Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Deck : After

Let me just preface this post by saying that I tend to jump around a lot with house and garden projects. I started working on the deck, and that's more or less done, but I quickly jumped into redoing my flower beds which have been badly neglected. After pulling weeds for about 3 days and digging up around 3 dozen plants to be transplanted, the garden in the corner of our backyard was ready to be tilled and fertilized so I could start replanting all those poor plants that are now living in recycled pots on the lawn. The other day, while Edie was napping and Abe was happily playing in his sandbox, I tilled the corner of the garden until the soil was good and loose...then I started pulling weeds under the lilacs. Who does that?! If there is anything in this world that I despise more than weeding I'd like to know about it. I hate weeds. But I hate pulling them up even more! Our next door neighbors ran hardware cloth along the fence around the entire perimeter of their yard "to keep the rabbits out," but as I was pulling weeds under the lilacs I couldn't help but wonder if it was also some last stitch effort to keep our weeds out too. FYI Nothing keeps weeds out. Except maybe rabbits. They do sometimes eat the weeds. Anyways...

So here's what our deck looks like now. Normally this is where I'd put a before picture to show what an improvement we made, but the before pictures are sort of depressing and I don't want them to detract from the prettiness of the after photos. If you want to compare, this is what we started with. 

I added aqua, citron, white, and gray fabrics and accessories (along with some pink and green plants) to tone down the "look at me" blue of the chairs we bought on clearance last summer. Overall, I think it worked pretty well.

I knitted the gray pillow and made super simple cases for the rest from this Ikat chevron fabric I found online. (None of these are outdoor fabrics, but our deck is mostly shaded so fading isn't much of an issue. Plus, pillow cases are easy to wash and I have a dry spot to store them during rainstorms.)

Noah and his mom made the cedar table. I wish our deck was that pretty!

I've been eyeing these solar lights from Ikea for years, but they never carry them in our store and don't sell them online, so I started searching for other options instead. Luckily, I found these lanterns (which can double as flower vases) at Target. They're ceramic, so they're nice and sturdy too. 

The lime green flowerpot came from our local greenhouse. I love the texture of it! It doesn't have any drainage holes though so I just dropped in a gerber daisy in its plastic pot from the greenhouse. I do have to take it out and empty the pot after it rains. Small price to pay for a potted plant that won't leave a ring on my new table!

It's been nice having a deck that feels like an inviting living space. We've been spending a lot of time out there swimming, playing, painting, eating...

...learning to roll over. I have a feeling she'll be crawling before the end of summer!

There's a perfect spot at the top of the steps for a couple small planters filled with flowers. I think I got both of these planters at Home Depot. The turtle is from Target. It's fun to look out and see him sitting there just waiting for us to come and play.

In the winter, this is where we hang the birdfeeder, but the birds tend to make a mess of the deck in the summer so I replaced it with another spray painted hanging basket. It's filled with double petunias and creeping dusty miller. I wasn't sure the petunias were getting enough sun but they started blooming again a couple days after I took these pictures. Oh, and petunias attract hummingbirds so technically we're still feeding birds...just not the messy ones.

I made a new cushion for our Ikea rocking chair using citrus green marine vinyl. This is the one fabric I used that is weatherproof. It's easy to wipe down after a storm, no more waiting for it to dry before sitting down!

This spring I felt like I was constantly collecting things to bring outside and then having to round them all up whenever it looked like rain, so I bought this basket from Target to hold toys, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, blankets, and other things that we bring in and out with us. I also got one of those small storage bins (seen in the background) to store the pillows in so we don't have to keep them inside. 

As you can see from the photo, my spray painted doormat has not held up so well. It's been raining a lot the last couple months so we've been wiping our feet on it a lot. I wish it had at least lasted through the summer!

My sister gave Abe a wind chime awhile back. We finally hung it in the apple tree. We rarely hear it ringing but when it does it sounds soft and pretty. One of our crazy squirrels managed to bend the wire and pull the piece of blue glass out. I found it lying in my garden and was able to repair the damage, but I'm starting to wonder what other treasures may be hidden in those squirrel nests high up in our ash trees...

On the patio below I have a bunch of plants just waiting for me to find permanent homes for them out in the garden. That's my next project... (Obviously I wrote this awhile ago. Some of those plants have been planted, some are still waiting for a home...and a few unlucky ones died during a heat wave when we were out of town over the 4th of July. C'est la vie.)

I planted impatiens and alyssums around the apple tree. The impatiens are filling out better than anything else I've ever put there. Note to self: plant more impatiens next year. I just wish they came in prettier colors.

So that's my deck tour. I'm still hoping to get a little table to put next to the rocking chair so I can have a place to put a drink down, but that may have to wait until I'm willing to take two kids to Ikea on my own. 

Next up: Flower gardens...then I'm on to the front yard! Our yard may be halfway decent by the time the snow flies...


Solar lanterns (large and small) - Target
Green crackle vase/flowerpot on table - Wagner's
Blue chairs - Target (last summer)
Cedar table - made by Noah & his mom
Doormat - see tutorial here
Rocking chair - Ikea (a few years ago)
Citron green marine vinyl (for rocking chair cushion) - Joanne Fabrics
Ikat chevron fabric (pillows) - Fabric.com
Gray knit pillow - I'll post a pattern if anyone's interested.
Indoor/Outdoor Rug - bought at a small garden store but also available at Amazon.com
Patio storage seat  - Amazon.com (also sold at Target)
Ceramic flowerpots on deck - Home Depot and Menard's
Ceramic turtle - Target
Firepit - Menard's


  1. Such a lovely little space! The turtle is my favorite :)

  2. Beautiful! I eyed those lanterns at Target, too, and I wish I'd gone for it.


  3. Love how it turned out! The cushions do make the blue lean back chairs stand out less than before, and they give people a bit of support if you guys plan to eat out on the deck. And those ceramic lanterns are a nice touch as well.