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Remember how sad and droopy my front garden was looking a few weeks ago?

After doing a little night gardening, I’ve been waiting for some of the snapdragons to deadhead and flower again to share more photos, but they are taking their sweet time (there are a ton of buds, but most of them haven’t bloomed yet). Thankfully, we’ve been having a good mix of sunny and rainy days to keep these guys happy while I focus on a few other projects (and darn it, that grass just won’t stop growing – time to mow again!).

So, instead of waiting for the flowers to pop again, I’m just going to share the progress I’ve made so far. The back shrubs were trimmed down a little, and the pine straw has been replaced by mulch, which makes this front area look a lot more like someone actually intended for it to look this way. And really ties into the colors from the flowers I recently planted at the mailbox. (The house doesn’t really lean like that; I think it’s either my iPhone or the bad photographer responsible for using the technology).

front garden

This coming weekend, dear ol’ Dad is supposed to be coming over with a pole saw and chainsaw to help me take care of a few things on my birthday wishlist. One of them includes getting rid of limbs hanging into my yard by my neighbor’s awful, stinky tree (click here for a full rant on this pretty but disgusting thing!).

pear tree

And as you’ve probably come to expect with this house (I have, anyway), things are taking two steps forward and one step back (aka “The DIYer Shuffle”). Spring arrived, which means it’s warm enough to make these exterior improvements and give the house some added curb appeal. But spring’s arrival also means that a new battle has begun with outdoor pests. I found this on my front porch just a few days ago.

carpenter bee problem

That ain’t sawdust (though sawdust is a typical thing to spot around here). It’s the product of carpenter bees sneaking their way into the wooden 2x4s on my front porch. I searched and searched for a hole in this area and couldn’t see one. Then I ran my car keys underneath the bottom of the railing and found a perfectly round hole. Bingo. Thanks to my friends at DAP, I’m waiting on a product to arrive in the mail, and then the eviction notice will be served!

So there you have it; two steps forward, one step back. The DIYer Shuffle continues. Got any of your own pest problems or tips for how to deal with them? Are you experiencing the shuffle too?

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  1. You certainly don’t want to be bombarded with bees while trying to enjoy your front porch! So this product is meant to kill them or give them an “eviction” notice like you said?

    1. Oops, guess I didn’t give enough explanation: I don’t want to kill them if I don’t have to, so this product will simply close up shop by plugging the hole with latex goo. I’ve heard metal flashing is also good to deter bees and other critters, and I considered using expanding foam as well, but the DAP guys first recommended this for repair. I think the reason why the underside of the railing was more vulnerable is because I painted everything else on the porch except for these areas because they were harder to reach. If your aim is to kill them, I’ve been told wasp spray works well.

  2. I was going to suggest Great Stuff Pest Block sealant. As a plus, there is a bitter ingredient that encourages the pests not to return.