It’s going to be a long time before our outdoor space looks and feels like home, let alone what we envision. But it has been fascinating to walk around the yard and see what’s randomly popping up and blooming every few days. It was such a bonus to have a hardy rose bush to use for our annual Father’s Day mini photo shoot.
We’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the flowers that have made an appearance and we definitely won’t be ripping everything out (although Chris does have a lot of strong feelings about replacing many plants). We have agreed no one is touching these lilacs! They remind me of the big lilac bushes that used to be at the end of the driveway of my first house growing up.
We’ve been evaluating what we want to do this summer, in the next year or two and in the long term in our outdoor spaces. Our half-acre lot is on a corner, so we have a lot of visibility to neighbors and passersby on three sides of the property. That makes Chris go into hyper-drive about how the lawn and landscaping look and about the deck’s privacy/appearance.
First, we definitely needed to arrange our furniture, flowers and behemoth cantilevered umbrella in a better way. This disarray was just sad.
We’re not looking to put much money into the deck or furnishings this year (see point No. 2, below!) because we don’t know what our long-term plan is yet. But we did pick up an outdoor rug from Target, put our storage bench together and generally tidied up the arrangement of chairs and flower pots. I’m thinking another smaller outdoor rug on the other side could make the conversation set-up feel a little more cohesive.
Secondly — and with growing importance — we need to shore up the deck structure, even if just to get by for the rest of this summer. There are probably a dozen floor boards and railing spindles that need to be replaced. I’m sure a decking professional would find even more, but there is at least one that flies up if you step on one end. I was all set to make a joke about that scene in Christmas Vacation when Clark steps on the loose board in the attic. And then on Saturday I stepped on the unattached end of the board and fell through the deck. Thankfully there’s no picture of me with my entire left leg dangling below deck, but there’s a heck of a bruising aftermath.
When we first had contractors and other tradespeople in the house, many of them commented to the effect of, “Ooof, that deck’s in rough shape, huh?” We hadn’t thought it was that bad, or at least it hadn’t bothered us too much. (Hole in the ceiling = perspective.) We figured we’d get to it eventually after our main living areas were considerably improved, but we’ve realized that there are growing safety concerns that we’ll need to tackle ASAP.