Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bare-naked Back Yard Truth

While we've been doing some amount of work on the outside of our Ugly Duckling like shift our fence line (here), put up a make-shift patio (here) and getting started on planting some flowers (here), our outdoors is still pretty scruffy looking. Granted, until we replace the weeds with either sod (highly unlikely) , a wildflower lawn (pretty but unlikely) or perennial peanut (most likely), it'll continue to look fairly scruffy unless it's been weedwhacked just the day before. Tamed weeds look a bit more ...ahem, sophisticated than crazy growing ones.

And then there are the leaves . Pointy prickly holly leaves, green holly berries and a scattering of leaves and wilted blooms from the Crape Myrtles. They provide a constant blessing. Add to that a helping of tools and supplies and the need for an exterior paint job for our house and it's not so much "shabby chic" as "in need of TLC".

[Before: Please HGTV my mess!]

Fortunately, the blue box has been having a great sale for anything outdoors going on. A lot of items in the gardening department are discounted at the end of the season, so it's definitel;y worth dropping in and scouting out what your store has to offer. I found plenty of lovely things discounted by as much as 80% without any mentioning in sales flyers anywhere!

[Backyard stoop with curtains]

Curtains make everything look more civilized so I broke out the curtains we had hanging on our big porch over at Silver Street and after a quick run through the washer hung them in our little covered stoop.

One of my lucky finds at the blue box was a table for our backyard. We'd gone tableless until now and had dragged out a table from inside if we felt like having a meal in the back yard, but a dedicated back yard table would be so much nicer. Putting it together was easy-peasy and accomplished quickly, especially with Seamus supervising the project.

[Perfect match!]

Another lucky find was this box of string lights I added to the back stoop for a little sparkle!

Tossing this all together and giving the back yard patio a quick cleaning (you know, like moving all tools and saw horses into the shed and coralling all balls and other toys into a rubbermaid container) actually played a major part in transforming our back yard patio and stoop. Things are starting to come together. Granted, they are temporary fixes - we are planning to build a deck in its stead - but for now they'll serve us well and will be less of an eye sore to our neighbors to boot!

[After: Not too shabby]

Cost breakdown:

  • pavers: $0 (repurposed from other area of the house)

  • no-dig edging: $16

  • 3 bags of pea gravel: $10

  • new table: $25

  • lights: $7

  • hanging planter: $0

  • potatoe vine: $0 (it's a cutting from a plant I had already)

The bext thing about this little spruce up adventure? We are now actually using the back yard for more than just hopping into the pool and working on projects! There's a place to put your drink and a neat little area to sit and read a book. Is it HGTV worthy? Naww, far from it, but it's a lot better than before and that's what counts.

Baby steps, folks, baby steps.

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