Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fall (Outdoor) Cleaning

Don't you love this time of year?  When it's warm enough to wear summer clothes but cool enough to forgo air conditioning and open windows instead... it makes me want to spend every spare minute I have outside.  I also get the urge this time of year to do a lot of outdoor cleaning, which means I've been scrubbing siding, cleaning windows, and pulling up weeds in the garden to prepare for fall planting.  

We've really tried to spruce up the exterior of our house the past year... there's always much to do (especially landscaping), but it feels like we've finally made some progress. 

BEFORE (1st week moved in):


Since we bought our place, we needed to make a lot of changes outdoors that were out of necessity, things like moving the driveway, installing attic vents, regrading the yard, and (unfortunately) removing some trees.  This year we did a ton of cleaning, removed shutters and replaced the round aluminum columns with square (here), which definitely improved the look of the house more than anything else.  I tend to think of our home as being a little masculine... I always felt the round columns looked out of place and unproportional. The grass has finally grown in and we even did some planting this year and have plans for some side beds next year.   


Over the weekend I pulled up our summer annuals and planted yellow pansies for fall.


 The girls kept themselves entertained by swinging while I took pictures (smile). 

 It's definitely starting to look and feel a little like fall here. 

Around back, we've pulled up quite a bit of the garden but the marigolds are so lush and pretty.  I never thought of marigolds as smelling good, but right now they have the most wonderful fragrance and their scent carries in the breeze every time I'm out back. 

 The zinnias are still growing strong... almost hard to believe they were once seeds. 

Recently Justus and I also repainted our deck.  We actually had to paint it twice... we thought we were never going to get it done!  The first time I painted half of it, it started pouring (with a supposedly 0% chance of rain) and the paint ran.  When we finally got back to it a couple months later, Justus helped me and after we finished, I heard a noise, turned to Justus and said, "Please don't tell me that was thunder!"  We looked up to the sky and within five minutes, it was pouring!  Justus ran for the shed and pulled out all the tarps we had.  We draped them all over the deck while lamenting our bad luck, but fortunately it didn't do any damage.  Phew!

A pain it was, but we are so glad to have the deck looking nice again.  Now I just need to repaint the picnic table!

(If you're wondering why we are already repainting our deck after painting it just a year and a half ago (here), it's because we mistakenly didn't apply enough of the Deck Restore product... ah, the joys of having to redo a project!)

Recently we bought one of these seed storage cans at Tractor Supply for dog food and loved it so much we bought another for the deck to store odds and ends by the door. 

I love sitting out on the porch in the evening or early morning with Justus and coffee.  Sitting out there that particular evening prompted me to take some of these pictures and share them, despite my reservations of sharing the exterior of our place!

Hope you have a lovely weekend.  


  1. I'm so glad you DID share them. It looks absolutely darling. Your flowers/gardens are lovely and I can tell you have done lots of work to your home. I hate when it rains when I am painting. UGH! Your girls are so cute!!! xo Diana

  2. Yeah, I have to get some outdoor cleaning done as well and after looking at your pictures I´m actually looking forward to it!

    Your porch is really beautiful!


    from the lake house in Austria

  3. Your home is just perfect - I can imagine coming and going and living there - how sweet! And possibly the only thing worse than painting/rain is pouring concrete and rain - as in our pool deck!

  4. Your porch turned out beautiful. You will look back on the memories and have a good laugh at your experiences. You have a lovely home and family.

  5. A fellow zinnia lover here and yours look wonderful!

  6. Love the picture of Justus resting on the swing with at least one foot up. (smiles) You two have worked so hard and it shows. Your place truly speaks "Home Sweet Home". Just beautiful. Happy Fall to you and your family.


  7. What a blessing you have shared with me today.. I love your home and I have to agree, that changes you have made so far look fabulous.. I love the country and its always been my dream to live there.. I am a Ky girl and fall is around the bend... and I always like to take a drive where lots of trees are and watch the leaves fall so peacefully.. Just loved this post today.. Thanks for sharing.. Have a wonderful day..

  8. It's beautiful - Andrea. Just beautiful.

    I just want to come and sit on the porch and gaze on that tree... It is so full of "history", I'm sure. If only porch swings and trees could talk. I'd listen..

  9. lovely place, lovely photo's...happy falling cleaning..Here in Ky it starting to turn.

  10. Love the photos. We use lots of the cans too for birdseed and such.The 2 little windows in the back have to be my favorite! Fall is such a great time of year. I was just looking at my zinnias thinking I better get some more picked as soon they will be gone. It is hard to believe they come up so nice from those tiny seeds. Your girls are so cute! Happy fall! Patty

  11. The exterior of your home is looking SO good! The heftier porch posts especially. And the end of summer flowers are such a treat - and yes, it is miraculous to see what comes from those tiny seeds. I was looking at photos from last spring of teeny, tiny starts in the greenhouse and compared that to the huge plants and flowers that resulted. Love it!

    I finally have had time to read blogs and actually wrote a new post myself :)

  12. The country life is a sweet life isn't it! Love the photos. Your home looks lovely. There is never a dull moment right. Always something to pain, power wash, sweep, plant, dig. . . Everything looks lovely.

  13. So excited to find you! Congrats on your Blue Ribbon award!-new follower-aimee

  14. Enjoyed your post. I love your home and look forward to following your blog.

  15. Congratulations on receiving the blue ribbon award!Your home is beautiful and your front porch is so inviting!

  16. I think you should name your farm. How about "Paradise?" It fits! I love your blog, and your lifestyle is just so very lovely.

  17. Your home looks so elegant. I live on country property in CA and I one thing I know is that property doesn't look this nice without a ton of effort! Yours looks great and that ain't no accident! Thanks for a nice post.

  18. Just one question. Why haven't you painted the brick under the new columns? They would be so pretty white.

    1. I guess I like the thought of keeping the brick in its natural state - and what it would have once been many years ago. :-)

  19. Your house looks so pretty and clean! Great job! I love your porch!


  20. its looking lovely....keeping up a home is a step by step, day by day process. You two make wonder progress!!!

  21. Your home is lovely, inside and out. I know what you mean about outside project though. They seem to take so long, and always seem to have a problem to solve mid-project. Love your photo of the zinnia's (a fav flower of mine). Mine are still growing strong too, love that they stay so pretty for such a long, long time.

  22. Funny how dirty even the outside of a house gets, isn't it? I think it's even worse when you live in the country, too. We get a lot of dirt and spider webs on our house. Your zinnias are gorgeous!

  23. I love the strong farmhouse style of your home. How right you were about the columns, it needed those heavier square ones to ground it. I normally love shutters, but removing them did wonders for balancing out the upper floor with the lower level. It's looking wonderful, and it takes awhile to get all those projects accomplished, great job you guys!

  24. I just found your blog today while reading On Sutton Place. I pass by your house often on my way to and from work! I love your home.

  25. Your home is beautiful! Thanks for all you share!

  26. Awesome. And quite a big house too. Glad you survived the experience, haha! Cleaning the entire house is often tough, especially when you have to get to the yard and outside. It's quite an expanse, if you think about it. So either one sticks it out, or employs other people who do this job.

    Marivel @ Service Master CLR

  27. Thank God for tarps! Haha! That would’ve been really frustrating if you had to paint the deck for a third time.

    I really like that swing you have in your porch. It’s a great place to hang out and read a book while enjoying the nice weather before it turns chilly. And since the area’s practically covered, you can stay there at any time of the day!


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