Saturday, June 7, 2014

Our Home | A Freshened Up Patio for Summer

A few weeks ago I blogged about my plans to freshen things up on our patio with a white and green garden for summer.  Well, it's mostly just a green garden at the moment but I thought I'd give you some progress pictures.  I gave myself a budget of about $500 (probably spent closer to $600) so I
didn't go too crazy.  The previous owners of our home (Hi Linda + Bruce, if you are reading!!) were avid gardeners and lived here for almost 20 years.  Thanks to them, our garden is full of gorgeous plantings, lush beds of ivy, charming moss covered stone walls, lilac bushes, white azaleas in the spring and huge lace cap hydrangea bushes that are as big as trees, so I'm starting from an already pretty base.  By sheer luck, I've managed not to destroy all their hard work, but I've had a few casualties here and there. (Though the beautiful vine covered trellis that was struck by lightening was truly out of my control!)  A gardener, I am not, but I'm trying. (To the right is a BEFORE shot)

Now that the boys are older and more independent it is easier for me to find time to spend in the garden.  As I've mentioned before, there isn't really much consistent sunlight out back.  It flutters
about in patches throughout the day, as it peeks through the canopy of trees that cover the backyard.  A stone path winds around leading to the back patio as you can see in the above picture.  This is where I added four new hydrangea bushes to replace the mysteriously missing hostas that I might have accidentally removed one year thinking they were weeds. (oops, baby steps all, baby steps)  I added two Incrediball Hydrangeas (such an unfortunate name, no?) and two Little Limelights.  The Incrediballs are supposed to be a hardier version of the Annabelle Hydrangeas (which I couldn't find anywhere).  They have more than doubled in size since I planted them a few weeks ago and
are FULL of buds.  They should be in full bloom in about a week.

The Little Limelights are in front, bordered by mini boxwoods and a row of white Impatiens.  No flower buds on the Limelights yet, I believe they bloom later in the summer.  Thankfully they aren't growing as high as the Incrediballs, so when sitting on the patio, I should be able the enjoy both.

I added a pair of rattan and bamboo chairs from Ikea to the table.  I love mismatched chairs in dining rooms, so I'm not surprised how much I like the mismatched combo outside too!  They are not meant to be left outside in uncovered areas all the time, so we typically bring them in at night if rain is predicted in the forecast.  Our family room is right off the patio and they actually look fun and summery inside too, so I don't mind the small inconvenience.  The striped salmon colored pillows are from Target (also, not weather resistant, but conveniently match our family room colors too).

^^ wooden barrel planters from Home Depot ^^

I added a pair of grayish, weathered wood, planters flanking the back door.  I filled them with boxwood, white Lobelia and white Impatiens.  The Lobelia needs more sun than they are getting so they aren't flowering much anymore, just lots of green, but their leaves are pretty too and it still adds a little variety to the mix.  

^^ I scattered different sized terra-cotta pots in other places on the patio. The striped pillow above IS weather resistant, from Dash and Albert. ^^

^^ I had visions of a mass of roses spilling over this wrought iron fence but I don't think it will come to life.  I added a David Austen rose bush and I'm pretty sure it isn't getting enough sun.  It has had several blooms but they haven't opened all the way and then they've been knocked down by rain.^^
^^I planted three white knock-out rose bushes at the entrance to the stone path and fear there isn't enough sun for them either (cue the violins and my whining), but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. ^^

Overall, these small changes have made a big difference already. It feels more like an extension of our home rather than an after thought and I find all of us enjoying the space more often.  Though that might have more to do with the spectacular weather lately, but I'm going to pretend it is all about my comfy seating and pretty hydrangeas!  (PS.  In full disclosure: I did kill four lavender plants in this process.  So I'm trying them in a sunnier spot by the vegetable garden. I want some lavender by golly!  I'll post about the vegetable garden later.  When (if) it actually bears any vegetables!)  


  1. Looks SO great Tessa!!!! I am SO not a gardener...that is the hubby around here ...but I haven't killed the boxwoods yet that I just planted so YAY! I'm with you on the lavender...we have thirty acres and I am DYING to have a lavender field...DYING!!!! I'll let ya know how that turns steps for now ;) I always enjoy your posts and instagram!!!! I'm soonerstaci on instagram but I can't change my login for leaving comments on the blog :( does that make sense?? HA!

  2. Looks great! I am no gardener either but my mom is amazing and she didn't really get started until her 40s so there is hope for me…She's 73 and was out in the 90+ degrees and humid Texas heat today. I have been wondering about those chairs from Ikea…are they fairly sturdy?

  3. Lovely! Really like the horse planter on your fence. May have to try some Incrediball Hydrangeas for earlier blooms. Have regular Limelights in front and Little Limes in the back, but mine don't usually bloom until end of June. Your outdoor space looks inviting just like your home!

  4. You did a fantastic job! I really enjoy when you feature this type of work. While I realize that you definitely choose different finishes based on sell-ability, it's really nice that you at least go way better than the standard "builder grade" stuff that's been seen. You've got my dream job- I'd love to pick finishes like this! Anyway, great job.
    Modern Dining Table and Chair

  5. I love the addition of the wicker chairs! It adds such a coziness to your outdoor space. Green & white is such a lovely combination.

    Heather @ GreenWay Home

  6. You do interiors and exteriors so well! Funny, I was looking for Annabelles and was told about Incrediballs (thought the name was odd, too), but both were out of stock, so I went with Limelight. Hoping the heat here (and my forgetfulness about watering at times) doesn't kill them! I'm determined to have lavender, too. Lots of sun!

  7. Annabelle hydrangeas are available at Grandma's Garden and Landscaping in Waynesville. It's a fantastic nursery, beautifully organized, unique varieties, with a fabulous gift shop too! If you go, be sure to take plenty of quarters to feed the fish and little goats. It's a family favorite at our house, and absolutely worth the trip.