DIY, Our Farmhouse

Back Yard Makeover

Remember our motto?  Little by little.  Yup, that’s it.  Three simple words, but they are the essence of what we are doing at our farmhouse.  As we work with budget, time, energy and life constraints, we work on our home as we are able.  So far, you have seen a lot of before and after’s of the interior.  You may wonder what we are up to on the outside.  Well, up until this year, we’ve kind of kept a blind eye to the exterior.  We’ve done the routine maintenance, but our focus has been inside.

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2017 was declared our year of outside!  It is slow, tedious, and back-breaking at times.  You have probably seen that we are painting the exterior of our home.  Yup, the five of us.  Okay, honestly, it’s really just the two of us.  {And one of us is too chicken to climb too high on ladder, so it’s not quite 50/50.  But whose counting?!}

On the off painting days, we have been working purposefully on taming the jungle around our home.  I thought that I would give you a little update on our back yard, which has been in process of being worked on for the past two years.  We can see a light at the end of the tunnel…and it involves a chainsaw.

Let’s go back to the beginning.  Ahem, the very beginning.  Spring 2015, when we came and toured our home for the very first time.

As you can see, the previous owners loved to garden.  We like gardens.  We really do.  But, it was just too overwhelming.  We have kids who want to run and play in grass.  And I don’t want to spend my entire summer weeding flower beds.  Operation: clean up the back yard began our first summer here.  I like rose bushes.  I promise that I do.  But I really like roses that are purchased at the store and brought home to me.  We are guessing that we have  dug up around 50 rose bushes all around the property.  Many of them were years behind in their pruning.  Have you ever removed huge rose bushes?  Ouch.  That is all I have to say about that.

There was also a wood platform with a metal arch-thing over it.  Let’s just say that the wood was rotten and the metal was so rusted that it barely stood up.  It was a hazard and definitely in the way of children running and playing.

There were so many tulip and daffodil bulbs that we dug up from this area and transplanted them to our front yard.  It was completely worth all of the effort!

On the other side of the pool, we had some issues too.  A lot of it was torn up our first month here as we searched for the septic tank.

And then I let the boys have at it with digging and fun in the dirt playing for a year.

This past spring was the year to gain more yard by clearing this area out.

Speaking of the pool.  This happened our first summer here.  It’s a long story, but it boils down to these words: overwhelmed, inexperienced, leaking water, and vacation.

This is our third summer with a pool and we have learned a lot and now open, maintain, and close it all on our own!  Go Team Little by Little Farmhouse!

Beyond all the rose bushes was a crazy overgrown area on the slope below the fence.  This area is still a work in progress and we hope to work a bit more on it this fall.

Here is how it looks today!

And in true Little by Little Farmhouse fashion, we transplanted tons of Black-Eyed Susan plants in the fall.  They were gorgeous on the other side of the blue pool, so we lined the side of the pool with them instead.  Win win!  I can’t wait for them to bloom this summer!

It’s been a lot of work, but as we begin to the see the fruit of our labors, it makes all the work worth it.  All we saw on our first visit here was a ton of work.  But, the vision for how our property could serve us best came in time after living here.  If you are in the stage of being overwhelmed with your property, take a step back.  Look at how it could best be used by your family.  And then roll up your sleeves and get to work.  It won’t all happen in a day and that is fine.  At some point, you will look back to see how far you have come. And in the meantime, you’ll sleep well at night after all that work outside!




  1. Glenda

    WOW! That is/was a big job ahead of you. What an amazing difference you have made! I would love to be a child with all of that room to run and play. It looks like your garend area will be beautiful also.

    1. Leigh

      Thank you for your encouragement, Glenda! It’s been a lot of work, but I feel like we are finally seeing the other side. And I look forward to adding some fun details like seating and a fire pit to enjoy on these beautiful summer evenings.

  2. Bonnie

    Beautiful job & lots of hard work. Looks great.

    1. Leigh

      Thank you, Bonnie! It is coming along, but takes time. Good thing we have time…and kids that are getting bigger and stronger! 😉

  3. Wow! What a big difference! It looks great!

    1. Leigh

      Thanks, Tracy! We are getting there and sometimes I need to look at before and after’s to see that we really have done quite a bit. ♥

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