Outdoor Updates

I figured it was time for an update on our mailbox and shutters. Last year after we got new siding on our house and painted the whole thing, we spray painted our shutters. It sounds crazy, but this tricked saved us a TON of money and it still looks great! You can read more details here. It's survived a fall and winter (with intense western sun) all without chipping or fading. Here was a picture last year as soon as they were installed:

And here they are today:

Moving on to our mailbox... it was looking very pitiful from sun damage. It was sad because we installed this mailbox less than 4 years ago (so it really wasn't that old). I figured if we painted our shutters, why not put a coat of spray paint on it too? Once again we were thrilled and still are thrilled with the results.
Before we did anything:
After we finished:

Oh and did I mention that I went ahead and put some vinyl on it as well? I have seen these all over pinterest and I decided to take the plunge! Under the "cover" is our street name:

I also tackled the weeds that had overtaken the mailbox area. This is crazytown. I couldn't believe the amount of leaves that had accumulated here (and we really don't have many trees!).
After we weeded everything (and by weeding I mean we shoveled up alot of those grassy roots). Nothing came up easily- it was backbreaking to clear it out! I put a layer of Preen weed preventer down first on the soil. Then I layered newspaper (as a weed block) over it.
After the newspaper, the ground got a fresh layer of mini pine bark nuggets, and another layer of the Preen. Hopefully those weeds will find somewhere else to go!

As much as I wish I could say this project was free (following last week's theme)- it wasn't. I set the budget at $30 which included weed preventative and new pine bark. I was thrilled when my total came to $29.91 and we ended up with 2 bags of bark leftover (to use in another flower bed).

These plants have survived 4 winters and I am really impressed at how good they still look! I was determined NOT to buy flowers for this area because flowers die, and it's a constant battle to water them all the time. The juniper bushes and some other sort of ground cover plant need zero maintenance besides pruning every season (or whenever they start overtaking the area). Does anyone else feel like having a pretty mailbox makes you feel like you have it all together? ;)

Did I mention I had the best little helper ever?
I love that sweet boy and I've come to the conclusion that all his pants will end up with holes always... sigh. 

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