When Juneau has a rainy summer, it’s easy to forget about the outdoor spaces around your home. Our yard and landscape is in need of some love so we’ve been developing a plan of attack. If you need to develop a plan for addressing the needs in your outdoor spaces, make a list of all that needs to be done. Then walk around the neighborhoods and see how other people have tackled your challenges. And, if you can’t find ideas in your neighborhood, look on Pinterest and Houzz for ideas.

Here is my list of items which may give you a little inspiration for laying out your own projects:

  1. Deck reconfiguration. Our deck does not work the way it’s configured. We rarely use it on sunny days, and since it’s not covered for Juneau’s sometimes too frequent rainy days, we rarely use it the way it is now. We’ve decided to remove the rail/bench that goes around the deck and add a step so it’s accessible from nearly every direction which opens up access to the backyard significantly.

2. Address low spots in our landscape. Our yard has lots of low spots and lots of general unevenness. We need to level it out a bit by bringing in some stone and topsoil.

3. Curb appeal. We’d like to dress up our mailbox, add shutters, paint the oil tank, stain the fence and paint the garage door. These little details should make our home feel warmer and more inviting.

4. Driveway resurfacing. This is going to be a big, long term project that we will do in phases.

5. Perennial shade garden. Each year, I add a few plants to develop a perennial garden at our home. I’d say much of what I add hasn’t survived but I’m determined to be more successful this time around. I’ve joined gardening groups and have been reading a lot about what will work in this climate, how to fertilize, etc.

6. Grow grass. Our grass is full of moss and weeds. We are planning to make it less weedy and more grassy going forward. Hopefully adding topsoil and new seed will be the beginning of our lawn repair.

7. Walking paths. I’d like to add some sort of path to the areas of the yard that are most frequently walked on. I’ve found some great ideas on Pinterest.

That’s my list for now. It’s ever growing but I’m determined to tackle at least a few items this summer. I’d say my perennial shade garden is well on its way thanks to the generosity of some local gardeners.

Start by making your list. That way you’ll have a starting point for projects. Identify which projects need to be done this year and which are longer term. Find ideas for the first project and get it done as soon as you have the weather to do so. It’s sometimes hard to tackle many of these projects in the rain, so on the next nice day get out there and get it done!

Susan Stopher currently serves as office manager for Stopher Construction, LLC. She’s an avid traveler, adventurer and lover of art and design. She enjoys running and outdoor activities with her husband and two kids in Southeast Alaska and beyond. She enjoys cooking, canning and the great outdoors!