Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I just thought I would take this opportunity to point something out to you. You know how all of thespring magazines and catalogs show fabulous pictures of gorgeous outdoor rooms you can create outside your lean to? I am here to tell you that every single one of those rooms looks like it does on those glossy pages for all of about two days. A week if you are lucky. The reality is, mother nature always wins out. We live "inside" for one very important reason. It is much cleaner than living "outside". When I created my gardens, gardening had not hit the USA much yet. I had trouble finding gardening shops. I found most of my stuff at hardware stores. I have ten outdoor rooms on my property. One room was decorated with custom furniture handmade from Chinese Bittersweet. Guaranteed to last for quite a while outside especially if it was covered during winter. It cost a small fortune. It lasted one year. Another room is decorated with cement faux bois furniture. I haven't uncovered it yet from this last winter but I am scared about what I will find when I do so this year. Every year it becomes a little smaller due to cement cracking off of the substructure. Does anyone out there know how to repair faux bois? I think it is time to call Martha.

As I started to clean my patio area yesterday, I thought I would take pictures to show you what spring cleaning is all about on the outside. You might have to click to enlarge the pics but there is so much dirt and debris behind the wire and wooden shelves that i think I could plant a small garden behind my sink.

Hey...chow chow! I could use a little help over here.

Wait mama, did you say spring cleaning?

I think I will just stay right here. I like watching better.

Finally I removed all of the decorations and then literally needed a small shovel to get the dirt out of the corners on the sink top.

Then it took about 45 minutes to remove each little leaf that was stuck in the wire shelves.

The fun part was redecorating it after it was cleaned. It still looks rather bleak but once things start turning green and I can fill some planters, everything will brighten up.

I forgot to take a totally 'before' picture of the potting table. It was really a mess. No matter what I do, I can't keep mud from forming under the table.

And look who settled in for a nap AFTER the first area was finished?

These are the only chickens you will see in my gardens this year.

The little robin I found at the thrift store the other day has found a home in my bird feeder.

I use reindeer moss inside the birdcage to add a bit of color.

I must admit it is a lot of fun decorating outside.

I use this old indoor plant stand to hold a collection of thrift shop ceramic birds.

Now just nine more rooms to go.