Our home is only a year old, and as you know, most homes in "cookie cutter" neighborhoods come with smaller sized backyards. It is part of neighborhood design, and has been for the past twenty years (or so it seems). Thankfully our lot isn't terribly small, and we do have extra space on our side yards to store our wood supply. With our smallish yard we wanted to create a charming space that would bring relaxation, have overflowing flower beds, and encourage memorable moments together. Texas summers tend to keep you indoors, especially in a new neighborhood with baby trees and minimal shade. Instead of staying inside we can now enjoy the outdoors, especially in the mornings. (We just have to figure out how to keep the mosquitos away!)
Before and During
Initially were going to build a patio with paver stones, but both our budget and time pushed us in a different direction. We decided to build a simple floating deck. It wouldn't have to be permanent like pouring a concrete slab, or as labor intensive as paver stones. A deck would allow us to spend significantly less money, and could be accomplished rather quickly.
Once the deck was in place Sam built two benches to frame in the deck space. We potted a couple annuals and placed the pot on the "dead space" created by the two benches.
We added small flower beds on both sides of the deck (I forgot to take photos of the smaller flower bed that borders the deck between the brick and the benches.) We originally had a simple paver stone border, but the dogs were digging so we built an ornamental fence around the beds and painted them a pretty earthy green.
We purchased our three chairs at Ikea and our rug as well. We wanted to start simple, natural, and minimize the cost when it came to furniture. We have no idea what the sun is going to do to our porch and all of the furniture. Our pillows are made for the outdoors, and we will do our best to keep everything under the small porch covering during stormy days. The end tables we chose to paint a bright turquoise to give our space more energy. Next spring we may paint them again, maybe a muted yellow or earthier green; I don't love the color. We already had these tables, all they needed was fresh paint.
We have a few potted succulents and herb pots in the shadiest part of the deck, where they should thrive. In the sunnier spots we have full sun herbs and potted perennials. Our little flower beds are also perennials. So far we are loving the daisies...they turn pink before they wilt, it's beautiful.
(In the photos we added a few plants that aren't truly part of the outdoor environment, like the aloe plant, the giraffe pot, and the pretty small succulent pots. They were brought out to make the photos prettier. Since the photos were taken, we have purchased more herbs; herbs are more practical, this is the first time I've actually been taking care of my herbs and using them in meals.)
Our lights are super cute, and plastic, so they should withstand all of the hail storms. We found these on Amazon. Nash has a new favorite spot in front of the deck, near Sam's old tractor from when he was little.
On the back wall we added three long flower boxes that are full of perennials and occasional zinnia and marigolds (annuals). Most of the perennials will outgrow the boxes and need to be transplanted to the ground. We'll just have to add more flower beds, which is the plan for next spring.
We're loving our new space, and have been able to spend more time outside. It's perfect for Ester too, because she always wants to be outdoors. Each year as our trees get bigger, and our plants begin to overflow our backyard oasis will become increasingly lovely.