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I sometimes look at my house like it’s on a sliding scale. When I work on my house and make improvements, it moves farther down the line to the end goal: where my house is livable, functional, and beautiful all at the same time. When I fall into patterns of laziness or just get overwhelmed from other things (for example, finals were on Friday and kicked my ass in terms of lost sleep, shaking hands from too much coffee, and general queasiness from feeling totally unprepared and guilty for not studying more), my house slips back toward the other end of the scale: where it’s sad, cluttered, and hopelessly struggling to look as if anyone other than a recluse lives there.

But sometimes, I really know how to work an hour. To stay motivated, I might even turn it into a physical or mental challenge (as in telling myself, “Let’s see how much I can get done in an hour. And, go!”). This past week, I sort of backed myself into a corner by buying a slew of flowers from the home improvement store (I blame the sale sign). I wasn’t going to get a chance to plant them all in one night, but I was determined to move my house a few inches down that scale and see if I could break my goals down into manageable one-hour chunks of yard work. So, I started with the planters on the backyard patio. The following day, I was ready to address my sad little mailbox in the front.

My opinion on grass: crabgrass is still green, which is better than brown, and other than having to mow it a lot, I don’t really have the time or patience to turn my lawn into something other than a free-for-all patch of dirt. If it grows, it gets mowed, and that’s how it’s going to stay until I get a big fat raise and can afford to pay someone else to do my yard work (gosh, a girl can dream, right?).

Note to self:  I need to fix my edger. Bought one, broke it, and didn’t use it last summer (I was still getting used to sacrificing every Saturday for nine-hour blocks of summer classes). Regardless, I attacked the area around my mailbox with the business end of my shovel. Luckily, the dirt was pretty loose after replacing the mailbox last year, so the only real challenge was realizing I was out of potting soil and hand-pulling some of the crabgrass.

Geraniums and yellow salvia plants really perk up my mailbox, don’t you think (if I’m wrong about either of those, feel free to correct me – I am always wrong about the things I plant, which shows you how into this gardening thing I am)? So far, they are loving the sunny spot (and all the rain this weekend really helped them too – and washed away some of the mess from my hack job). I managed to take a few pictures from my iPhone before squirreling myself away for exams (as of today, I already have 2 A’s for the semester and am waiting on the third and final course to post – but it was also the hardest class, which of course is the one I’ll be the most anxiously awaiting – isn’t that how it always goes?).

Did you do any gardening this weekend? I have even more outdoor gardening projects I haven’t fully shared with you yet, so be on the lookout for more updates this week!

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  1. I think anything looks better than the crab grass. I wonder what your mail person (I hate the fact that I can’t say mailman or mail lady…because I don’t know if yours is a he or a she!) thinks of the flowers?

  2. I miss having a real mailbox. We live in a suburban subdivision that has been taken over by PO Boxes where the residents have to walk down to to get their mail. Half the time I want to put up a mailbox just for the sake of old school decor.
    Can’t wait for gardening season! Ours gets its stride next month!~

  3. I used to work for the USPS. I know that some people have so many flowers around their mailboxes that the USPS has to send out notices to the homeowner about the dangers the bees are to the mail person.

  4. Yes, ANYTHING is better than crabgrass! We only have about 6 square feet of grass (that’s front and back!), so I can’t complain. But the boxwoods in front are sad and yellow-ish, the hedge (I cannot even identify what it is) is almost 4 feet tall when it’s supposed to be a decorative 2 feet, but so yicky in the middle I hesitate to chop into it because I’d be left with a mess of brown sticks likely hoarding a months’ worth of other people’s trash (thanks garbage man). And that just ain’t pretty!

    So, I focused on getting my perky little seedlings into the raised bed in the backyard. My sugar pea did NOT like the heat, so we may have to do some creative shading soon. The green bean bush is flowering and loving the pot (that, incidentally, shores up part of the dirt in the 1/3 of the raised bed I had the supplies to fill), and I’ve sunken a few small containers with herb seeds. Those should sprout within the week. Also started some lettuce, summer squash, zucchini, cantaloupe and corn inside on the windowsill. Keep in mind, my bed is only 3×8, so it will be pretty darn full once I’ve got it really going. Thank goodness for Pinterest showing me how to grow things vertically! No more rotten cantaloupe on the ground :)

    Did I mention our neighbors daughter jumped the curb, ran INTO part of one of those already sad boxwoods, clipped a sprinkler then DROVE OFF without saying a word? The man actually started yelling at Dramasaur about it, then he was shown the actual tire tracks on the front walk, and gave a very precise description of the car. Now to discuss this with said neighbors. Sigh.

  5. Nice quick upgrade!! We are still working on taming some of the overgrown areas. No one had lived here for a while…and it was starting to get a little ‘Jumanji’ back behind the house!

  6. Love the upgrades around the mailbox! So cute. :) I think I would consider two things to make it look even more finished:
    1. I would consider edging a third side of the planting with the brick edging you’ve already used, along the side of the driveway – or even doing the fourth side, as well. It’s adorable as-is, and it might look even adorable-er (ha, I made that up!) with other sides edged.
    2. I would consider painting the flag on the mailbox hot pink, to match the geraniums! :-D

    Regardless, the upgrade certainly adds to your curb appeal!

  7. This is a great afternoon project. (Love the geranium) Interesting comment from the mail carrier about looking out for bees too, I had no idea!