This is our 5th summer in our home and over the years we have been working away at improving the exterior of our house and yard.
Our front yard is simple with a small deck and raised flower bed. A few years ago we painted the front deck and the shutters, planted some greenery in the garden and added some porch décor.
Our house faces west so we usually move to the front deck once we lose the sun in the backyard. It's a great spot to sit and enjoy a cocktail and the evening sunshine. I love having a front porch to decorate for each season!
I do not have a green thumb so I wanted a garden that requires little to no maintenance. We have some hostas, boxwoods, a hydrangea bush and other greenery I can't identify but have managed to keep alive. This year I changed the mulch from cedar to black which looks much better next to my orangey-pink brick.
We painted the lattice to match the front deck and recently re-hung the gate leading to the back yard so Poppy can't escape :D
In our backyard we have worked away at improving the landscaping. We removed a flower bed that extended the entire length of the back hedge as it was overgrown and everything needed pulled out so we decided to ditch it and plant grass. The beds against the house were full of orange stones and overgrown vines. My mom was kind enough to help us remove everything and plant hostas she split from her garden + dark mulch.
We scored our dining set + umbrella at an end of summer sale for $100. The wind knocked our umbrella over last summer and shattered our table so we replaced it with another inexpensive one.
I don't exactly love the look of our dining set but it does the trick without spending a bunch. I love the makeover of a similar set done by Deb at Seeking Lavendar Lane. Might have to try this next summer!!
Last summer I painted the back railing to match our front deck and the basement door navy. We love having a walk out basement that enters into our laundry room. Especially handy now that we have Poppy :)
The previous owners had a hot tub which is what the wood pad was originally meant for. We use it as a seating area and I would like to add a conversation set to this space and move the Muskoka chairs around the firebowl. I will be keeping my eyes open for end of the season deals like the one below.
Our hedge has not been doing well but provides so much privacy to our backyard despite the gaps. We have thought about building a swing in the back corner or a storage structure with an outdoor bar at the front -- that's my favourite idea :)
We do have a beautiful hydrangea bush in the corner of the hedge and I have thought about planting more because they are my favourite and I love cutting them for inside the house.
We have barely any lighting in the backyard so we don't do much outdoors after dark without a fire burning. I would love to hang lights around the length of the hedge and criss-crossing overhead but this would require a TON of lights and is not something I have invested in yet. I got all excited when I pulled out a bunch of twinkly Christmas lights but was quickly disappointed when I figured out they were indoor only. I am hoping to scoop up some outdoor ones at end of the season sales to complete this project!
Each year we make more progress and get closer to the image I have for our backyard. It may not be an oasis but it is a comfortable, private spot where we can enjoy the summer sun, hosting friends and family for BBQs, bonfires and cocktails--what summer is all about :) Cheers !!