Sunday, March 14, 2010


The days are brighter and the temperatures are getting warmer. We deserve spring after this year's winter. While we deserve some warmth I am totally unprepared for it. Last year we enclosed the backyard and spruced things up a bit. It still needs work though. Here are a few things I'm currently thinking about.

1. Figure out what to do with the left wall


The left side of the yard is kind of blah - it is just a big hulking concrete wall. I want to spice it up. I am contemplating cutting out a 6" by 8' section out of the concrete and planting something like bamboo to help add some texture and height to the area. Another thought is to build a neato looking planter, like this:

I've even thought about using this vertical space for vegetable plantings, but the planters would have to be pretty thin and would probably require constant watering. A budget option is to use gutters, but I think this has a high probability of looking like crap.

2. Get new furniture

While we appreciate the donated furni from the Queen's parents, it doesn't really match our style. I kind of like something like this (which they say will also work outside).

cb2 table

It is modern, and the glass top while tough to keep clean will help keep the space feeling open and airy. We are also keeping out eye out on other outdoor furni - hopefully the stores start carrying this year's design soon. Since the cb2 table isn't a true outdoor table we'd still like an umbrella for shade.

I'm thinking something like this, and fabricate some custom clamp against the wall so we wouldn't need a hulking base for it.

3. Grow veggies & herbs

I want fresh veggies and herbs, especially basil, at my disposal. I also want the veggie garden to look pretty. I'm thinking I'll just do a bunch of pots. Is there a good source for inexpensive, modern looking pots? I've found cool looking rectangular mod pots that look great, but they are big $.

4. Finish the back of the raised bed

I need to get some sod, and redo the ivy that I planted to climb up the back wall. I planted english ivy last year, but after rethinking it is too invasive and just isn't climbing quickly. I think I'm going to go with boston ivy.

I'm also considering adding some plants with height to the back of the bed, but I don't want to take too much space from Wally's restroom.

5. Actually finish the plumbing for the outdoor spigots

Yeah, that has been on the to do list for almost forever. After checking out some new rehabbers I'm starting to get a small spark of motivation. Gotta get'r'done.


Summer said...

I'm totally digging that planter wall, but would it take up too much space on the patio?

The gutter thing is inventive, but not especially mod. Maybe if they were in stainless? But that might be too hot to be on a concrete wall. It WOULD require constant watering, which you could do with drip irrigation, but it might be a pain to install on that side of the patio.

Does Ikea have their pots out yet?

Home Depot/Lowes should have their patio furniture soon. I know a realtor that can get you a 10% off Lowes coupon. But check around and see if you can find other patio furniture stores. That CB2 table may work outside, but if it isn't really designed to be outside, it could be more trouble than it's worth. I remember thinking our table was really expensive (I think it was like $500) but we've had it 4 years and many more to go. So get something that will last and call it an investment. ;-)

v2da2dl said...

I like the bamboo idea! Gutters / concrete blocks have a 99% probability of uglying up your patio.

Anthony said...

Be careful with the Ivy. Rats like the snails/slugs that the ivy harbors and they tend to burrow into the ground under the cover of its leaves.

Bamboo could be great, but when we thought of adding bamboo to our patio, we could not find the tall version at any of the local nurseries. You might try a tall grass of sorts or even architectural shrubs in a long narrow slit along that wall for some added interest. (Valley View Nursery up on York Road has a variety of upright plantings)

Stephanie B said...

So i was reading my blogs today (after I read yours) and saw this neat planter idea over at Poppytalk. I immediatly remembered your post and felt compelled to share with you! Although checking out the link just now, they aren't that cheap but still check them out!

Jon said...

yes. corey and leigh. i insist on the wall pocket, too.

Summer said...

Wall Pockets. YES! I like that!

Ikea has a frosted glass outdoor table for $149, called the Ammero. Might be worth a look. All the patio stuff is near the check out. Was there today.

Corey said...

I am definitely thinking about the wall pockets. They look pretty rad.

Amanda said...

You might wander into Baltimore Contained on Fleet-Anne the owner usually has great ideas and will offer suggestions and consultations (for relatively decent prices). I purchased some clean, modern fiberglass pots from a gardening store near hunt valley (I can't remember the name right now, slightly $, but the pots can remain outside during the winter).