Outdoor plans and questions

The weather around here has finally warmed up enough that I ventured outside to think about some outdoor projects I’d like to tackle this spring and summer. As usual, the project list in my head is far greater than the finances and time I have available to complete it. But I did narrow the list down to a few projects I believe I can knock out this year.


You may not notice from the photo, but our front porch needs repainted, particularly the stairs. I’m excited about this project because I think I’m going to change the color of the floor and stairs. More details on that coming really soon. 😉

Bank-landscapingMy measly attempt at landscaping this area of our yard last year has not panned out so well. I’m open for any suggestions for trees and shrubs that are inexpensive, fast-growing and/or offer thick ground cover.


I’m at a bit of a loss for ideas about how to landscape this side of our house. I’d like some sort of evergreen that grows high – but not very wide – to cover the radon venting system (the white pipe). Again, any suggestions for plants and shrubs that would work for this spot are much appreciated. Note: They must be able to thrive in our central Pennsylvania climate.


Finally, I’d like to paint this side door to match my faux wood finish front door. And I’d like to add something on the left to mask the electrical stuff. Any ideas about what could work for that? Maybe a DIY trellis?

So there’s the short list of some upcoming projects that are churning around here. Have you made any plans for outdoor DIY projects yet this year?

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5 Responses

  1. Donna Gibson says:

    Pampas grass, and there are a variety of them, grow well in places of shrubs. If planted away from the walls and structures, you literally can just burn them to the ground each spring! Or, simply just use a weedwacker or trimmers and haul it away. It is a simple growing plant that grows and looks nice. Would you like some from my garden to transplant? It would grow well to cover up vents, electrical boxes, pipes at the house and more! They can be divided when they get too thick or can be planted in the middle of an open yard too! Avoid trees and shrubs. That is so much work. Think of large stones! When you go on your hikes, bring back with you a 10 to 20# colorful stone or many stones on your many trips. On the hillside, add stones to your design. They can stand on edge, and with the pampas grass, it is a safe haven for many birds. You can place stepping stones also in areas where you would walk through. Mulch the area with red mulch. I love the red mulch, and keep adding a little fresh red mulch each year to my areas, and it brightens up what is there. No need to put black plastic down under it if you keep adding a little mulch to it each year. Red mulch stands out much nicer than the black mulch. Yes, I’m looking forward to getting in the soil and doing outdoor projects too. I feel blessed! Missed you yesterday at church! It was a great Sunday!

    • Susan says:

      Great suggestions, Donna! You’ve given me some great inspiration and a lot of new ideas. 🙂

      • Donna Gibson says:

        Another great idea that I did in one area of my yard was add some solar lights. At Wal-Mart, now, you can get a pack of 7 nice solar lights for under $10. It is a steal, and I’m getting more of these to line up my butterfly garden at the dog house/sidewalk, and around our backyard pond/ pathway.

  2. Pat Rodowsky says:


    You might try a pencil shaped holly (“sky pencil” holly) to hide the radon venting pipe. My daughter has 2 in her front yard and they can be kept to a lower height (3-4 feet) or left to grow higher. They have a natural slim profile.

    You’ve inspired me to get my “to do” list together and keep it within my ability to get things done.

    • Susan says:

      Thanks so much for the feedback and shrub suggestion, Pat. I’ll definitely check out the “sky pencil” holly. I love holly bushes anyway; this one may be the perfect fit. 🙂

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