Oh! the weather outside is frightful delightful… which makes it hard to be inside working on my computer. I tried taking it outside to write a post, but the glare on the screen made it impossible. Sorry, but the sunshine won. I know any northern dwelling reader understands this outside tug… drawing me out into the fresh air which is one reason why I haven’t posted too much the past week. The other is that I am moving my blog. The process is almost complete, another week and I will tell you all about it. If you subscribe to my blog through your e-mail you may have noticed some re-posts that accidentally came through. Things may get odd for a day or two, but I have been assured it will only be temporary, please bear with me if they do. At this point I am not sure if you will have to re-subscribe or not, but I do know you will be able to reach me at inmyownstyle.com or net. Just keep checking back for updates. Thanks
As I stated above, I have been throughly enjoying our summer like Spring. It is 87 degrees here in suburban Philadelphia. I actually got sunburned during my lunch break at work. Tomorrow it is going to be even nicer (I don’t know how that is possible) but I am bringing shorts to change into at lunchtime so I can give my pasty legs a dose of sunshine. It’s good for you, ya know some free Vitamin D.
After I got home from work I sat outside on my empty deck. My backyard is still in winter mode. No deck swing, no table, chairs, chaises and cushions. No flowers or candles, music, or margaritas. I like to sit out here every Spring and plan how I am going to set things up. About 10 years ago I outfitted the entire backyard with items purchased at Costco. I dubbed it the ” Costco backyard”. Most of those items are gone, but I still have a few. I hesitate to buy too much since my husband is out of work and I am not sure if we will have to move or not. If we do, I will need to get things ready to put the house on the market – aka “staging”. If he lands a position in a local firm, then I can create something a bit more like the backyard vision in my head, oh- the joys of living in limbo. For now I have to be creative and thrifty in what I come up with.
Reality looks like this…
A nice sized deck that my husband, Ed and I built about 14 years ago. He built it with a little help from me. See below, I am holding a board for him…
I designed the deck on a computer at the Home Depot. I also created a full size pattern on a big sheet of paper of the Chippendale design railing. We used that pattern to cut each rail to size and then pieced each section together on top of the pattern before installing it.
It’s our summer place where we eat, entertain, and relax.
This is where my annuals will go. Last weekend, Ed lopped off the ornamental grass. It gets huge. I built the fieldstone border.
I built all the fieldstone raised beds around the backyard. I went to a free class at a local supply company and learned how to do it. This was a long time ago, before HGTV. I was the only woman in the class with a bunch of burly landscaping contractors. I learned a lot and came home with all of their business cards as they thought I would be calling them and wouldn’t want to do it myself. They were wrong. It was easy, like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.
I ordered 4 pallets of fieldstone and they were delivered right to my driveway. I measured out the area where I wanted the border and then dug a flat ditch a little wider than my proposed wall width. I then placed a flat layer of tiny stones in the bottom and then started stacking the fieldstone’s on top of that layer. I had to make sure I kept the wall level and used a “bubble level” to check that I was doing so.
The hardest part was breaking the big stones that were hidden in the middle of the pallets, you know like when you buy produce and the stalks in the center that you don’t see are all yellow and limp. I needed a sledge hammer and my husband to break them up.
At the same class I also learned how to lay flagstones into rocks to make a path. The hardest part about this was having to remove the grass. Once that was done, it was very simple. I placed a black plastic liner as a weed block over the dirt where the grass used to be. You have to make sure the ground is flat by tapping down with a tapper. Place the flagstone a step distance apart and then lay the rocks on.
Once this area is all cleaned up, some fresh mulch added around the bushes it will look much better than it does now.
First 3 photos are from CoastalLiving.com
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