Yard Work Made Easy

Over the last few weeks, I showed you how I am decorating the exterior of my house, the deck and gazebo. I am using turquoise and lime accents and having fun moving furniture around to see where I like it best.

I am in charge of this part of the exterior, but Ed is the one in charge of everything else, like taking care of the lawn, bushes, trees, and shrubs all around the house. I basically take care of the inside and he does the outside.

exterior house color scheme

When we were house hunting back in the fall, we were thinking we didn’t want to have too much yard work, but when we walked into our house with the real estate agent, those thoughts vanished, we knew it didn’t matter… everything about the house just felt so right, there was even a hydrangea at the bottom of the deck steps. If you know me and have been reading my blog for a while, you know I love hydrangeas. It was the only thing I knew I would miss having when we sold our previous house. I had lots of hydrangeas planted there.

Since we bought the house in the fall, the blooms on the hydrangea bush were faded and starting to dry so I didn’t know what color the flowers were, but was still excited to know that I would have my own hydrangeas to enjoy each summer.

I was in New York City for a quick trip this week and when I got back yesterday afternoon I was so happy to find this…

Pink hydrangea in the rain

Pink… YAY!

I love pink and also purple hydrangeas. I had a lot to do yesterday after my trip and didn’t have a chance to take a photo of the blooms up close until this morning when I woke up to the sound of rain. I still went out to take this shot and did get a little wet, but I am one that truly enjoys a rainy day every once in awhile and didn’t mind the raindrops.

A rainy day on the lake was exactly the kind of day I needed after being in the hustle bustle of NYC. It has granted me a day to enjoy the cozy comforts of home.

Rainy day pink hydrangeas

It hasn’t rained here in a while, we have been having fabulous weather and have been outside quite a bit getting a feel for the exterior of the house and yard.

There are a lot of shrubs and trees around the house that were new to us. Coming from a northern state where many of these southern shrubs didn’t grow, we decided it was in our best interest to hire a landscaper to come and tell us what each and every shrub, tree, and bush was in the yard so we would know how to take care of all of it.

exterior shrubs that need to be trimmed

Ed now has a list of what everything is and how to take care of it, including the best time to trim each one.

We have Burford Hollies, Horn Hollies, Crepe Myrtles, Gardenias, Azaleas, Red Tip Hedges, Tea Olives, 3 Palm Trees, and one Wax Myrtle…and a Partridge in a pear tree. :-)…..  No… only kidding…

lake house yard and loblolly pines

…but we do have lots of birds, big and small hanging out in the Loblolly Pines that are on each side of the house.

hedge trimming made easy

Earlier this spring I was sent a cordless GMax Pole trimmer from the folks at GreenWorks to try out. I figured we would need it. :-) Ed was happy to put it to the test.

GreenWorks makes a line of cordless lawn and yard tools that delivers performance comparable to gas-powered tools. It gets its power from a rechargeable battery.

tools to make yard work easy

Ed trimmed up a few of the bushes and the shrubs along the deck.  We have a lot of Tea Olives that get small white flowering blooms that smell divine when they are in bloom. He only trimmed up the tops on a few that were getting too high.

how to trim a hedge with a cordless hedge trimmer

Ed loved the fact that there was no long cord or need for outlets. He also liked that the GMax Cordless Pole Trimmer has a 3-multiple position pivoting head that can be adjusted for trimming at all angles and to get under and above tall hedges.

Cordless hedge trimmer

He liked the ease of use, but said it was heavy and that I would have a hard time holding it for any length of time.  It was too heavy for me, but since he is the guy in charge of trimming the bushes, I don’t ever need to be the one that uses it. :-)  I am the paint brush wielding one between us. 

Rainy day at the lake house

With the bushes around the deck trimmed we can enjoy stellar lake views that are even enjoyable on a rainy day. I am enjoying doing just that with a cup of hot tea in my hand, just chill’in and enjoying being home sweet home.

Do you take on cutting the lawn and trimming shrubbery around your house or do have someone else do it?


I was sent the GreenWorks cordless hedge trimmer to try out. I was not paid to write about it. I do, however like to share things that come my way that I like and have helped make DIY’ing easier for me.

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  1. Your property and home are gorgeous and they sit on a lake – perfect. My favorite flower also is hydrangea. I have all colors but really love the white mop heads (my house inside and out is blue and white). The big beautiful full white hydrangeas look wonderful one in each vase with the stem short so it looks like it is sitting on top of the vase or bowl. I love seeing your new home and yard and look forward to seeing every one of your posts.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carole – Thanks for the nice note. I wish that hydrangeas would be in bloom year round. Wouldn’t that be lovely? :-) I use to have two peonies in the yard at my previous house. I miss them and thought I would plant some here at my new house, but was told by a landscaper that they won’t grow here in the south. :-( Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to connect with me.

  2. Kelly Coleman says:

    Having a tool that is battery operated would save me a whole lot of time and energy and be good for the planet! Definitely going to be looking into that! We just moved into a new home with a TON of bushes and shrubs and I have very basic experience with landscaping so I might do the same as you and hiring someone to help me out. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Kristine Brown says:

    Wow, what a beautiful, beautiful view!!! I am glad you are getting to enjoy it after a trip to the “big city”!

    1. Kristine Brown says:

      Also, I really love hydrangeas also, and am going to see if I can successfully grow them in Houston, Texas without too much fuss!!

  4. Oh Diane! Where did you get Ed’s T-shirt with the dog holding the golf club? I have to get one for my hubby.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pamela –

      We got the T-shirt on the Ocean City boardwalk in a t-shirt shop about 5 years ago. It says The Good Life, Ocean City, NJ on the front with the dog holding the golf club on the back. :-)

  5. Mary Heicher says:

    Hey Diane, I finally forced my hubby to get me a Hydrangea. He doesn’t care for them (he ran his mothers over with the lawn mower as a child lol). You can change the color of your blooms by changing the acidity of your soil. Your home improvement store probably carries a product to do just that.Our local Home Depot does.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – I bet your hubby’s mom was none too pleased when he ran over her hydrangeas with the lawn mower. I have used the acid/alkaline products at my previous house, they do work. I found Mir-Acid was the best in the soil there. It made the blooms pink purple. :-) I did write a post about some of the products I have tried. https://inmyownstyle.com/2014/05/turn-hydrangeas-pink-or-blue.html

      Happy weekend.

  6. Patricia Wilson says:

    Diane, as always loved your post. I would love to live in a home directly on a lake. I find the water beautiful no matter the season, even in a thunderstorm when the lake and the sky are grey, even here in the Northeast, when the lake is frozen. We live just a five-minute walk to our idyllic Columbia Lake here in rural Columbia, CT, but as much as I love our 2-1/2 acres of flowers (including hydrangeas) and woods, I’d so love to live on Columbia Lake even more so. Obviously, though I count my blessings in so many ways, oh how I wish my husband, Scott, and I lived on Columbia Lake. I’m so happy for you and Ed that your living your dream.

    I’m definitely going to share your info about that cordless trimmer with my husband and others. I love that we live in a time where plug-in electricity or gasoline-powered landscaping equipment is no longer necessary.

  7. That cordless trimmer has my name on it. I just cut the cord to mine while trimming shrubs at my cities Free Clinic. My garden club maintains the landscaping at the clinic. I do all the gardening at home. I love it and consider it my therapy. Your landscape is looking great and I’m so glad you have Hydrangea. I remember how much you loved the ones in PA. If you want to try something different in the Hydrangea family look up Oak Leaf Hydrangea on Google Image. I know it would look great in your garden. It is a magnificent flowering shrub. Vikki in Va

  8. My husband does our yard – no lawn service would do a good enough job! I don’t even know how to start the mower and I’m not interested in learning! I do plant the annuals and he plants our very small vegetable garden. We have been having rain in TX lately. I’ll take a rainy day anytime because we know it will stop and hot, dry summer will begin soon. I love your house and grounds. Looking forward to seeing your improvements and making it your own.

  9. The yard was nice when you moved in, but now the house and yard have really come alive.

  10. We pretty much do our own, but space out the Spring clean up…….worked too hard at it one day, was exhausted for a week. Hubby cuts the lawn but went to an electric mower and he really likes it. Most of my garden is perennial, so my planting is at a minimum. We used to do a garden, but we have a woodchuck problem, so it’s not a good use of our time right now….lol.

  11. Joanne B. says:

    Since my husband travels for work we found it was becoming increasingly difficult to get all our yard work around our south Florida home done on a routine schedule. About 5 years ago we started having a service do just the lawn cutting and my husband still did the shrubs as needed. We decided just once to let our lawn guy do the shrubs and once was all it took for my husband to say farewell to his clippers, hedge cutters and pruning shears! In south Florida EVERYTHING grows ALL YEAR LONG and there is always something that needs trimming, so I am happy to know our home looks nicely manicured all the time now! Before that though my husband and I used to say he was in charge of the Department of the Exterior and I was in charge of the Department of the Interior since I do all the decorating!

    1. Amen! I have lived in Central FL all my life, and growing season is year round!. Our home sits on two lots and has extensive lanscaping and lighting. Too much to keep-up with! Our landscape crew comes every week and if I need something special or have a concern, the owner of the company meets with me to address it. Wish I could post pics!

  12. Diane I am madly in love with your new home. I love the waterfront, the 2 levels on the house and the yard, it is all a spectacular place to live…what state do you live in? . You are making it all look even more beautiful each day. Keep up the great work…love it…Millie from,


  13. Terri/Houston lady says:

    Hi Diane, my husband loves to spend his days outside. He has a vegetable garden and a herb garden. I’m an inside kinda girl ?

  14. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    Hubby and I share the load when it comes to outside work. We thought we’d treat ourselves to a professional spring yard clean-up last year and were sorely disappointed with the person’s work. Not professional at all!

    So we’re back to doing our own work and really do like it much better that way. :-) I talk to the plants and tell them “Get growing!” We’ve only known each other for 5 springs/summers so there’s much for them to tell me. LOL!

    I love your yard, house and especially the pretty lake view. Keep showing us more all summer long!

  15. I am a widow so I have someone that does my yard, but I have trimmed tea olive in the past. I raised th bottom up so it had a tree shape. It smells wonderful several times during the year, even in the late fall. The home is just beautiful & what a view to enjoy. I purchased my current home during th ONLY snow coastal Alabama has had. Was so surprised when I moved in the spring. Amaryllis were everywhere.

  16. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    Every single pic shows how gorgeous your new home is and becoming!

  17. Hi Diane!! I do both with help from Dan. I love to do the landscaping and the gardening! It is my therapy!
    Your hydrangeas are gorgeous !
    I hope I have flowers on mine this year. Since that horrible winter 2 years ago they haven’t bloomed. I hope they will this summer!
    Great job on the trimming Ed!!!
    Enjoy the Lakehouse!!!

  18. Love that hydrangea bush. Do you know the name? Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Dorothy – The landscaper that came just said Hydrangea. I am assuming it is a H. macrophylla or mophead type since it has color. Not sure if it is a branded variety like Endless Summer that are popular now.

  19. The hubby mows the lawn and trims some. I trim the bushes and shrubs. I also do all the planting. I have planted over 10 containers. We have had a lot of rain in West Virginia but it is sunny today.

  20. We have always done ours which is year round in So FL. It is a hobby we share and love doing together for over 40 yrs. 9 yrs ago I got ill and could no longer participate which left us both very sad and my husband had to do everything. But the last couple of years I have been able to do some work out there. I LOVE it. I mostly get annuals for large pots and a few key spots since we have so many perennials all year. Hubby does the grass and trimming, heavy hauling and digs all the holes for me. He is very thoughtful and we just love being in our yard together. We visit lots of gardens together for ideas. Two yrs ago we inherited my mother in law’s little house on an acre in No MI and she was an extraordinary gardener so there are tons of things I have no idea about yet. Your yard looks wonderful and I’m sure a rainy lake day was just what you needed.

  21. Pamela Preston says:

    So lucky! Beautiful property and I am a total lake girl! :)

  22. Wow! Your yard looks beautiful. Same for us- I do inside, he does outside – except I help mow and trim branches.
    It’s hard to imagine a battery is as powerful as gas, but fantastic.

  23. I do mine. I mow a lot of area with a zero-turn, both in town as well as at our rural property. And I also make cuttings and root them to make baby plants. I love being outside and doing all that yard upkeep and gardening, etc., as well as other diy projects.

    Your place is really looking nice and I know how much you two are enjoying the decision you made to move.

  24. Melissa Leach says:

    We have always done lawn maintenance ourselves. I consider it therapy! I take care of the trees, bushes and plantings. My hubby mows the grass and does the edging. Welcome home.