Monday, June 3, 2013

Backyard Beautification!

Sometimes Mother Nature does you a favor...There was a row of arbor vitae that we installed in our backyard about 11 years ago that recently seemed to be lackluster in their appeal...they were thinning out and not growing like the rest of the trees we planted.

So when I gave my husband the news that he better get his shovel... because divine inspiration had come upon me...he just grumbled under his breadth...(knowingly)... once inspiration strikes me I am not one to wait around...and he graciously indulged me AGAIN (as always)...have I mentioned how much I love this man?

I decided to design a new seating area that would function as another "room" in our garden...functional for a myriad of things...most effectively as more seating as we entertain often! I drew it up and called my other favorite man...Jim..."carpenter extraordinaire"! He also indulges me in my crazy schemes..and gets things done in a timely manner!

Jim began to build the whole structure and the custom table....we completed the whole structure in one day (except the trim which Jim installed the next day)... we painted it white and laid sod...thinking initially that we would have the bench be a permanent structure and only put up a table and chairs when entertaining..

...we liked the new openness...gaining about 6 ft. of yard back with the trees removed.

I had a feeling we would be installing a blue stone gravel patio eventually but my husband wanted to see how it all looked with lawn...and I wanted to indulge him...but I knew better....

and so did Mother Nature...we watched her do her work with rains this past week...(you go girl!)

This side of the yard tends to be the wet side and I knew within a few days (especially after consulting a couple of girlfriends who will give it to me straight) that nobody would want to slosh in muddy grass to a new eating I convinced Skip to help me install a beautiful, functional patio!

I went to the stone yard after work and shoveled one ton (yes-ONE TON) of blue stone gravel into bins in my SUV by myself. It was 85 degrees and I chuckled at my tenacity and my muscles (lol). I was determined!! I got the other supplies together too- the tarp to prevent weeds/grass from popping through the patio, the trim for the patio and  railroad ties to keep it all in place. We even installed a drain pipe under the patio so that the area would stay dry.

 Everything was ready to go when my husband got home at 6:30...and we began... I drew the design on the lawn....and we got to work.

Skip installed the trim to keep the blue stone gravel in place while I shoveled and spread the blue stone gravel all over the new 10 X 13 ft. space. We were both hot and tired but knew we were on the right track....

and now for the final reveal.... 

The view from the upper patio...before I changed out the chairs for a new set and added more plates and pillows...

in the afternoon light...

we stained the custom cedar table (almost 4ft) a slate stain by Cabot. The table will remain outside all year is way too heavy to move! I am looking forward to seeing it weather and become even more rustic...

I styled the area with antique English china and a gold mirror from Target and some lanterns that I had in storage.

I added some outdoor blue pillows for the bench and some chairs that I sprayed white for added seating. I might change the chairs for another style but these were on hand so I will  live with them for awhile.

It is fun to play around with different plantings at the entry to the garden folly which  is adjacent to the new seating area...often I use the space to set up an inside buffet or bar when entertaining in this new space...

We hosted a special gathering from my son's school with students visiting from Jordan for an international competition...and we put the table to good use. At one point we had 15 seated at the table comfortably...such practicality!! Yippee!

I am just thrilled with the new space! It is so practical and provides a great new focal point for a previously boring spot in the garden!


  1. Well, I feel like I was a little lazy this past weekend looking at what you three got done!! LOVE it!! No doubt you will enjoy this space for a very long and fun time!! xo

    1. I have to say this was a fun project with a big payoff! Thanks Kim!!xoxo

  2. It is AMAZING what we can do when we want something....So happy you were able to do the prep! You did GREAT!
    The reveal is absolutely fantastic!!!!! A wonderful place to enjoy family and friends....
    Love it when we magically add square feet to our homes!

    1. Thanks Patty for all your support! I really appreciate all your wonderful comments!

  3. Amazing!! I am in the middle of rethinking my own backyard, so you are inspiration to me!! Thank you Emily!



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