Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mulch is my new BFF.. and a yard sale makeover!

Hi all!!

Well I finally discovered why all those gardeners out there love mulch!  It’s like paint… hides a multitude of sins (and ugly)!!  I went to our local recyclers and loaded up on mulch, had to make 2 trips because I only have a car (oh how I envy you truck owners!).  I brought some Rubbermaid bins and some nylon-type bags with me and filled them up.. they weigh your car when you come in and when you are finished (as opposed to buying by the yard and having it delivered.. the cost is the same, just do-it-yourself  in whatever quantity you can carry… who knew???? HA!).  In total, I spent $12.50 and got 190 kg of mulch.. yeah it’s a lot but doesn’t go far, not when you have a lot to cover and this is quite rustic (large pieces), can’t imagine how much the fancy stuff would have cost!  Oh well.. fits with the prim theme doesn’t it?  I’ll probably go on Sat. for more, there’s still a small section I missed because I ran out and I was too exhausted to go back.

Here are 2 pics of the same side of the yard, different views.  As you can see, this is where I put a bunch of white cedar trees a few weeks back.  I added some bricks as a border and dumped a pile of mulch in.  In the back corner, I brought the border out by adding clumps of dug-up grass upside-down onto the existing grass, then putting thick layers of newspaper on top and a bunch of mulch on top of that.  In the fall I may add layers of dead leaves and more mulch.  I don’t know what I’m doing.. lol..  just trying something that was suggested to me to help eliminate some of the back-breaking work of digging up the grass.. the dug-up grass and newspaper are supposed to compost over time.. we’ll see.  I may add plants next year but in the meantime I’ve added a little yard sale tricycle I got last year, a log and a bird feeder.. should be hanging but the chain broke..  I think it looks fine for now :D


While I was adding mulch I was also thinning out some of the overgrown plants that I put in over the last two summers.  I had started out by digging little sections of garden several feet apart and putting in plants.  That wasn’t really a good thing to do as it turned out, but what it left me were sections of empty garden and overgrown sections.  So I thinned out what I could before adding mulch.. this is along the back fence.  The first pic is a dogwood I believe.. it’s getting huge!  Anyone know if I’m supposed to prune, when and how??   See, told you I’m not a gardener!!  Anyway, this looks so much better than before I added mulch.. now to find some more free bricks or rocks…


This is some kind of birch I think.. it’s really pretty and filling in the view of the shed in the yard behind my house nicely.. now why didn’t I plant it a few feet to the left and block the view of their back door?  LOL


I found this weird contraption at a yard sale last summer.. I swear I went nuts last year!  I was told that it had held glass bowls but they all broke.  I had a vision of  fitting the circles with enamel bowls then planting them up with cascading plants!  Well I have enamel bowls but only found one that actually fit!  So I plunked it down along the back fence over the clematis I got for $5 last weekend (yahooo.. excellent price up here!) and I’m confident that it will wind its way around and around this weird thing.. and once filled in you probably won’t even see it.   Let’s hope..


Close-up of the clematis (can’t believe it bloomed in just one week!)  So much for planting in the shade.. this is a north-facing backyard but gets lots of sun since the shade is still growing :)  .. looking good!


Now, on to my makeover.  I hit a few yard sales yesterday morning, wasn’t really into it but I did find a few things.  One was this duck/goose/swan, not into fowl so I don’t know what it’s supposed to be.  I do know that the ones that are all primmed up can be pricey so I bit the bullet and paid $7 for it.. she was asking $10, I offered $5.. yeah, I know.. I’m cheap!  :D  haha...  Seems to be a lightweight wood but still solid.  I wasn’t into all the carving so sanded off what I could.

Ta-da!!!  What do you think?? 

I decided to make it into a swan, not sure if I got the black paint on in the proper pattern for a swan but I like it anyway.  So happy I didn’t let my cheapness get the better of me :)  I got a few other deals so it made up for it.  Will be working on those makeovers and the ones from last year so I think I’ll have lots more to post. 

Thanks for looking and have a Happy Monday for my fellow Canadians and Happy Memorial Day for my American friends!


  1. I love your yard and your duck goose swan.... He's adorable... I need to get out in my yard as well and get it cleaned up.

    Happy Memorial Day

  2. Thanks Karen!!

    I'm in Canada.. no Memorial Day for us, but enjoy yours!

  3. yard is looking good Hayley!!! I love what you are doing to it. For someone who is not a gardener, you do great work! Talk to you soon!

  4. Love, love, love the swan makeover! I've been wanting one of those forever, but I too, am way too cheap to pay for what most are asking for them in the stores. Lucky you!! Your yard looks fantastic! I wish I could get out in mine and do some much needed work, but I hate yard work and can't stand being hot, so it doesn't get done! LOL! Hope you have a great week!

  5. Thanks guys!

    Donna, I really hate yard work too! It's NOT relaxing! lol.. but I'm happy with the results so far, still quite a bit to do, my goal is to make this house more attractive when I go to sell in a few years. Hate spending the money but it was pretty much empty when I bought the house... take care!

  6. Hayley, your yard looks great...we also have an old tricycle in our yard, have had it, used to be over at Carl's mom so think it might have been for the grandkids who are all over 25 pretty old and rusted a bit..will send you a pic, also have our boys' old rusty radio flyer wagon..looks nice in the yard.
    I love that large mulch, yu have done a great job..and I love the swan..


  7. Wow, it is amazing what mulch can do, huh! I thought your row of white cedar trees looked good before... it looks awesome now!! With your lighting and brick border, it's like it's all complete now. It's come together very nicely! Hard work and sweat does pay off! =]

    Your swan makeover is wonderful! I don't know the details of a swan, but I think yours looks real and very nicely prim!

  8. Hey Barb & Angie!

    Thanks for the sweet comments, I really appreciate it.



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