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A little of this, a bit of that


This week I find myself in one of those places where I have a lot of things have finished but nothing really to show for it. And that’s how you end up with blog post about everything and nothing at the same time.

My parents are currently soaking up a bit of sunshine in Florida and were nice enough to send back photos of a couple of pergolas they saw on garages there for inspiration for me. What is sort of funny is that the second I saw the first picture I knew that I’d admired that pergola in person before. I know exactly where that house is and I bet I even took a picture of the last time we were down there three years ago or so. And now that the I think about it, I bet that house is what started my love of pergolas on garages.

In addition to the pergola, check out the great arbor gate through the perfectly clipped hedge. I love it.
This one is on a different house, but check out that climbing rose! It’s actually a bit too vigorous for my taste. I think I’d rather see it thinned out because it sort of has a unibrow look to it. That’s not a problem I’ll have on my garage pergola, as I’m quite sure absolutely nothing will grow on it in the deep shade there.

Now I’m even more excited to get that thing up, although realistically, there’s a fair amount of things that need to be done to the garage first, including painting it (which is completely weather dependent and that is a depressing thought) and getting the new roof installed (the contractor / friend / neighbor who is doing the work for us took a really scary fall off a very tall roof right before Christmas so even though he’s fine now, we—and his wife, I would guess—aren’t allowing him up there until the last vestiges of snow are gone and it’s nice and dry). My intention is to have all the parts cut and stained so that when all of that other stuff is done the pergola is ready to go up.

I already have the three brackets that will hold it up. They are in the basement and have been primed (believe it or not, you have to prime before you apply a solid stain; I still don’t really get how it’s different from paint but it worked like a charm on our deck so I don’t question it). I won’t lie to you: I ordered them well ahead of when I had to so that I could be financially committed enough to know that this project would actually happen. Projects that exist only in theory have a way of disappearing when other things pop up and I’ve found that if you do just a little bit of them (and it’s helpful if it’s the most expensive part of them), it’s a good way to ensure that they are finished, particularly when someone else involved in it (say, um, your spouse) isn’t necessary that on board with the project.

The next step is to buy the boards and cut the end detail on them with a jigsaw. But first I need to clear out a little room in the basement.

And that’s what I’ve been working on a lot lately. Mr. Much More Patient’s birthday is next week and I could think of nothing that would make him happier than a clutter-free, clean and organized workshop area in the basement (he doesn’t read the blog so I think I’m safe in spilling the beans here; in fact no one in my family reads the blog except for my sister-in-law, so hi G!). I’ve been decluttering and even doing some painting for a week now. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad that he hasn’t noticed any of that. I have some bigger things planned that I’ll be installing over the weekend as well. I really hope he likes it because he is very difficult to shop for.

As part of that effort, I’ve also been working on finally finishing up this dresser. I asked you for opinions on it more than a year ago, but before that, it sat in the garage for a couple of years. I was almost finished with it last year but then it got pushed aside, stuff got piled on it and I ended up having to repaint it. I just have a couple touch-ups to do on that and then that’s finished and ready to show you too! I’m loving it so far. In this picture you can see a little sneak preview of the before (on the bottom) and after (on top) of the drawer color.

And completely unrelated to any of that is my strong desire to start putting a new garden design on paper. Redoing the awkward mini garden by the garage has been on the agenda for a long time, but now that sprucing up the garage is definitely happening it seems logical that I fix that garden this spring too. I originally planted that area to screen the horrible propane tank, but a few years ago we switched to natural gas (thank goodness, if you’ve heard about the propane shortages and the cost skyrocketing to upwards of $7 per gallon in some places) and thankfully got rid of that tank.

This scraggly mess of a garden is due for some sprucing up.

I was inspired by this post the other day and it has me thinking about the back yard. I almost always think of the garden as the positive space (and by the way, I am of the opinion that that’s not always wrong, depending on the garden and the site), but in the case of the back yard, it might be more striking to think of the lawn as the positive space with the gardens around it. Anyway, it’s just something I’m playing around with in my head and I hope to put some of it on paper this weekend.

The garden in question is to the left of the garage in the photo below. See how I’ve created “negative” space there? I need to play around with it on paper to get a feel for what I might do there to fix that situation.

Anyway, that’s what’s happening here. Make sure to come back tomorrow for another Feature Friday on a really great garden. I think you’re going to love it.

3 Responses

  1. I LOVE the pergola idea! It will look so cute on your garage and add enough interest to balance with you lovely house! I'm sad that your family doesn't read your blog. I really enjoy it and look forward to your posts. I just read on Farmers Almanac that the cold will last thru the end of April. We are in for a long haul yet, but projects like the basement and the dresser will help fill the time. I am in a 500 sf rental STILL (we expected to be in a house by last fall)! And I feel like I'm going to discombobulate if I don't get to do some creative projects soon.

    Anyway, your posts take me to my happy place. Thanks.

  2. Omg! Those hedges! The pos/neg concept is an interesting one to consider. I think our pond is the pos in our yard. Starting to get really cranky with this weather. Can't do too much garden planning until I see what makes it through the winter.

  3. The pergola idea is awesome. Funny because huvby and I were just talking about the same kind of small pergola feature for the side wall of our house – it's boring and can be seen from the street. There was a house in our old neighbourhood that did this and it worked beautifully.
    Interesting theory on the positive/negative lawn. Got me thinking about my garden design too.

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