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March 22nd, 2004

The New & Improved Patio

Take a Sunday afternoon with nothing planned (I'd forgotten such things exist), one ready and willing person and one begrudging but willing person, two trips to Wal-Mart and $230 spent and what do you have? Shanna & Baret's new and improved patio area.

It's lovely! Thanks to everyone for the ideas. We went to Super Wal-Mart Saturday evening and I was just over-whelmed. So many plants - what did I want? Where would I put what? What in the hell was I doing here? We decided it'd be best to go home, have another look at the patio, lay out a rudimentary landscape-idea on paper and do some heavy Internet research on hardy yet pretty (i.e. attractive + not-easy-to-kill) plants.

Sunday I was much better prepared. Though we had to make two trips (you try fitting a large amount of plants, patio accessories & such in a Miata), and didn't even get to planting 'til after noon, it was worth the effort. There are three beds - one we're not doing anything much to just yet as a large tree is in that keeps it carpeted in a thick layer of leaves; it also doesn't get much sun. That's a later project. The two smaller beds, before we started, contained a bunch of Indian heather shrubs. Little shrubberies with small, pretty purple flowers on them. Since they were pretty, and needed to be thicked, we moved all of them to the corner bed and bordered it with white begonias (a flower that's super hardy and I've worked with before). The other bed has a beautiful rose climbing a trellis on the end next to the fence, is bordered with colorful petunias and has four bright snapdragon plants in the center. All very colorful.

We flanked the little goldfish pond-thingy with two little topiary-looking miniature rose bushes (called "Hot & Spicy") and a planter with white begonias behind. I planted white begonias around the small tree in the big, ugly planter and the stone candle and angels I have there. There are also two large potted impatiens and two beautiful hanging ivys that our neighbors threw away this morning! Baret took them out the trash and we hung them up; who throws away good, healthy plants? Only the 'bamas.

We also bought two new tiki torches - these are durable metal and in Oriental-style, so they match my yard perfectly.

Words don't do it justice, so I'll have to post some pics. We're not near done - we have big plans for the goldfish's living area. But that will have to be a summer project. I didn't intend to spend over $200 on fixing up the patio!

Today I'm all sore, cut up and sunburnt - but it feels wonderful. Every little thing I do that makes that place a little more "my home" just warms me up inside. I never thought I'd so enjoy being comfortable and settled. Even if we're only renting; I'm finding as I grow older that security is a nice thing. Just up 'til a few years ago I still made statements like "I hope I never settle down" or "I am undomesticatable and proud of it" or "I wouldn't even buy a house b/c I'd hate the idea that I may be stuck in one place for the rest of my life". But lately I find myself treasuring my little nook of the world and making it mine, and being rather content to stay there for awhile.

Tonight we're going to chill on the new patio (after jumping on Everquest real quick to save one of Baret's character's rotting corpses), have a bottle of red wine and barbq. Hope everyone has just as pleasant an evening.

Tags: patio

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