Sunday, July 14, 2013

Screen Door Fix-up

Here's our screen door that leads out to the back yard. Beautiful yes? Complete with mismatched wood trim, loose screening and chicken wire threatening to snag an unsuspecting hand at any moment. This Screen door definitely needed a fix-up.

I began by stripping the door. First removing the wood strips, then the chicken wire, and then the screen. Finally I scraped and sanded any flaking paint that was left along the frame.

I knew we still needed some form of chicken wire. We have cats in the neighborhood, and very occasionally I've seen raccoons. Also we have an excitable pit bull who likes to run circles around the backyard, charge up the back porch and then slam all of his body weight up against the back door when he wants back in. Not terribly cute but I have yet to figure out how to break him of this habit.

So, hexagonal chicken wire to the rescue! Super cute and functional! After adding the chicken wire I spray-painted both sides of the door white, including the wiring so you would be able to see it better against the screen. After letting it dry overnight, I stapled the screen in and then added the wood strips that would hold everything in place.

Tada! Its a pretty great look right? Peach with salmon trim and a white screen fitting? Just kidding. I'm hoping that we can save enough repaint the whole house next spring. Until then its unique right? And slightly better than before?

Any simple fixer-upper projects going on around your home?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Polka Dot Militia

I'm happy to report that our roses are really blooming in abundance this year. The last few years have been kind of ho-hum as we let our rose bushes go a little wild. I am not an expert of plants, so only as a last resort, I reluctantly hacked away in the fall and spring. Fortunately that did the trick. We have beautiful roses of burgundy, pink and peach that you can see all the way from down the street. I've also been staying on top of trimming any wild growth, and watering thanks to newly added drip hoses.

I put  the new hoses along our flower beds in late spring. I've never used them before, but I'm really liking it so far for ease of use and I don't worry as much about wasting water.

The downside to my roses this year is that aphids had arrived. Gross. Early in June I began to notice them munching away at our incoming rosebuds. I tried spraying them down with water... no luck, and I really wasn't wanting to use any harsh chemical sprays.

So....we called in the experts!

Brandon and I found these at Northwest Seed and Pet. I wish I had a better picture. So many Ladybugs! We kept them in the fridge until evening so that it would be cooler and they would be slower to fly away.

Here's some shots from the next morning.

The aphids aren't completely gone, but much more under control. Its been about a month since our lady bug experiment and I'd call it mostly a success, though eventually we may need to bring in some more of our polka dotted friends.

Anybody else out there using natural methods to get rid of weeds or pests in their garden this year?