Monday, April 15, 2013

Patio Plans {Part 1}

Now that Spring has finally arrived in southwest Illinois, we are spending lots more time outside.  I know all my mama friends feel me when I say that nothing quite compares to kid-friendly entertainment like time spent outdoors.

We have a small backyard with which we have already reacquainted ourselves after the winter-that-would-never-end.

Wade and Holland have been enthusiastically spending lots of time in their sandbox that we got as a gift from Philip's parents shortly after we moved into this house late last summer.  I think this sandbox is about my favorite part of our backyard, both functionally and aesthetically come to think of it :)  It provides a great place for the kids to play and how much do I love that blue and white striped canopy top?!  The answer is a lot.  (Philip actually found it on Walmart's website last summer I think, for those who may be interested.)

As for the rest of the space in our backyard, well, let's just say it leaves a bit to be desired.

You don't have an inverted, broken table on your patio?!  

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad space, and it has a lot of potential, but we have a couple constraints to consider.

Lovely dead flowers that should have been removed months ago...

First, to my knowledge, we aren't allowed to truly landscape the area.  It seems obvious to me that flower beds and shrubs would go a long way in softening up all the hard edges around the square patio and the rectangular fence, but no one's asked me :)  Secondly, we are moving in early August, so we probably wouldn't do extensive landscaping even if we could.

However, moving in four months does not mean we can't make this place a lot prettier and more enjoyable for the time we do plan to spend out here.  After all, our life does not begin once we get to California, now does it?  Life is right now, so I say why not make it pretty and functional?!  Who's with me???

The front of our house could use some love too.  I planted pansies in pots back in the fall and did a terrible job of keeping them alive.

Just so we all leave with a good taste in our mouths, here are some beautiful outdoor images that are inspiring me right now.

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

I think the thing I appreciate about all of these images is the use of pots and containers to bring in flowers and greenery. It can really have a big impact when you do it well.  We won't be planting shrubs in the ground at this house, but planting things in pots is definitely doable.  Hey, we could even take them with us if we so choose (even if in theory only :)

Boxwoods are such a timeless choice, and I love the dose of fresh green they bring.

The other situation that needs attention is our patio table and chair set (obvi).  We inherited this one from my grandparents, and while I'm fine with the style, it's not currently in usable condition.  Unless we can find a welder who can fix it (the base is bent and won't properly secure to the table top anymore) for a reasonable price, we may need to replace it all together.  Which begs the question--do I stalk Craigslist for a set or break down and buy a new set?  I kind of feel like if I do go the CL route, I should give myself a time limit--say two weeks max to find one?  I certainly don't want to waste the bulk of the mild spring days without a table!

Though my kids don't seem to miss having one (as evidenced by our recent impromptu picnic).  Who needs a table when you have a Mickey towel?

Perhaps I'll do some searching and let you know what I come up with!

1 comment:

  1. So fun! I can't wait to see what you come up with. I do love a good pot and some brightly colored flowers! And ... Twinkle lights, as we say in these parts, go a long way :)