Welcome to my outdoor space!
Over here, I am all about keeping my kids close, and keeping their friends close as well! With a twelve and fourteen year old, our yard needs have changed over the past few years, and we’ve tried to adapt our outdoor spaces to those changing needs. Gone is the play yard structure, and in it’s place, we have a 15 foot enclosed trampoline. (Sadly it killed the grass in the main part of our yard, but it brings in kids from every part of our neighborhood and keeps them entertained for hours on end, so it is worth it.)
We also added what we call the Party Pit to a backyard corner that never got used much when our kids were little. It’s hidden behind one side of our house, but it’s the perfect spot for catching the last rays of the sun in the evenings and feels like a hideaway of sorts. We put two creamy-painted picnic tables back there for entertaining friends, a potting bench my guys made that doubles as a buffet, a fire pit surrounded with Adirondack chairs for marshmallow toasting and late night chats, and six garden boxes ring the outside edges. Over the top of all, we strung cafe lighting which creates a festive mood.
Our family doesn’t love doing yard work, but I enjoy gardening and especially growing flowers to bring inside and enjoy all summer long. We made an herb garden box, a salad garden box, one for veggies and three cutting garden boxes. We have an out of control Wisteria vine growing up the side, and we have plans for a small arbor as you enter into the party pit
We have a lot of places to land in this yard, which is perfect when there are a lot of middle schoolers around. We have a hammock, an umbrella topped bistro table, a bench with cushions, and some lounging chairs in various corners. On the other side of our house, we have a long narrow strip of grass that gets used as our ball throwing area. Each night, as the BBQ is going, my people play catch or shoot nerf guns in this area. I even created a painted plywood target for them and hung it on the inside of the gate.
I love lavender plants, hostas, boxwood, peonies, lilacs and hydrangeas and you’ll see them scattered throughout the front and back yard beds.
Perhaps my favorite corner of our outdoor space, is our front porch. I spend a lot of my summer out here. It’s a perfect place to sit in the afternoon shade, sip iced tea, and keep an eye on kids bike riding or roller blading, etc. (I showed a before and after of these these chairs here, in this post. One problem with having homes so close to one another, is a lack of privacy. Earlier this past spring, I hung a trellis on the side of the front porch and planted a climbing clematis. It doesn’t exactly solve the no-privacy issue, but it does help it to feel a little more private and it wasn’t an expensive fix!
When we moved into this home twelve years ago, it was a new construction, spec home with very basic landscaping and no grass. Every year we have add a little more to the landscaping as the budget allows and over time it has begun to take shape. Our exterior color is gray and I’ve kept an overall yardscape color of greens, blues, lavenders, and whites that compliment the house color.
It is so easy to get bogged down with all the ideas we want to do, and the budget for the things we actually can do…. Every project I’ve ever tackled, has been on a budget, using what I had on hand, or adapting what I could get my hands on or make, and now everything in our space tells a story, albeit an imperfect story. So yeah, the umbrella might be broken and have to be opened a certain way, and the borders might not be perfectly edged, or the grass under the trampoline might have turned to dirt, or there might be an empty flower bed all year long waiting for budget freedom to get filled… but the nice thing is this; It doesn’t have to be perfect to be perfect for you. Life isn’t a Pinterest board, it’s a work in progress. It’s otter pop wrappers on that just oiled butcher block table top. It’s watermelon rinds thrown into the grass. It’s a slightly deflated exercise ball on the trampoline and kids fighting at the top of their lungs over who’s turn it is. Or at least it was for me yesterday. And it was pretty perfect just the way it was. Thanks for stopping by!