Patio Container Garden

Patio Container Garden

IMAG0544Since we are in the last week of May, I figured I better get my butt outside and start working on our gardens. We got married last year and sodded over our veggie gardens, and since I am much too busy this year to “unsod” them as planned, I just brought out every container I could find and filled it with dirt and plants 🙂

IMAG0543This is a very rare instance that I chose money over time! Now that I think about it, paying for dirt when you have perfectly fine stuff in the ground is sort of silly, but it only took two hours or so, I did not have to rototille, edge, add compost, etc and it looks so cute!!

IMAG0539I cannot wait until it all grows tall and beautiful (hopfully). This is a major learning curve for me as I have never had all that much luck with container plants, mainly because I forget to water them. Here is hoping I get into a schedule! I planted the following:

  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Glamour Tomatoes
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Sweet Yellow Peppers
  • Jalepeno Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Zuccini
  • Beans
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Chives

IMAG0538I will try and make an updated post in a couple weeks to see if they are still alive!!



The White Front Porch

The White Front Porch

Our house in very tall, with only a couple of windows and a lot of white siding. I am a big fan of white. It is so clean, fresh and pleasant to look at. But when it is paired with the wrong colours, it seems to loose its magical powers.

Our front porch was brown, and teamed up with a red foundation below the big white house. Last year I contemplated painting everything white, but was scared it would be too much. But day after day it drove me crazy. I even drove around town looking for white houses with white porches to give me piece of mind.

This was our home last year.


This year, as soon as the weather let us outside (which was much later then normal) I went to the hardware store and bought a bunch of white paint. I was going to do it this year! It was only paint. If I didn’t like it, I could always go back!! I started painting everything 🙂 Here is the initial before and after.


Ok, so it was white…..really WHITE!!


I need to start to break it up with some colour. Flowers, plants and shutters! Shutters is the answer! But first, I needed to get the front porch usable for when company comes over.

I wanted to bring in a vibrant colour, and found a teal carpet that was perfect to cut in half and put on the porch! I love this colour! Maybe teal shutters…..maybe not. The carpets matched our cushions and looked great with the white furniture.

Porch 2

porch 3

So in the end, I LOVE the white front porch and am glad that I took the chance. I still have lots of plants and flowers to put out, but I think I am going to be spending a lot of time here.

Our next DIY project will be those shutters! The big white house needs something on the top to break it up 🙂

porch 4


Recycled Picket Fence

Recycled Picket Fence

A couple of years ago we picked up this old picket fence for a project.
Well, that project got lost along the way, and the picket fence got buried under a bunch of other project materials.

This long weekend, we started to clean out the materials to make room for our upcoming wedding in August, and we found the picket fence. It was begging to be put to use.

We needed to fence in the back yard anyways, and the rustic feel that this picket fence had was perfect!!

Old fence became new again 🙂 We used all recycled material. The entire project cost only $60.00 because we had to buy fence spikes to drive into the ground.

This is what the picket fence looked like when we dragged it out.

The heights were all different. The pickets needed to be cut. We decided on 40″ high fence. We used a chalk line to measure 40″ and cut the pickets while they were on the frame.

Fence 2

As per the blog name, Money or Time, here comes the time part! Taking all of the screws and nails out. That took the most time and gave me a blister the size of a dime. I decided not to take a picture of the blister because…..well….it is just gross.

Fence 4

In order to keep things straight, we used a piece of rope across the lawn. We just followed the rope with the frame to make sure that we didn’t accidentally sway into the neighbours yard.

Fence 5

The frame was built completely out of the recycled material we had taking up room on our property. Not only did we get a fence, but we also cleaned out the garage a little 🙂

Fence 3

It was amazing what a coat of white paint did to our recycled picket fence. It is perfect!! I cannot wait to finish it and plant a garden along it!

Using recycled material is great for the environment, the pocket book and your yard! Although it may have taken a little extra sweat and a couple blisters, it still only cost us $60.00…..and it looks great!

Fence 6

DIY Reclaimed Deck

DIY Reclaimed Deck

Last week we decided to take out the 50-year-old cracked patio in the back yard. That experience was a story within itself with four hundred pound pieces of concrete, blowing tires on the highway and a case of poison ivy. Read about it Here.


With a pile of concrete left over at the bottom of the stairway, it was hard for the dogs to get into the backyard to “do their business” so we had to come up with a plan ASAP. I have been wanting a deck in the backyard for a long time, so we started pricing it out. Well, to be honest, it just wasn’t in the budget. So I started looking around and found a bunch of reclaimed deck boards that someone was just looking to get rid of…..for free!! So we got in the van and went for a 15 minute drive to pick it up. There was a lot of it 🙂

Jack driving

We managed to get most of the long pieces in the van by piling them between the seats. Not sure if this is legal, but it was very uncomfortable and made for an awkward drive home.

While the lumber was in the van, Jack tried to close the back door and…..well……

Broken window

Any project of ours has to include something breaking, so we now have two nice spider web cracks in our windshield that we have to get fixed this week. I am assuming this happened because we got the deck for free….and the world though “wait….they really should have to pay something for this deck” So now we have to buy a new windshield. Que Sera Sera.

Since we decided to leave some of the rubble under the deck to help with drainage and discourage weeds from growing up, we ran the eaves down under the deck into the stones.


Almost time for cocktails on the new deck! Just have to finish laying the planks, put up the railings and paint!


Almost June and still no garden

Almost June and still no garden

Am I the only one who doesn’t have their veggie garden in yet?

I feel like we have a million projects on the go and none of them are anywhere near complete. Total time hogs.

  1. Build back deck
  2. Finish laying sod and mulch along the driveway
  3. Finish basement apartment kitchen
  4. Finish basement apartment bathroom
  5. Complete makeover our own kitchen
  6. So many more, I just can’t bare to think about them.

With all of there things to work on, I STILL have not got my veggie garden in. This is a major stress factor for me since the longer I wait, the longer it is until I have fresh veggies. When I look at the picture below, I just get this warm, tingly feeling (this is right after I planted my garden last year). I am hoping this will be the weekend I can exchange my painting pants for my gardening pants, even if it is only for an hour to get the plants in the ground.

Come on already....grow faster!
Come on already….grow faster!
Taking out a Concrete Patio

Taking out a Concrete Patio

Since we had already rented the jackhammer for the weekend to fix the moat, we decided to get our moneys worth and finally get rid of this….

Cracked Patio
Old concrete patio in the backyard

We also decided to get rid of this….

Old concrete walkway to garage door and herb garden

The patio had cracked in so many areas and was not big enough to put a table or chairs on since half of the patio was the bottom of the stairs.  In order to build the patio that we want to entertain and have outdoor dinners, we needed to break up the concrete in order to dig posts for the new wood deck!!! YEAH, an actual outdoor sitting area!!

So we got breaking up the concrete (and when I say “we”, I really mean Jack. I did carry about a million pounds of concrete, but I could not handle that jackhammer!) The first section came out like butter (does that sentence make sense?) with the concrete only 6 inches thick. It was looking like we were going to have this project done by noon! WHOO HOO!!

Start jackhammering
First section comes out like “butter”

At this point the trailer was full with the first section as well as the concrete from the “moat” so we decided to kill two birds with one stone (for the lack of a better term…..have you ever thought of how cruel that saying is?) we decided to bring the concrete to our music studio to start filling in the back lot which was really, really low.  When we got to the studio, we found some major weed growth in the back, so we had to chop all of that down first.

Now that is long grass!

Now on a side note, take a look at the picture above and see the vine climbing up the fence on the left…I really liked it. I asked Jack if we could take some of it home to grow up the garage, he said “why would we do that? It’s poison ivy.”

It was in my hand when he said that…..I am now COVERED in poison ivy bumps 😦 I won’t post any of those pictures because, well, they are just gross.

So we slowly emptied the concrete gravel by buckets to the back of the building to slowly build up the area. Saved money on the dump fees, saved money on extra fill when we landscape the back of the studio!

Dumping the concrete to building up the ground
Dumping the concrete to build up the ground

Once we got back to finish up the concrete that was coming out like butter, we realized that the rest of the concrete was over 2 feet thick. Can you believe that…..TWO FEET! Poor Jack got a work out of his life getting that concrete to break up. Devon was kind enough to come by and help lift some of those monsters into the trailer. After a couple hours, Ta Hah!

Two strong men!
Two strong men!

We arrange the small pieced along the bottom of the “pit” for drainage under the new wood deck that we will be putting up soon! It will also help stop weeds from popping up through the cracks….and it saves on dump fees 🙂

Broken down concrete patio
Broken down concrete patio

Now what to do with all of these GIANT pieces of concrete? To the dump of course!

Poor old trailer
Poor old trailer. Brought two of these loads to the dump in one day.

The first trip went well. The dump is only 7 or 8 minutes away, but it is down a highway and I was really worried about that old trailer. But we made it.

Now the second trip was another story. I will just let the pictures tell the story here….

Tire Explosion

Fixing the tire


We are sooooo very lucky that the tire didn’t explode and take us off the road. Just the outside layer came off. Jack ran home, got a spare tire and changed it on the side of the road.

Back on the road again….

We made it to the dump safe and sound

So now we have a great “rock garden” at the bottom of our stairs which will soon be transformed into a beautiful entertaining deck.

I can already picture the deck!
I can already picture the deck!

In conclusion:

Jackhammer rental = $56

Dump fees = $22

Blown tire, poison ivy and sore back muscles = priceless!

To be continued…..

Concrete Path into grass and garden

Concrete Path into grass and garden

About three years ago, we dug out the concrete sidewalk between the house and the driveway because it was poured a million years ago and was cracking and shifting everywhere….just not a very safe place to walk! After the sidewalk was out, we just left it. Not sure if we didn’t have the time, or didn’t have the money to fix it. Something tells me we just didn’t have the motivation.

There really isn't any grass here, just weeds and concrete!
There really isn’t any grass here, just weeds and concrete!

After three years, we just nicknamed the weed patch the “Moat”….”watch out when you back out of the driveway or you will fall in the moat!”

There were still little pieces of concrete that needed to come out, so we rented a jackhammer for the long weekend in May and just went at it!

I took this picture for my own purposes 🙂

After the concrete pieces were out, Jack ran the rotor tiller through it a million times while I picked out the weeds.

Border Collies like to help with EVERYTHING!
Border Collies like to help with EVERYTHING!

Who knew, there was lots of dirt in there. Nice top soil.    Whoa Hoo, that saved us the cost of a load of top soil!

To grade the soil, Jack brought out this ancient device….still don’t totally understand it. When I asked, this is the response I got…..”Absolutely no horsepower, only one Jackpower”

Look at that top soil!

After we racked and racked the soil to perfectly level is along the driveway, we realized that we were going to come short on the soil. Since we have a pit in the side yard that we use for compost, we dug down deep and shoveled out some really, I mean really stinky “mud”. We put this in our veggie and herb garden every fall and let me tell you, the soil in those gardens is like a dream! So we assumed that it would be good for sod as well. Not sure,  only time will tell.

Really smelly compost!

Since we put the compost down, we have had a robin hanging around the side of the house. Maybe he can smell it too!

We found someone locally that was selling 11 pieces of sod that was left over from a project. Since we didn’t know how much footage 11 rolls would cover, we hoped it would cover the area and went to pick it up for a small fraction of what it would cost at the sod farm….more savings!

11 rolls of Kentucky Blue Grass Sod

Turns out 11 rolls just aren’t going to cover it. We need to go and pick up 4 more rolls. Not a big deal.

Since I have no patience to try and make something look good, I decided not to wait until we got the new sod (keep in mind it was a long weekend and that meant waiting another 4 days….too long!) so I divided a HUGE hosta in the back yard and transplanted it along the side of the house.

As the sun goes down….just made it!

The next morning the sod was still green, so I assume that is a good sign. Neither Jack or I have ever laid sod, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. Trying to water two times a day.

The sod and side porch garden in the a.m.

Next week we will be able to finalize the project.

– Buy and lay 4 more rolls of sod

– Paint the side of the house to match the others

– Mulch garden beside the house

– Add cute little white fence

– Hope the sod survives!