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Outdoor Progress: Siding and Gardens

Thrifty Décor Chick is having an “Outdoor Spaces” party, so I thought it’d be a good time to share what we’ve got going on outside.
It’s DEFINITELY a work in progress.  Since we moved here 4 years ago, we’ve had to dig up the yard north of the house (septic tank), regrade the yard west of the house, and dig up the southwest corner to run rural water to the house. 
And because we’re still working on the siding, we haven’t paid any attention to the lawn…siding (and heavy equipment) first and then lawn.
So that was a long way of saying “ignore my sad grass, okay?”
Also, because of the unfinished siding, I can’t landscape around the house, either.  So I’ve worked on a couple of small flower beds.  They’re not looking great, but consider these “before” pictures because my friend, Nicole, from Red Granite Farm is coming out to tell me what to do later today!
Construction and unfinished-ness doesn’t keep us from enjoying the yard, though…my favorite space is this little shade garden. It’s ALWAYS in the shade, and I can sit and watch the kids play from the bench.  Right now, it’s also serving to shelter a bunch of bargain plants I couldn’t pass up.  When Nicole comes today, I’m hoping she can help me decide where to put them.
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Here’s a wider shot showing that big sycamore tree – it’s ginormous and we love it!
This little entryway is going to ripped off and rebuilt.  It’s really too small, dark and dreary to be very functional right now.
Then, of course, we’ve got the front porch.  We use this door a lot to let the dog in and out, and the boys and I use it when we’re going out to play. The trunk holds small outdoor toys, and there are usually about 10 riding toys scattered around the front yard.   But honestly, the porch is on the south side of the house and is generally pretty sunny (although not in this picture, obviously!) so we don’t use it too much.  I’d rather sit under the tree in the shade.
The siding: Here you can see some of the new siding.  That is the primed color and we haven’t decided what color to paint yet.  The window trim isn’t done on that side…
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…but this is kind of what it will look like.  I can’t wait!
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We’ve also got a little patio, and honestly, we never use it.  It’s in full sun until late, late in the evening.  But it’s cute (sometimes!)

Slowly, but surely, we’ll make the yard a beautiful, useful space.  My neighbor, Amy, has been helping and now, Nicole is going to give me some advice, too.  The siding will be done this year, so hopefully next year (or even this fall?) we can landscape around the house!

Sharing at Thrifty Décor Chick’s Outdoor Spaces Party