I'm getting a little sick of winter and with a major snowstorm coming tomorrow, I'm longing to be outside. I thought this would be a good opportunity to show off my quick makeover of the back porch and garden. Here's a reminder of what the outside of the house looked like when I bought it. There was a handicapped ramp that came off the back deck with a sidewalk that ran across the entire side yard to the front door.
The handicapped ramp was the first thing to get ripped off. Under that was a concrete patio so that and the entire sidewalk to the front door was jackhammered into bits and hauled away. I also ripped out the stairs that came down from upstairs deck and replaced all of the railings with something more appropriate.
I also put in a curved walk to the back door, brought in several inches of new topsoil and painted everything to match the siding. I also painted the foundation a sandstone color. You can see in the photo below I'm starting my new cottage garden.

Next I ripped out all of the chain link fence and had a new cedar picket fence and arbor installed at the new walkway.
On the front, I removed the wrought iron on the front stoop and just put some cedar posts and a new railing in its place. Instead of enclosing the entire front yard in fence I left it open to leave room to the porch.
Here's the fence after a coat of primer as my fledgling garden is starting to grow.
And here's my garden in August last year. This has been a real joy to create from the sad brown wood and concrete and chain link that were here before. Not only do the neighbors approve but I started to attract hummingbirds as well.
And here's a closeup of a portion of the garden. As any gardener will tell you, a garden is work in progress but I'm pretty pleased with what I've created in such a short time.
This makes me much happier than shoveling snow.