If I had my druthers and allergies didn’t exist, I would basically live in my garden. When I bought my new house last July, there was really just a courtyard with a patio and two trees in the backyard. There was a large shed taking up prime real estate and not nearly enough patio space for my outdoor furniture. I knew I wanted to tackle the yard as soon as possible so I started with hardscaping.
One of the first things I was able to do in my backyard is set up my hammock. For now, I’ve decided to leave this space rather untouched. I don’t want it to be overgrown and crowd the hammock.
I love my New Orleans-style courtyard, the only patio that existed when I bought the house. Trumpet vine hangs from the eaves.
You should know this about me straightaway: I am not a DIY person. I’m more of a work-your-ass-off-and-pay-professionals-to-do-a-great-job person. I found best in Concrete Services on Thumbtack and was so excited to have a concrete patio that looks like stone instead of one that is stone. I loved the look of my former flagstone patio at my old house but the patio constantly needed to be weeded and the chair would tip over if on gravel and not the stones. Who even knew you could make concrete look like stone?
Nepote and his team are super nice guys and busted out this patio in just a couple of days. It was really fascinating to watch them transform a slab of concrete into stone with just a mold and powdered color. Originally I thought I’d have my outdoor dining table on this back patio but I really love how protected the umbrella is in the courtyard so I decided to have a large lounge patio in the back. It’s a substantial 10×12 foot patio right up against the fence.
Fire Pit Patio
When I bought the house, there was a large shed that stuck out of a nook on the side of my house. It felt unstable and I had no interest in keeping the shed. My dad removed it piece by piece (thanks Dad!) and Nepote and his team added railroad ties, gravel, and stone for a simple patio where the shed once was. It’s honestly the nicest view of any chair in my backyard because it looks out to the trees and my back patio. For months this patio had hand-me-down furniture on it before I turned it into a fire pit patio in January. This is now one of my favorite places to sit! I love drinking coffee by the fire on weekend mornings. My dog Gabby absolutely loves getting to lounge on the couch. My trumpet vine acts as a living canopy that blocks the sun overhead. Be warned if you plant trumpet vine: it will take over your whole yard and needs to be kept in check.
My dad built the most gorgeous cedar raised bed gardens for me: one huge one for vegetables, and one smaller one for herbs.
I added two rows of five roses to my courtyard in April. They’re only a couple feet high now but in just two years they should grow up to form an elegant wall of roses. The two sides get about the same exact amount of light but one side gets morning light whereas the other gets afternoon light. I’ll let you know how that affects their growth but so far both sides are happy and the roses are growing strong!
In just one year I took a rather plain backyard and turned it into an oasis that I spend most of my time in. It still has a long way to go in the plant department but I think that’s a pretty decent transformation for one year!