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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Outdoor spaces

Hi everyone,

June and July have been packed with vacations, deadlines, and emergency medical issues.  What a summer!

Anyway, I've been putting some pictures up on Instagram, as we've revamped the outdoor spaces in the suburban rental house.  The house is in front of a small wooded area and creek, which means lots of bugs in the back, which we're still trying to combat.

We still miss our actual front porch from the Baltimore house, as opposed to this "stand there, be covered, and fumble with your keys" area outside the front door.  Still, I wanted to add some homeyness and charm to the outside of the house and make it feel more welcoming.

I got the multi-colored welcome mat from Kohls on sale.  The black mat was leftover from the owners who had a similar smaller welcome mat on top, that was becoming weathered.  I added the boxwoods last year and the "hello" wreath earlier this year.

Next, I added planter boxes from Etsy.  The maker advertised "custom" sized rail hangers, but they were not the proper size and the hubs had to do some wrangling to get them to fit.  So I wouldn't recommend them and won't link there here.  

After two rounds of killing plants, I added these faux flowers from Michaels, just in time for our summer party!

On to the backyard!

I wanted some string lights and additional seating out here.  I was able to follow this tutorial from Martha Stewart with the pots coming from Michaels and the rocks and posts coming from Home Depot.  We did drill some drainage holes into the bottoms of the buckets for water drainage and sprayed the posts with some weather protectant to keep them from warping and rotting.  A lot of people on Pinterest and Instagram did concrete versions - we are renters and need to be able to move and reuse these buckets.

We next added white hooks to the top of the staff.  Then we filled the bucket about 1/3 full of rocks, put the post in place, and added rocks up to about 3/4 full.  We still felt like they were unstable and tied them with fishing string to the porch.  One of the posts is starting to lean, but the other ones seem stable.

Next, we got a BARGAIN on a huge umbrella with netting on LetGo.   And I finally gave away the white rocking chair and replaced it with another Adirondack chair from World Market.  We also got these mosquito repellents and a huge bug zapper from Amazon.  With those additions, I am only minimally getting "zoomed" by wasps and bees, but I think the mosquitos are staying away.  I would like to add some lavendar, citronella, and other repellant plants in the future.

So these are our outdoor spaces.  The lower deck is more for storage though we have our old bench set up down there for when we have people over.  I should have an entryway post coming soon and then maybe some shots of the living room as well.

Hope your summer is less eventful than ours.  Bye for now!

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