Tag Archives: Patio

Metamorphosis of a Garden

2013 vs. 2022

Hard work pays off! When I moved here in 2003, our current patio area was nothing but a side yard of grass. Shortly thereafter, my brother built me a small pond with a liner, some nice stones around the edge, and stocked it with goldfish. It was lovely. May you be blessed with such a brother. Some frogs moved in, and a blue heron occasionally stopped for a snack of goldfish (not the crackers!) before we could chase him off.

Fast forward 10 years. My husband changed the pond to photo number one above. It went through a few iterations before it got to this stage. At first, we had the fountain/pool, but it was not chlorinated. The water was a little green which the frogs were fine with. I would get in to cool off even with the frogs. We don’t have air conditioning and the frogs were willing to share. There was even one frog who became tame. He would sit on my shoulder as I walked around in the water. There were other frogs who would sit in my hand. I loved my frogs. I know, I’m a dang weirdo.

As the area was transitioning from grass to enclosed patio, my husband decided to start chlorinating the water, so it would be more hospitable to guests. Apparently, not everyone enjoys swimming with frogs. Any frogs that were left that spring were transitioned to our neighbor’s pond and our fountain/pool became a more maintained setting.

Baxter enjoying patio time this afternoon.

After the footers were poured, every year a new section of flagstone was installed by my husband to increase the patio area. New sandstone flowerbeds beds were added one by one. Sections of wall and fence went in over the years. I started spending significantly more time there the year the section of fence was added that made the enclosure complete. This meant that the dogs could join us and no longer had to stay in the house or their pasture. It’s true, everything’s better with dogs!

The pergola went up a few years ago, thanks to you know who. Thanks hubby! We are growing grapes on it in an attempt to provide some shade near the pool. People ask me whether this is a fountain or a pool or exactly what it is. I never know how to respond. It is a fountain. The centerpiece (designed, poured, and installed by my husband) splashes, mixes the water, prevents mosquitoes (which won’t hatch unless the water has been still for two weeks), and makes a nice noise. It is also a pool. The water is four feet deep. We get in and out via a ladder that we put in and take out when not in use. We swim. We have pool lounge chairs that we float around on. I drink iced tea and read books while I float around. I guess the only answer is, it is all of those things. It only depends what purpose we are using it for in the moment.

Last but not least, I will share a few flower photos that I took today when I was done swimming. Admittedly, I wasn’t actually swimming. I was standing the water while reading a book and cooling off. This was our first time in the water this year. I was so hot from running the mini tiller to weed the vegetable garden that I couldn’t resist. The water temperature was 75 degrees and it felt so refreshing after hauling the tiller around the garden.

Our patio and gardens have undergone a metamorphosis over the years as you can see from the two photos taken nine years apart. It is a labor of love, requiring dedication and hard work. We hope to be able to share it with more people as Covid slows down. It was an oasis for us during those rough times. I hope it can be an oasis for others as well.

White mandevilla
First hibiscus bloom of the year!
Two drift roses with lavendar in front.
Urn with verbena and zinnia.

Dogs On the Patio

This is how we have a relaxing day on the patio at our place. We do it with dogs. We have it all fenced in so we can relax, knowing the dogs are safely with us.

When we open the door from the side porch, our dogs know which way to go depending on if we say pasture, fountain/patio, or car. If they have taken off too quickly, they will do a big u-turn to go to the proper place.

As our newest dog, Claire has been on leash in the patio area most of the summer since we tried two times off lead and she went tearing through the raised flower beds. We tried her loose over the weekend and she did good! She seems to have the idea. So far she is only free when we can supervise, but she seems to have it.

This makes her, and us, happy!

Dogs On the Patio

Cassius

Dogs enjoy hanging out on the patio at our house too.

Claire napping

Actually, they enjoy hanging out with us.

Zekie

If Zekie knows I am out here, he will bark every few minutes until I come and get him. As you can see, this makes him very happy.

Claire, Baxter, & Cassius

They especially enjoy laying on the futons.

Shelby & Nikki

Or laying in the shade.

Baxter

Hanging out with the pups makes me as happy as it makes them.

Spring Approaches

Claire

Spring is the season of rebirth and hope. We know that warmer weather, sunshine, and growth are not so far away.

Zekie

It was so nice this afternoon, nearly 60 degrees, that I took all six dogs outside to sit on the patio and soak up some sun. Zekie took the opportunity to sniff scents in the air.

He also spent time just enjoying the sun.

Cassius & Baxter

And here we have Cassius and Baxter on border patrol, guarding the fence.

Shelby and Nikki spent most of their time sleeping in the sun too. Just a preview of things to come as the weather warms.