The Garage is Finally Done, Landscapers Who Hide Things & Very Hungry Bees!

How is your weekend going? I’ve been tidying up lots of odds and ends around here. The painter came back today to finish painting the plantation shutters in the garage. The first painter really botched them with drips and runs everywhere. The painter that came today had previously been out and sanded off all the drips and today he came back to paint them. They are once again in the windows of the garage and they look so much better now!

Painting Plantation Shutters


A couple of weeks ago I noticed something looked off with the birdhouse I have in the small island near my driveway. I didn’t take time to examine it that day, but a few days later I noticed it looking even more askew. I can’t even describe what I found when I looked closer. The metal top was half off and pine straw from where the birds had built nests this past spring was somehow underneath the floor of the entire house. Birds don’t build nests underneath the base of a birdhouse in a space that’s 1/4 inch tall.

The only people who come into my yard are the guys who cut my grass and edge the lawn. A few years back they ran into my gas lantern, denting the pole pretty badly, so I was suspicious that they had now run into the bird post. When they came out this past week, I asked them about the birdhouse and they admitted they had run into it and knocked it completely off the pole. I can’t image how hard they hit it to do that since it sets way deep onto the pole. I think I need to find another person/company to help me with my lawn. It’s upsetting that they didn’t even bother to tell me. Since the house was a jumbled mess inside, I took it down and inside to see if I could reassemble it. While it was apart, I decided to give it a fresh coat of paint.

Painting and Repairing Dovecote


Surprisingly, this is all that held the top half to the bottom half…4 nails. When they put it back atop the pole, they didn’t even try to get it back together, just had the top propped onto the bottom part…which explains why it was on the verge of falling off. The guts of the house, which include the dividers that make up all the cavities inside the house, are currently in my laundry room. Those won’t get painted. Once I finish painting it, I’m going to use some wood glue along the edge to help hold it together when I attempt to reassemble it. One of the nails had splintered the edge of the house in the fall and I glued and clamped that together last night–so that repair is made. I will hopefully get the painting finished up tonight, then the house put back together and back in place in the garden by tomorrow–at least that’s the plan.

Repairing Dovecote


Speaking of the garden, I discovered something I never knew this weekend: Ragweed has a place in the garden! Seriously! I had 6-8 very tall sprigs of ragweed blooming at the end of my driveway. Yesterday, I started pulling them out and as I pulled out the first 2-3 pieces, I could hear a lot of buzzing all around my head. The buzzing started out small but got louder and louder! It was so persistent, I stopped my weeding and that’s when I noticed bees covering all of the remaining plants. Update: Thanks to Rebecca for identifying this as Goldenrod instead of Ragweed. I think she’s right!

Bees Love Ragweed


There were so many different kinds of bees on the Goldenrod. There were small ones that looked like bumblebees, but a much smaller version of the kind I normally see. I saw another type of bee that looked a lot like a honey bee. Every spot you see below is a bee or two or three clustered together. They were all over the Goldenrod, voraciously going for it like it was the best thing they had ever tasted! I had no idea bees loved Goldenrod! I felt bad that I had pulled out a few sprigs of it before I noticed the bees.

They were such polite bees. They didn’t even try to sting me, they just buzzed all around my head to get my attention, politely asking me to stop pulling their food out of the ground. Fortunately, they got my attention before I had pulled very much. I left the rest of the Goldenrod for them to enjoy. Every year it comes back in this same spot. I will be sure to leave it for the bees every year now that I know they love it. Do you have Goldenrod growing in your yard and do the bees love it?

Bees Love Ragweed


Before I end this post and go back to painting the birdhouse, I thought I’d share a few photos I took in a Cracker Barrel a month or so ago when I was traveling back home from Ohio. All their beachy, summery stuff was on sale, and they had some really cute things!


If you have a CB near you, you may want to stop in to see if the summer stuff is still on sale. This is def the time to catch the bargains on their summer goods.


This would be so cute on the front porch of a beach cottage!


Even the dishware was on sale–sooo tempting!


I loved this sign! I looked on their website this evening because I was thinking of purchasing it. Sadly, it appears to be sold out online. You can see it here: Welcome Sign. It’s much cuter in person than it appears on their website.


More fall goodies…


I spotted a bit of Halloween decor, too.


More end-of-summer sale items…


Have you done any end-of-summer sale shopping? Happy Weekend!

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  1. Rebecca Dexter says

    I could be wrong but I think that is goldenrod not ragweed…

    • Oh, I think you’re right! Apparently, the two plants get confused a lot because there are a bunch of websites explaining the difference between the two. I think it does look like Goldenrod. Thanks for that info, Rebecca! Bees sure do love it!

  2. Rebecca is right. What you have in your yard is Golden Rod; sadly it is confused with Ragweed regularly.


  3. I’m glad you kept the goldenrod for the bees. You are so kind.

    • Thanks, Marge! They were smart, the way they got my attention. I love bees and once I saw them all over the flowers, I knew the “weeds” needed to stay. I’ll let more of the Goldenrod stay next year for them now that I know they love it so much. It’s actually kind of pretty in the garden this time of year.

  4. I use Google lens to identify plants in the yard. We have ragweed everywhere this year

  5. I had a lot of bees in the flower garden this year. They really liked the roses, four o’clocks, zinnias and hollyhocks. I also had big, black bumble bees. They are loud and scary looking, but just kept to their business of collecting honey. I really liked the blue tin truck at CB! Maybe the lawn boys were hoping you wouldn’t notice the damage to the bird house. Not a good thing as in no integrity, but at least they owned it when you asked. You making your own repairs is a wonderful thing.

  6. I so appreciate your sharing that the Goldenrod feeds the bees–I will definitely get some for my garden next year…I have a Golden Ragwort in my garden (looks like golden daisies) and the bees (all kinds) have been all over it all summer. I live in Maryland and am trying to stay with Maryland native plants and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen your Goldenrod growing on the sides of the road here so I will definitely get some for next year! As for that Welcome sign at Cracker Barrel that you like and is sold out online, I’m pretty sure I saw that exact sign at Michael’s Crafts…do you have one near you? Thought you might like to see if they have it online too. Good luck and please continue to post your delightful newsletter! It makes my day when I find it in my mailbox! Hugs! Barb

  7. Oh my gosh Susan you sounded a lot calmer about the birdhouse debacle than I would have been.
    What on earth are they doing that they managed to smash into your birdhouse not once but twice?!?!!
    You always keep your home so lovely and you’re always so careful with everything it must have been maddening to learn what happened to your birdhouse.
    Looks like you’re doing an excellent job of fixing it and yes I think you need new gardeners.

    • It upset me pretty badly but I stayed calm since I like the main guy (the owner) but his attitude when I confronted him was pretty apathetic. At least he didn’t lie about it. I’m going to get a few quotes from some of the companies my neighbors use, there have just been too many issues with this company for me to keep using them. Thanks, Catalynn! Appreciate that so much!

  8. I have to comment regarding the problems you had with the painter and the lawn company causing damage and then leaving. I bought a condo which needs work, and I’m finding that businesses are no longer doing what they are supposed to do. Unprofessional and/or can’t be trusted. In one case I paid for hurricane windows and they took my money and then wouldn’t respond to me for months. I involved the Dept of Professional Regulation, and the Investigator told me his desk is piled high with business complaints. If I do anything else I will be sure they aren’t only licensed and insured, but I know people who have used them recently and were happy. I say recently because the window company was used by my neighbor 8 years ago. The problems have apparently escalated with businesses post pandemic. I need screens on my patio and 2 small baths remodeled and I’m hesitant to do anything at all, so I’m waiting.

    • Laura, I completely agree! That’s exactly where I am right now. Everything I have done, requires multiple visits to fix issues. Part of it is related to so many people retiring and the lack of quality artisans/workforce these days. Every place seems to be hiring, so if you get anything done these days, you may be getting someone very inexperienced doing the work, or you have to wait weeks and months due to labor shortage. It’s ridiculous. I’m holding off doing my bathrooms until things get back to normal, although even in the past I’ve had trouble finding good workmen here in the ATL area. The painting company I hired is a “Trust Dale” company, so I was surprised the first painter they sent out was so awful. He truly didn’t care about his work, all he had on his mind was getting done and on to the next job. You would believe the stuff he did! That’s why it has taken so long to get the garage finished. The painter they sent out to fix everything has had to undo what the previous painter did and then redo it correctly. On top of that, the prices for everything have gone up drastically…so you pay more for terrible workmanship.

      • Yes, agreed about the prices too! Overpriced for a poor job. I also need a new front door and plan to ask neighbors that have had the job done already.

  9. Hi Susan, goldenrod, or solidago, has so many varieties! It is wonderful in the garden, and fairly easy to pull up if you want to. But I leave ours up for the bees! It is one of the few later summer season bloomers up here…love that. We need as much bee food as we can get these days, and most every homeowner can help with that….plant for the bees! 🙂 Glad you left your up and blooming!

    • I loved seeing the bees all over it! I’ll let more of it grow next year now that I know they love it. Thanks, Rosie!

      • I wish everyone can pay as close attention to the bee situation in their yard as you have in yours! Honeybees are SOOOO needed! The more we talk about it the better….people may not realize how much help they can give just by having the right flowers planted. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  10. franki Parde says

    I NEED TO get to a “Cracker Barrel”…hope they brought their “Coco Cola Chocolate Cake” back.

  11. Patty Brenner says

    I would have been fuming about the bird house incident – mostly because they didn’t tell you and offer to fix it, ugh. I hope you find a better company for the future. We have a variety of golden rod in Texas, too, it’s lovely to see along the road. I’ve heard that it’s very important for bees, since it’s one of the last flowers before winter, and it helps them make the last bit of honey to get through the winter. I’d like to plant some on my property, I like to hear the hum of the bees on flowers 🙂

  12. A couple of years ago the lawn guy who trims after the mowers cut the grass was careless and flipped a bunch of stones into the sliding glass door and broke it. The company had to replace the glass. They are more careful now. If your birdhouse is ruined you might ask…ok, demand…they replace it. That style of birdhouse is pricey. This week we are painting and cleaning the master closet including new carpet. The carpet people sent the wrong carpet and they had to replace. You have to watch people so closely now. I don’t know what has happened. Of course, I hope this is the worst thing we ever have to deal with. Grateful for only small problems around here.

  13. Sorry to hear that your birdhouse was knocked over…and that stinks that the landscapers didn’t even tell you! Glad you can fix it and enjoy. Years ago, a bear took out our feeder – swiped it right off the 4×4 and ripped off the copper roof. That was the end of our feeding the birds. Now downsized and living in an apartment with huge windows, the couple below us on the ground floor have feeders…I sit and watch the birds fly past and get to enjoy them once more!

  14. cheryl sinks says

    Same thing happened to me-lawn people wrecked my bird bath and I switched companies-they also smashed a huge pot-pretty careless!!

  15. Susan. Goldenrod is a host plant for the Blue winged wasp which preys on Japanese beetles. I just got some goldenrod to draw these non aggressive bees to hopefully keep the beetles at bay.

  16. Tina W Reynolds says

    Goldenrod or ragweed? Either way…ah-ah-choo! I have also had so many different types of bees in my area. I am happy to see the pollinators, but last week I was stung by the type of wasp known as the paper wasp. People here call them yellow jackets and often think they are bees. But, alas, they are wasps, and they are the bad boys when it comes to stinging. I was chatting with my sister in her yard and was stung by one. He was clasped onto my leg so tightly that I saw him burrow that stinger in. That split second seemed to run in slow motion! Honestly, I made eye-contact with that bad boy! I had the pain and swelling, but then it turned into intense itching for the entire week. I’m sorry to hear about the casual attitude your lawn crew had about damage. I have found this to be true across the board. There is a sad lack of respect for the property of others and a casual attitude, as if it doesn’t matter. So sorry!

  17. Cyndi Raines says

    You are a saint Susan. I would have been asking for reimbursement to purchase another since they really ruined yours and didn’t even bother to tell you! That is so wrong! Good thing you are so handy and are trying to repair it. I would definitely move on to another lawncare company.

    • Yeah, it was the not telling me part that really bugged me. I didn’t like having to “discover” it when it was nearly falling off the post. I managed to get it put back together. I straightened up the bent nails, repainted all the parts, and using wood glue I was able to line up the 4 nails again into the correct holes/sides and reattach it. I think the wood glue will really help. Then I caulked it where the base and house connect since the original seal was broken when it fail. It still has a small dent in the copper top, but I turned that around so it’s not visible coming down the road or from my yard. My lawn guy was scheduled to come out a week later to do some shrub trimming and I showed him how much the house cost on Amazon where I purchased it. I wanted him to understand that it was not an inexpensive house. He did a good bit of shrub trimming, was here for probably an hour and would not let me pay him. So I think he tried to make up for the broken house and my dented gas lantern pole that they’ve backed into a couple of times. He promised they would not let it happen again, so we’ll see. Hopefully, I won’t have that issue again. I’ve used them for 10+ years and they are pretty reasonably priced, but if something else happens, I will have to find another company.

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