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Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

Does this describe how your summer is going? I don’t know about you, but mine has been anything but “lazy,” however it has been pretty “crazy.”

Last fall we moved into our new home, and as soon as the weather was nice enough to start working outside this spring, we started the outdoor overhaul. The house was fairly new and lacked on curb appeal.

The humble beginnings

The humble beginnings

We started by adding black shutters to the front window. The few plants and trees that were there were removed, and the garden across the front of the walkway was expanded and extended around to the privacy fence of the deck. A Japanese maple was added as the focal point and then various flowers and shrubs were scattered throughout, covering it completely with stone for low maintenance.

Next we added some red Adirondacks, a black table with a few accents, a large floral planter (in reds and white) sitting on an old chair that we painted black (distressed with red), a lamp post and wreath, and a new civic number. It’s amazing how the house now looks so vibrant with all the pops of color.

Front of house completed

Front of house completed

Moving along to the side of the house:

Full side of house before overhaul

Full side of house before overhaul

I’ve always wanted a sunroom, but since that wasn’t an option, I purchased a second hand gazebo. There was already a 12X12 deck on the south side of the house. If we added on to it, the gazebo would have covered two windows, so we constructed a second 12×12 deck about 12 feet away from the first. With a little help from some friends and family, the second deck was built in no time and the gazebo erected. It didn’t take me long to get it set up and fully functional…not to mention “decorated” (although that is ever changing  lol).

Second deck and gazebo...done and done

Second deck and gazebo…done and done

Hmmmm...what to do with this blank space??

Hmmmm…what to do with this blank space??

Then came the question of what to do to link the two decks together. We decided to make a garden area in the back next to the house and just have the front part decked on a lower level to create the full length step. The garden is highlighted by an old ladder in the center that clematis will eventually climb on, plus other scattered shrubs and flowers, also covered in the stone.

Garden and deck to bridge the gap

Garden and deck to bridge the gap

The sod was then removed from in front of the full length of the three decks (out about 3’), some shrubs planted, and other planters added, and once again covered using the same stone.

Completed at last!!

Completed at last!!

The final result.

The final result.

There has been some blood, sweat, and tears shed during all this plus some stiff achy muscles and sore joints, but I’m thrilled to say that it is today complete (other than some soil and seed that will have to wait for fall). Now we have a wonderful outdoor space to relax (whether we choose to be in the sun or shade), a peaceful retreat away from the bugs, and a sheltered area during the rain…plus we have added exponentially to the curb appeal and value of our home.

from gazebo looking at original deck

from gazebo looking at original deck

cozy gazebo completely decked out

cozy gazebo completely decked out

Now we can roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…and we’ll wish that summer could always be here.  Drop by for a soda and pretzels and beer.

Like the sign on the ladder says "Welcome to our Deck - Sit Long Talk Much Laugh Often"

Like the sign on the ladder says “Welcome to our Deck – Sit Long Talk Much Laugh Often”

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