Spring has Sprung All Over the Place

When the third “Dutch Bulb Catalog” arrived at the house we knew that spring would be interesting. The previous tenants were garden enthusiasts to the max and they apparently have great taste in flora.  We closed on the house during the fall so we never really got to see the yard “in it’s heyday.” So far, the spring has brought us a whole lot of new growth. It’s a beautiful mystery because we’ll have to wait till the buds bloom before we can tell what’s growing out there. So, if any of you can identify these little guys…I’d love to know! I’m in the process of writing a super long garden/yard planning post. So be on the lookout for more on the great outdoors soon!


Wanted a Moat but Settled for a Fence

I’ll admit that I Googled “moat diggers NC” before deciding on a fence for our property. My inner child was convinced that a moat would be a fantastic idea. However, the Mr. told me that the piranhas wouldn’t make it through the winter…and no moat of mine will be piranha free. So, a fence seemed like a logical second option.

The fence project was actually accelerated because of, Reese’s BFF, Mika. She’s coming to stay with us for a few days while my parents are out of town and her majesty demands a fence.  We were planning on building a fence for Reese so it really wasn’t a big deal. Like our sofa, we had mandatory and “would be nice” qualities.


  • Safe and secure
  • Good quality product (i.e. treated lumber and/or chain link)
  • 4 foot fence
  • Fit within our budget

Would be nice:

  • Wood fencing
  • Multiple entrances

So, we collected a few quotes from local fence contractors and we were totally overwhelmed by the prices. I started feeling down because I saw all our interior updates flittering away until summer to make room in the budget for this fence project. I mentioned my frustration to a friend at work who told me a great tale of a local fence guy that was affordable and created a great product. I gave him a call and he became our knight in shining teeth (seriously, he had gold caps on his teeth).

We ended up getting a combo of wood and chain link fencing for a couple of reasons:

  • It was more affordable
  • The wood was more attractive for the front yard
  • The chain link section lets more light in on the north side of our yard where we want to put a garden eventually
  • The chain link can’t be seen from the roads…so why waste wood? (hehe)

I drew a diagram for you visual people:

And here’s a photo that I took standing on the deck looking out towards the street. Pretty snazzy huh? Look at those toppers and those solid gates!

Once the fence was in place we only had to complete 2 tasks to finish the project:

  1. Waterproof the fence:
    We’re still in the process of spraying the fence. It seems like it has rained every weekend since we’ve put the fence up. And the wood has to be 100% dry before you apply the sealant. So, the Mr. has finished about half of it and is waiting for sunny weekend to finish. The process is actually quite painless if you know this tip. We thought we’d have to buy the expensive paint sprayers to apply the sealant to the fence. However, we bought a $10 garden sprayer and it worked perfectly. So, don’t waste your money on those expensive paint sprayers for this kind of job.  (NOTE: make sure you run water through the nozzle after you’re done using it so it won’t get clogged with dry sealant).
  2. Add lattice under deck:
    The way our side yard is organized  the fence had to go up against the corner of the deck. This left about 15ft. under the deck that needed some lattice so the dogs can’t get out. We decided save some money and do it ourselves. So, we went to Lowes and bought 2 sheets of plastic lattice. (NOTE: We went with plastic lattice because it was pre-stained to match our deck and wouldn’t splinter when you cut it.)  Here are the steps we took to add the lattice work:
  3. Nailed a 2×4 to the bottom of the deck to give ourselves a surface to nail the lattice all the way around.
  4. Cut the lattice into 3 sections so the lattice overlapped each vertical stud about halfway.
  5. Placed a nail at each diamond to ensure that the dogs couldn’t push their way out.
  6. Hint: When cutting the lattice we found it much easier to cut on the ground than on a bench or the back of a truck. So, put a 2×4 on the ground, lay the lattice over top, then cut.

The builders did such a great job with the wooden fence because it looks really sturdy and classy. They added a few extra details that I wasn’t expecting including: finials on top of the door posts and a wooden topper that keeps all the boards from bending/twisting and warping as it ages. It looks like it just belongs there…like it’s been there forever. I think it’s a useful and attractive addition to our home.