Thursday, June 22, 2017

Backyard Update

I feel like we decorated and got the house "together" pretty soon after moving in last Spring, but one thing that was put on the back burner was our outdoor space... specifically the patio.  After living here for a year and really figuring out how we wanted the space to function we've made some progress!

WARNING!!! I have a TON of pictures... I'm aware.  I can't help myself! ;)

This first picture is a little bit dark but if you live in the South you know how AMAZING that is because it means shade!  #hallelujah  This is right when you step out onto the patio from the kitchen...




There's a love seat, coffee table, chairs, side table and a potting table....



My dad made the potting table for me years ago and sanding and restaining/sealing it is on my project list for the Fall.  I actually use it do to a lot of gardening things hence the bottom shelf :) 


The little galvanized stand is where we keep sunscreen (and backup sunscreen), extra pots, citronella candles and is also where we keep the speaker when we're hanging out out back.




You'll have to excuse our grass... the sweet kid who mows for us is at camp this week :)

If you remember last year's post that back garden area was full of really gross and tall vines and ground cover.  We had that all pulled up, had a few of the bushes removed and are still planning to put a playhouse of some sort down where that bird bath is.

It's super shady (hence the grass situation we're working on) and you can see it from the kitchen window so I think it will be the perfect spot.





Right off the patio is the pool - which is something that we have grown to love.  At first having a pool made me SUPER nervous but after having the fence installed we felt 1000% better.  We had the fence professionally installed last Spring... they drilled holes down into our decking and then put the fence poles down into the holes.  We can remove sections of it at a time, it can withstand all of our crazy weather and doesn't bother me visually at all anymore.  I don't foresee us taking it down even when the kids are older just because you never know who's going to be over (friends, friends of friends, kids of friends, etc.) and I just don't see any reason to NOT have it up.


Our pool is a "play pool" and is about 5 feet deep at it's deepest point in the middle. 



The pool float resting spot :)


The little gazebo felt super awkward at first since we really had no clue what to do with it.  We picked up some stackable adirondack chairs, strung up some lights and called it a day.  




We didn't want to do any large furniture out there right now because we want the space to be flexible... shady spot for a picnic blanket, food table at a party, performance stage, etc.  I'm excited about having pumpkins out there this Fall and someone on Instagram even suggested a Christmas tree in the middle this Holiday season!  We're going to leave the lights up year round and I'm loving all the possibilities.  (Plus - if you're a Gilmore Girls fan it's seeming very "Stars Hollow" to me at the moment!)


The trampoline is on the far side of the yard and after much debate we've decided to just let this side be a big ol' space for the kids to run, play soccer, practice baseball, etc.  We are looking into getting a little shed to go on the side of the house to hold all their sports stuff and I would LOVE to have a raised bed garden over here BUT I just don't have the time to commit to that right now.




In the garden at the back of the house I have a small butterfly bush and three lantana plants.  Lantana LOVE the hot sun and so they've done REALLY well so far this year.  I had them back there last year as well and loved them.






You can see where the sunny spot ends and the lantana I had in the shady spot last year never really grew so this Spring I planted a perennial butterfly bush and it lives up to it's name and we get to see lots of beautiful butterflies out there!



Other plants that I have around the backyard are asparagus ferns (these do really well for me potted in shady spots)...


.... moss rose in hanging baskets (these do well in full sun, but do need to get watered often in the summer or else they dry out crazy fast!)...



... and this purslane that has absolutely TAKEN OVER this pot!  It gets a pretty significant amount of sun and is growing like a weed!  The kids think it's awesome too because the flowers close up at night and reopen in the morning!  I mixed it in with sweet potato vine and stonecrop which has pretty much been overrun by the purslane at this point.







The pool area gets a TON of sun and the sweet potato vine is LOVING it!



I have no clue the name of these plants outside the gazebo... at one point they had big orange flowers but all that really mattered was that they were "drought tolerant".  I never water them (AWESOME!) and they're growing!


I have NEVER seen peony plants for sale here because I think we're pretty much the exact opposite climate of where they thrive ;)  That said, when I saw two plants at Lowe's I had to take a chance on them.  I left them in their pots and moved them around my yard to see if I could find a spot shady/cool enough for them and they wilted every afternoon.  So... I planted them in a large pot and am crossing my fingers that I can keep them alive on the patio and MAYBE get a few blooms years down the road.  If you've had success with growing peonies in the South I'd love to hear your advice!




The HUGE pot by the back door I bought about 10 years ago at a flea market and my mom and I carried/rolled that sucker about 1/4 mile back to the car :)  I thought that the winter had killed the asparagus fern in it but when I went to plant something else in the pot there was a tiny little sprig of fern so I decided just to let it grow.  I'm hoping I can be a little more diligent this winter and keep it alive.



 The patio set is new... I grabbed it for a STEAL and even though we just put it together this past weekend we're really loving it already!  (I purchased it from Sears HERE but you can also find it on Amazon HERE).  Our old set was about 8 years old and so we were excited to get something a little more our current style.

It needed a little "something" so I grabbed these pillows from World Market (for 50% off!) for a little bit of pattern/texture.  The side table is also from World Market. 












We knew we wanted a dining table outside but weren't sold on a table/chairs setup.  Since we're a family of 5 if we have my parents over (or any other family/couple) a typical 6-seat table wouldn't work.  PLUS we wanted it to be super durable and not have to worry about bringing in cushions all the time since that particular area isn't covered.  


So... we settled on a picnic table and we are OBSESSED!!!  I found a local guy who built, stained and sealed it for us and we ADORE it!  It's 8 feet long and 5 feet wide (including the benches) and we bought an umbrella to make it usable during the day and we are out here ALL THE TIME! 


It seats a TON of people and is amazingly durable.  I foresee a TON of family memories around this table!  If you're local and interested in having a table built I can't recommend Jim enough!  His email address is jim@iamjimoler.com and he's great to work with.  
(PS - this post is in NO WAY sponsored!!!)



Thanks so much for hanging out out back with me today!  Hope you enjoyed the tour!


Happy Thursday, friends!

PS - This post contained affiliate links!  Thanks so much for supporting my blog!

50 comments :

  1. Your backyard is looking gorgeous Friend!

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  2. Well, it looks amazing out there! Great job, friend!

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  3. So pretty!! And it's not much help, but my husband's grandpa always grew peonies in Oklahoma. It's a similar climate, but I don't know what his secrets were and he's in Heaven now so we can't ask him. ;)

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  4. Your backyard is so inviting!!! Invite me over today :).

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  5. Outdoor living is my favorite! We bought our house because of the amazing screened in back porch. i love what you've done with your outdoor space. Makes me want to come over for a swim!
    http://www.lettinginthelightblog.com

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  6. I love the idea of keeping the gazebo all Stars Hollow year round! I think it would be fun to decorate for fall and Christmas out there.
    I love your home. It's so family friendly, yet beautiful, too.

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    1. Thank you!!! Pretty livable (pretty but livable) has always been my goal so that is such a sweet compliment!

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  7. I love this post. We are outside all the time so our yard is an extension of our home. I love how inviting your yard is. That picnic table is amazing!

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    1. Thank you!!! Totally agree about it being an extension of the home!

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  8. What a great space! Love the picnic table and I'm so jealous of your pool! :)

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    1. Thanks, Tracy! The pool is definitely more fun than we thought it would be :)

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  9. Love everything about your outdoor space!!! I know you are enjoying it with your kids this summer! Have a blessed day!

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  10. Really great job, Andrea! Love the plants! I would love to have a potting table so that MAY have to be on my list of WANTS for my back patio! I have a huge farm table that my dad built for me years ago and I am thinking that I need to do benches along the sides and a chair at each end, instead of all chairs. Seeing your picnic table makes me think that is a way better solution!

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    1. Benches would be so pretty!!! I love that you have a table that your dad built!

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  11. I love that you mentioned the gazebo made you think of Stars Hollow, because that is exactly what I thought when you first showed pics/videos of it with the bunting and lights! It is definitely Stars Hollow-esque and I LOVE the idea of pumpkins and then a Christmas tree! You guys have done a great job with your space!

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    1. Thank you!!! If I wasn't already excited enough about pumpkins... :) hahaha

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  12. Beautiful outdoor space--love it!

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  13. Your backyard space is beautiful!!! ❤️

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  14. Love your backyard!! I have a ton of peony plants I inherited with the house we bought a couple of years ago. I live in the northern Texas panhandle, so we get a little colder than y'all, but same heat in the summer. Ugh...and I know my husbands aunt-who lives in McKinney-took some of her mother's peony plants from up in this area and has planted them there successfully. So I'm def not an expert, but I would suggest buying some as tubers to plant in the ground come fall. The ones you have in the pot do not look anything like how they grow out of the ground. They start as thick red ugly finger-like things and then get super tall with tons of leaves. I think even the first year you plant them they still get huge, but no blooms. So I would guess yours are wilting because they don't have that big root ball as a base. Again, I'm not an expert, but I think if you get some tubers and plant in the fall you'll have success!! My peonies are my favorite part of spring and make me so happy!! Since mine were already established, I haven't had to do much. I just cut them down to the ground after the first freeze! Good luck!

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    1. GREAT advice!!! I'm going to look into tubers and planting them in the back garden where we get shade. Thank you so much!

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  15. Love your outside area and pool! My kids would love it as well. Great area!

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    1. Thanks, Laci! We're definitely enjoying the space!

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  16. Absolutely beautiful, love the pool and you are doing such a good job with your plants.

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  17. I just love your sense of style! Can I hire you to come do my house and backyard?!

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  18. I think those unknown plants are aloe!!! PERFECT to slice open and apply on sunburns and my mom uses it on her face as skin care as well!

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    1. That's what my mom said too! I need to cut into one and see!

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  19. If you google "hedgehog aloe vera plant", I think you may find that that is what is potted by your gazebo! And what a perfect choice, because you can use it on sunburns.

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  20. LOVE IT! I made a list on my phone of some of your plants and plan on taking it to Calloway's for some inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. I love your backyard space! It's functional and cute- the perfect combination!

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  22. LOVE your backyard!! It's a little oasis and I can see how you've grown to love the pool! We have a giant backyard and eventually want a pool (prob above ground because there's really no need for inground in the midwest) but we are having trouble visioning everything, probably because the space is so big!

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    1. I can imagine that would be hard! Good luck planning your space!

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  23. I live in Oklahoma and my peony plant has thrived planted in the ground and in full sun. When I potted it to move it to a new house, because I was crazy and couldn't part with it, it got mad and quit blooming, but then started blooming again once it was back in the ground. Good luck :)

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    1. Good to know! Maybe I just need to plant it and hope for the best!

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  24. What a beautiful spot to enjoy and I was just in TX and you need shade so this spot looks perfect. I love the Stars Hollow reference I am only on season 2 but now I am totally hook line and sinker ;). xoxo ERIN

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    1. Oh, girl!!! You're going to want to be a Gilmore!!!

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  25. I would love to come hang out with you in that cozy backyard space;). We have a pool area right off of the back of our house as well and when you spend a lot of time out there, its nice to make as inviting as possible. We have been in this house for 7 summers and each summer we add something, change it up a little. Always a work in progress. I love your touches and may be borrowing some of them for our space:)

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    1. Agreed! We spent a ton of time out there so it's been fun making it our "own" :)

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