05 March 2014

Revisiting the Outdoor Spaces

My fears came true and the stomach virus that hit our household this past weekend has me in its grips. On the upside, being bedridden gives one plenty of time to ponder - and pondering I am over our outdoor spaces. The newly refreshed exterior has motivated me to clean up the yard and update the outdoor furniture. And after seven years, its definitely time to do some dividing and conquering.

This is a post from two years ago showing the side yard. I cringe when I look at the quality of the photos, but if you can get past that, it's a good representation of what the yard looks like. Very little has changed. I'd love to give you the tour again.

Several years ago Hub's + I got a crazy "we can do it ourselves" notion and built a flagstone patio on our side yard (hindsight shows that it wasn't the brightest decision we ever made together). It was just going to be a small cozy spot to hang out in the evenings and a place for guests to spill over from off our deck when entertaining. But it somehow morphed into something much larger as we went along and went from from a manageable 12' x 16' intimate space to a 16' x 72' patio that spans the entire side of our house.
The view above is what you see as you step off the deck and onto our side yard. Behind the Dragon's Blood Japanese Maple is a shade garden and separate resting spot built with paved rocks.We like to hang a hammock there between two oaks. In the summer it's the perfect place for a cool rest when we're working in the yard. Unfortunately you can't see it in the pic's, it's a special hideaway tucked behind the main garden.

This is another view from the same location off the deck and just a little to your left. The steps in the foreground are where you step down from the deck. The steps in the background take you up into the lawn and the chicken coop hubby built for my "designer" bantams. We don't have any chickens right now, but plan to re-populate in the near future. I miss them...
This view is from the opposite side of the patio that leads from the driveway.We love the contrast of color which the hay-lined path gives, and it's an economical alternative that can be later composted into the gardens). The large oak makes a canopy that completely engulfs the path.  As you walk through, you're immediately drawn into the garden.
The path splits here. To your left the path winds down to the vegetable garden. To your right is where you step onto the patio.
Every flagstone was personally laid by hand by me. Some of them weighed 75-100 pounds each. I'm convinced it was sheer determination that got me through the process.
In the end it has been the most rewarding project we've done to date.



  1. Wow!
    I love your yard.
    I love the fact that you laid the flagstone yourself.
    It's all so beautiful.
    It's currently snowing here and I'm craving "green" so bad that I think I might be mad.

  2. It is spectacular!! We did a big lawn/garden overhaul a couple of years ago, so I can sort of relate. But those flagstones a serious labor of love! And it's so nice to see photos of green stuff . . .


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