly been a blessing to me. Thank you!

koralee said...

You are so cute...I love your yard..it looks so big and backs onto the woods?

You should see our garage door..a few nicks and cracks as well...due to me.

Thanks for sharing my friend. xoxoxoo hugs

Tricia said...

You are so funny Michelle! Your car sounds like it's been through a lot...sorry :) I have to say that your grass is an absolute dream in comparision to what I have cooking. We have a serious mole and vole problem so the grass is all ripped up and rutted...it looks terrible. If I were you I would just focus on one little area at a time and before you know it the outside of your house will be as gorgeous as the inside.

hugs ♥ tricia

Jenni said...

Michelle, this is one of your best posts ever! You had me cracking up the whole time, and it was not because of your yard. You have the best sense of humor ever, and I loved reading this! Partly also because it is so real!

Do you want to know something? My yard and garden look very similar to yours. (For some reason, the great outdoors kind of stumps me.) Your house is the prettiest shade of gray! I love that color! I have been trying to talk David into replacing the blue we have now with gray...will have to show him your gray!

And by the way, once I came this close to backing up into our closed garage door, but David and our son yelled out in time and stopped me! :)

I hope you have a beautiful Thursday, my friend!


Gypsea Nurse said...

Ok you.. you made me laugh....now go to my blog..because you made me cry too..
Good tears!
Thank you!

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Okay now this post was just too funny...just what I needed today. Your garage story had me laughing like crazy...just be thankful that you have a garage...I don't:( We have also lost lots of grass in our backyard...it's always something.


Donnie said...

A home is always a work in progress and draining the budget. I just go in through another door...lol....Nice meeting you from Gypsea Nurse. Your yard can stay that way because you are a sweet person and I'm glad to know you.

rjerdee said...

Your garden may be in disarray but your generous heart certainly isn't! You've been such a great comfort to Cricket over at Gypsea Nurse...

Valerie@chateaualamode.typepad.com said...

You are so funny showing us all the little imperfections. I totally get it though wanting to spruce things up. I can't even make myself look at all I need to do in our yards. It's way too depressing. I agree thaough a few new plants will make things sparkle this spring. Remember to enjoy the process.

Amanda@RelovedRubbish said...

Michelle, your house is charming! I love the gray with the white shutters. I know that landscaping can feel really overwhelming. Just try to do a little bit at a time. I am sure you will make it look beautiful!


Heaven's Walk said...

1. I feel so sorry for your yard.
2. I feel so sorry for your garage door (and grill...and garden weasel...and cans....and....)
3. I feel so sorry for YOU.
4. I want to get my hands on your yard.
5. You need help.
6. ALOT of help.
7. You need MY help.
8. I'LL drive.

xoxo laurie

SLR said...

omigosh! this cracked me up...up backing into everything!! it's funny as long as no one gets hurt, right? LOL.
i have no clue about landscaping either, and my yard is pretty much a mess. the only thing i'll be able to do this spring is plant some potted flowers. i think next year, we'll have a professional tackle it...at least i hope we will!
Happy Mother's Day to you!!!
Hugs :)

SLR said...

i meant to write...
you backing into everything

Cathy M~(checkitoff) said...

Michelle, you already have a ton of comments on here but I just want to say that I have a lot of similar issues. Many outside areas of my home need paint! The first thing you should do is make a list. Then I would have a landscape company (or 2) come & give you ideas and quotes. Perhaps you & hubby can do some of the work and then hire the stuff that is outside your capabilities. Some of the lawn areas look like they need topsoil and seed and then babied and watered till they grow. You will do great, given all of your awesome indoor projects!! hugs, Cathy {soon it will be SUP time, hang in there!!}

Pamela said...

Too funny Michelle! We did all of our yard work back before it got hot. Up 90s already. Hello summer time!

Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

This one was soooo funny! I actually saw it the other day and meant to come back and comment :) I'm not sure that I've ever heard of someone "loosing" parts of their yard before!!

Thanks for sharing some real life with us all...


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