Summer officially starts tomorrow!
Here has been home for 21 summers, the inside and outside has seen many looks, some that we look back in pictures and exclaim what were we thinking!
The backyard specifically has transformed slowly and with various looks. Our yard goes downhill; our only real flat land we had to work with was at the very top by the back of the house.
In 1997 my dad, and then young teen brother, spent an entire rainy weekend building a deck to span most of that flat area, the remainder was along the walkway leading into the yard, which became home to ferns.
Over the next two decades our yard would see vegetable gardens in the back corners which our dogs dug up and grazed on.
A garden in front of the deck build with wall patio bricks.
Various children’s pools, trampolines and a large swing play set that sat at the back of our yard, on somewhat flat land, for nearly the two decades.
Lilac trees and bushes of various kinds tucked here and there among the wonkiness of our uneven terrain.
A hot tub a few years ago, currently one of my favorite areas back there.
Free 2×2 patio stones created steps leading to the back of the yard.
We even had the crazy idea to put in a fish pond, that only lasted a few years, however one of the gold fish, who grew to be about 6 inches, still lives happily in our indoor aquarium.
Two years ago the play set would be taken down, hubz enjoyed using his saw to cut through it all, as I sat feeling torn about this transition. All the memories of our 4 children, all our nieces and many other children who filled that structure with life for over half of my life, flashed before me.
2016 was goodbye fish pond, goodbye play set and hello fire pit sitting area. We purchased a propane fire pit, 4 Adirondack chairs and a lawn swing, which we put down in the play set’s place. Let’s just say the uneven area worked for the play set, but was not level enough as a sitting area.
Fast forward to last year, before the flood we had decided to build a flat area back there, patio stones or a floating deck. It almost didn’t happen with all the chaos.
Hubz took a weekend and built a floating deck, creating a level sitting area, and somehow the backyard that never really seemed to come together for this long, had new life in it, I truly enjoyed every inch of it finally, it helped that it was my escape from what was going on inside.
This year we had one small project left to do, use up patio stones from building the dogs pool pad (which was done with free patio stones we got online a week before the flood). We had decided to use the rest in front of the fire pit deck and put a bench on it.
With everything in order and us both loving our yard and wanting to enjoy it and this summer, we had nothing left to do back there, or did we?
I had the crazy idea to do “container” vegetables and herbs. The once fern garden turned pond area turned blank slate would be home to my new adventure, with the containers being things I had already in there.
In the garden is already; red wood chips, a few gnomes, our first built bench and a concrete boot I used for basil (hubz got it for me, to represent my late dad’s work boot) It once again has basil that we use for homemade salsa for bruschetta. Also in it is a barrel planter with strawberries. They’re not doing so well but I’m working on reviving them.
Most things need full sunlight and this area gets very little, the basil did great last year so I left it. The rest I ended up pulling containers from the shady garden, planted the veggies in them, and relocated them down by the bench. I had a wooden children’s potty chair that I painted many years ago, it had faux lavender in it for a few years, I popped a new pot into it and planted bush mini cucumbers. Next came this metal container we picked up at a thrift store last year, I believe it is used for removing ashes? I planted red peppers in that.
I used a simple oval flower pot I had, for lettuce. Lastly was a vase I made from scrap wood a few years ago, it almost was donated, literally being plucked out of our trunk at the last second, it would go on to be home to green peppers.
Just when I thought, done all done, hubz brought home this beauty of a chippy door from his parents torn down old shed. I decorated it with a handmade dream catcher and rag garland, then added it to my now empty garden, Right beside a very chippy white chair I’ve had for several years.
He also brought home wood posts, 4×4 and 6×6, and you know I had to get to work. Two sit in our his and hers sitting area, two on tables by our fire pit, two on our newly built bench, and one was made to place at my dad’s grave.
I’d like to say finally I’m done, but it’s now my summer mission to add flair to the yard, taking inspiration from my lovely door and many fellow bloggers. I’m setting out to do it with “junky” pieces, some perhaps I’ll repurpose and some perhaps leave as is, adding to the “empty garden” mainly, but I’m sure it will spill out everywhere eventually.
Who knows where the warm summer wind will take me. Who knows what item I will find to repurpose or upcycle for the yard. Who knows how many times I change my mind!
Enjoy your summer areas and projects. Think outside the box and try using something fun as a plant container or yard décor.
Happy What Was It Wednesday and summer everyone!
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