Cleanin’ Up the Driveway

As you may recall, my goal is to spend this summer improving the curb appeal of my house.  It’s too hot here for painting outside so that will probably have to wait until September but I’ve been slowly chipping away at other projects that will make my house prettier.

Lowe’s had a sale on mulch over Memorial Weekend so I went and bought five bags and decided I was going to tackle the area on the East side of my house on the driveway:

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Stray elm trees had grown like crazy over here.  I always just ignored this area as I drove up or walked by because it seemed overwhelming.  I knew I needed to get rid of the elms as they were really close to my foundation but I just didn’t know how to do it.

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While I was at Lowe’s I picked up some brush killer:

I asked one of the workers to help me find the brush killer and he asked, “how long do you want to kill this stuff for?”  I said, “forever?”  and left with this.  I then cut down all the branches and painted this stuff on, full strength and then covered the stumps with black trash bags.

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As it turns out, it wasn’t hard at all, just time consuming.  I had to paint every last branch with the brush killer and try to keep it off of my hands (even though I was wearing gloves) and keep it away from plants I actually wanted to keep!

Once I had the elms tamed I turned to the weeds on the ground.  I pulled them all and then put down black plastic and mulch.

And, that’s how it sat for weeks.

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I had originally planned to end the mulch at the end of my house but then I noticed that the area at the end of my brick patio never grows very good grass so I decided to just carry the mulch up to that point.

I was afraid that it would look weird to have the line where the grass and mulch met so I went on the hunt for something to plant to create a border there.

I’ve always loved boxwoods so when I ran across some at Wal-Mart I picked up two.

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We got an amazing rain storm last night so I figured it wasn’t going to get any easier to pull up the weeds and dig holes than it would be this morning so I went out and planted the boxwoods and I continued with the black plastic-plastic sheeting from the hardware section rather than landscaping fabric.  I feel like this is sturdier (and it’s cheaper!) so it’s my go-to for landscaping projects.

(I also put in two posts for the shade cloth but they still require a little more work before I can finish that project.)

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Because I  extended the mulch out a couple more feet, I had to get some more.  My Wal-Mart didn’t have the same brand that I had gotten at Lowe’s so I have two different types but I’m thinking that over time it will mix and fade and not be so noticeable…

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I’m so happy!  I still need to build some flower boxes across the posts and paint them white  before they’re ready for my shade cloth but I just ran out of steam today!

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I don’t love how that edge bows in but the ground was so hard there that I couldn’t get the pins in to hold the plastic down!  Eventually I want to add tons of gravel to the driveway so I’ll use that to clean up that edge.  Until then, It’s better than it was!

And it only took me 2 weeks to do !

-A

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