Big Creek | Outdoor Spring Cleaning

Outdoor Spring Cleaning

Guys? I think the groundhog was right!  I’m a little afraid to say it, but here we are, all the way into our second week of March, and the forecast is still positive!  It has been a few years since Puxsatawney Phil predicted an early Spring, and if memory serves, we got dumped with almost a foot of snow in early March that year.  I’m not too trusting of that fat little groundhog in Pennsylvania. But, as luck would have it, I do believe the rodent was right this year! In light of that, Coach and I got started on a little Outdoor Spring Cleaning over the weekend.

The winter months are pretty hard on your landscaping, aren’t they?  Especially around here, where the trees outnumber the humans and animals 3 to 1, easy.  We have a lot of sticks to pick up before the first mowing, that’s for sure.  Not only that, but the leaves are plentiful…dead ones, on the ground. Although, we do have some clear paths cut due to the installation of our new waters lines back in November. Time for some outdoor spring cleaning has arrived.

water line

The girls took to the back yard to play and build a “wand shop” (Harry Potter has introduced himself to my children; they are eaten up with him and his friends), and I observed exactly how much clean-up work we have ahead of us. Pooh and Tigger used the bricks from our former chimney to create a display area for their wands,

wand shop

and in the process of helping them find good wand material (sticks), I noticed just how much mess we still have leftover from roofing.  old gutter

We are not the type of folks who just leave gutters lying in the yard, but to say the past year has been overwhelming would be an overwhelming understatement.

The rock terrace and flower beds are full of leaves, too.

leafy terrace

This area is so gorgeous when it’s cleaned up and flowers are planted.  It’s gorgeous anyway, but I’m looking forward to seeing pops of color in each of these beds soon.

Although, Sister Shell presented me with a really cool idea from Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons via Gail Howard on Facebook yesterday that will save a little money on flowers…if the smooth, rounded rocks aren’t too expensive! Isn’t that neat?


Coach has already cleaned out the front flower beds, which are much too large to think about planting annuals.  He has his heart set on some shrubs of some sort on those bottom tiers. Without some serious outdoor spring cleaning, planting would be pointless.

bottomtier1 IMG_0221 IMG_0222 IMG_0224 IMG_0225

We plan to leave the left side top tiers in that beautiful English Ivy, and the other side has gorgeous Azaleas and other flowering foliage that we love, thanks to Madre’s green thumb in action over the years. We need to replace some of the landscaping timbers around the bottom edges, especially.  The Mock Apple tree took another pruning from Coach,

mock apple

and he’s been listing and diagramming like mad.

Landscaping is Coach’s “thing”, as is outdoor spring cleaning, and he usually only allows me one tiny area in which to have creative freedom.  I can’t complain, because we both know I won’t be the mindful one when it comes to taking care of whatever gets planted.  I know he’s itching to get it done, but it’s a little early yet, so he has been working tirelessly to clean up the area by the barn to pass the time. Cutting up all the trees for firewood next winter, and then piling up the “scraps” for burning is some hard work.



Thankfully, Grandaddy and Nephew A.R. like to come and help, and I’ve caught Grandaddy out there a few times working on it while Coach was at work. Family is grand. We are looking forward to getting that area fenced in again, and then it’s goat-buying time!

The front porch and deck had accumulated a lot of junk this winter.  While Coach was out there doing the real work, I cleaned up as much as I could out here.

frontporchanddeck IMG_0280 IMG_0233

We really do have a beautiful front porch, and the deck is so spacious.  We are in definite need of some new boards here and there, and a good pressure washing wouldn’t hurt it either, followed by some sealer.  Hopefully we can bring it back to some form of life.  After about 50 trips to the shops to put away winter toys (sleds, etc) and filling a garbage bag with trash, I finally had the front porch and deck clean and inviting.  I am terrible with a blower, so that part will have to wait until Coach is free.

We did all of this fun cleaning on Saturday.  Once I finished my hour or so of work, I could think of nothing better than a nice afternoon nap.  During my laziness much-needed slumber, a huge wind gust blew a limb out of that crazy tree growing through the shop porch, knocking down a power line and ripping the weather head right out of the law office wall.  {The law office is just one of our shops, but the door to that section came from my grandfather’s law office.} Hello, March winds.

wind damage IMG_0242 IMG_0245 IMG_0246

Needless to say, the poor guy on call at the electric department had to abandon his manure-shoveling Saturday activities and come to our house.  We only went without power briefly while he cut the offensive, and very hot, wires, leaving us without power to our shops.  We have an extension cord keeping our outdoor fridge alive, and our favorite electrician is coming today to fix the damage.  Can you believe I slept right through all of this?  The limb left a nice little ding in the hood of Madre’s truck, which should’ve woken the dead, but it sure didn’t wake me!

What do you do to get your outdoor spaces ready for an early Spring?  I love Spring, of course, but to me it’s mainly a time to prepare for summer!  We wandered down by the creek yesterday for a little while, and I’m so ready for it all.  We’re going to get a head-start this week by firing up the outdoor grill, and just the smell of that alone will get my summer juices flowing! Having the front porch cleaned up and the back terrace anxious-looking for planting is a perfect start to Spring, and motivation for the rest of the daunting tasks we have ahead of us. There’s nothing like a little outdoor spring cleaning to get me excited about the change of seasons, and dreadful about the work still lying ahead for Big Creek.

Although, looking back at where we were when we started is all the motivation we really need.








No task is truly daunting anymore…we’ve already conquered the worst of it!

Happy outdoor spring cleaning to you all!

X,O,X,O,   Martie

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