Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

Outdoor seating

Featured in Country Home

I really should be cleaning off the deck and scrapping paint off of a vintage aluminum picnic table so that I can repaint it, but I it’s easy to procrastinate. Even when it is beautiful outside. Are you surprised that I don’t want to scrape paint in the midday sun?

I was very excited about having a deck this year.  It is very nice but I thought it would be a great outdoor living space. It’s not. It’s nice to set on and nice to eat on space. That’s it. I always see this whimsical fantasy pictures in decorating magazines featuring beautiful daybeds outside (outdoor spaces here featured in Country Home and House to Home). What’s the purpose of these spaces and where are they? I assume that they only exist  in photographs and couldn’t make it in this harsh, cruel world. They are better decorated than my indoor living space :). These fantasy spaces have comfortable outdoor seating with throw pillows, paper lanterns, outdoor rugs, and even coffee tables. It’s all beautiful but far from practical. I say that if you are at the purchasing an outdoor rug stage in your life then you need to reevaluate your life and maybe get a new hobby or go on a vacation with that expendable income. Maybe I’m clueless, this is very possible, because I live in the Pacific Northwest. We have nice summers, not very long and the rest of the year it rains. I’m better off investing in a nice deck stain than nice patio furniture and paper lanterns. Maybe you can live like this in Southern California? I see these in pictures on resorts in Mexico. Maybe you have to haul this stuff in and out every day? I don’t know. Regardless, these outdoor living spaces take a wonderful picture and I always wish I was relaxing on one of those comfy outdoor daybeds. I won’t have a perfectly decorated living space but I’ll have a nice one if I just get out there and pull it together. And these pictures have motivated me to do so. Time to pull together my budget-friendly and totally practical “outdoor living space”. This is the cool new way of saying “deck” or “patio”. And if you say “outdoor living space”, you sound really rich. Have a great weekend!


Outdoor daybed

Featured in House to Home

David’s Commentary:

I find this idea to be the kind of irrational thing that a designer comes up with without thinking about too much.  The moisture, mold, insect, rodent and bird-poop assault that would be pressed on your furniture in this setting will make almost any textiles nasty in under a week. One slight rainfall on a foam cushion will keep it moist enough to mold for weeks.

Perhaps this gets pushed by retailers so much because it’s a really attractive concept that requires that you replace the items used 3 times a season?


Read Full Post »

Midwest Living porch

I don’t have a porch, but I have a nice deck. Of course, the grass is always greener and we want what we don’t have. I didn’t think about it too much until I stumbled across this picture in Midwest Living. I love it. What a retreat! This makes me consider living in the Midwest if I could have a porch like this, well for a split second it does, I love the West Coast and this porch has a West Coast vibe with those colors and chrysanthemum Asian prints. I love the linens, the paper parasols, and the mix match chairs. Very cool look for reunions, birthdays, and wedding receptions.

We are having a beautiful weekend with lots of sun today here in Western Washington. The garden is thirsty but I don’t mind being outside. Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Read Full Post »

"salvage" garden shed featured in Sunset

Since the weather is much nicer and we have had enough of winter, we’ve been thinking about our exterior and gardening way too much. I saved this pic of this “salvage” shed from Sunset magazine sometime ago, before we even purchased our home. I loved the fun chartreuse shade of this garden shed hidden in a PNW jungle. It is so striking and sooo West Coast. And this shed is in Port Orchard, WA,  our neighbors across the inlet. The article contained interesting info and listed the plants in this garden. They seem to thrive in our environment. Since I am a transplant, I’ve had to study what works here. Sunset magazine has been very helpful for that.

Anyways, I’ve revisited this article (here) over and over again because this really, really resembles our exterior colors. Our house turned out this green, not what we expected, but we will live with it and like it. Our trim is a chocolate brown just like this shed. The difference is that our house is much larger and taller than this quaint, cute shed and we have no landscaping. Our lawn is naked and neglected. The chartreuse shade of our house can be seen miles away, I think, or so the neighbors tell each other. No lovely hydrangeas are breaking up the green from the curb. When I look at this picture, I realize that our colors didn’t turn out too bad. We will work with it. It’s unexpected and chartreuse is my favorite shade of green and green is my favorite color. This article/feature makes me want to go out and dig, plant, and turn crazy things into planters. It also makes me feel good about our unexpected color choice. I liked it when it was featured in a magazine, why wouldn’t I like it for myself?


Read Full Post »


But, I did find some that I really like.  Hammocks are strange things. They usually make me feel uncomfortable and find them unpredictable. I feel this way because I had a cousin, the epitome of ADHD, push me out of one every time I “kicked back and relaxed”. I ate dirt so many times…But, it is pretty cool to be “floating”. We have some fruit trees in the backyard under the blackberry bramble. At one time the backyard/garden was a “bird garden” and I bet very nice. Now it looks like something that would protect a forbidden castle housing a sleeping princess. And it is the home of 3 of the hugest raccoons ever that feed on whole plums all night. Since this ordeal has taken forever and we’re going to be lucky just to finish the interior issues before the rainy season, gardening is not going to happen this year. We’ll be lucky to destroy/control the bramble and to mow the lawn. But, I do like to think about it. The weather is pretty mild here and I need reasons to be out in it. Maybe next year we will see some change in landscape. I would love to have a moody night blooming garden with these lovely gothic hammocks. Could you imagine lounging in one of these under lightweight spring fruit blossoms in the shade, sipping a violet flavored Italian soda, and browsing through your favorite magazine. It would be the good life. The hammock above retails for about $200. The one below is a sling chair and more my spend. I think I would feel more comfortable with my feet grounded. This way I could sit up and hold my iced latte, run my toes through fragrant creeping thyme, and read a nice Victorian era ghost story. This style goes for about $150. Both of these hammocks are available at The Victorian Trading Co. They have some other models available, the Wedding styled one is lovely.



Read Full Post »

Yep, I am in need of a moon garden. I want an all white garden with rich, overwhelming fragrance. I want it to be a little retreat to enjoy our crisp Northwest evenings with a fluttering wind bringing the smells of the shore and of course lots and lots of flickering candles. I’ll sip from a black flute, wear wine lipstick, and just relax. This is my fantasy. In real life, I know that I will rarely tend to it because I will fear that snails  may come out at dusk. I also know that gardening is hard work. And since we are re-doing the house, I will find little time to “relax” and pull weeds and garden. But, still this is something that I want someday. I want to smell Angel’s Trumpets, jasmine, and flowering tobaccos, I want to see 4 o’Clocks, Evening Primrose, and Moonflowers. I also want lavender for its relaxing aroma and I know that it does pretty darn well and is happy here in Washington. And pots of fragrant and icy leaved herbs. This is my plan. Of course, I want for mine to be creepier and more gothic than the one pictured below, more like an entrance into a catacomb (geez, it may be, who knows what it is buried back there!). Perhaps decorated with the stupid things that come out for Halloween as decorations from places like Z Gallerie, white stone skulls, etc. Things like a black birdbath, oyster shells, mossy rocks, creepy statues, stuff that I see around and like. A vampire garden. There is a great inspiration board for a “Corpse Bride’s wedding garden” on this blog. See, I must not be the only weirdo wanting a creepy garden.



Moon garden from Domino

Read Full Post »


We're practically Vanderbilts.

So, I’ve been told that after all of this restoration and rehab, that we will have a killer deck. David also tells me that it has an Olympic and Cascade views. I haven’t seen this, but I have spent limited time on the current deck because it is rotted and looks like a death trap leaning over a blackberry bramble. Currently, we do not own any patio furniture or any patio “supplies”. So, I’ve been looking around. Much of the patio furniture I find is huge and ridiculous. Well, at least for our anti-social selves. I really want something simple, vintage, metal or cast iron. I have feeling that I will be on the look out for sometime, at least until next summer. David mentioned an umbrella. I thought  it was a stupid at the time. I wanted to be in as much sun as possible; I mean we do live in the PNW. I also thought of umbrellas as nylon beige things that went with your ugly hammered glass topped table and with your ugly metal chairs with the Hawaiian floral seafoam and peach print. Yuck, gross, and boring. I stumbled across this picture of the Vanderbilt’s and their amazing fringe umbrella, table, and chairs. This is what I want to keep my skin Belle Epoque creamy during our 3 drought and sunny summer months. I found some fringe umbrellas on-line but they were too “tropical” and I thought they would look silly unless we plan on having tiki themed parties for the rest of our lives (don’t tell David, he wants tiki themed parties and most likely a tiki themed funeral). These natural fiber fringed umbrellas are nice but not very Washington. I then found this amazing, “very Venice with a touch of circus tent” umbrella on Z Gallerie’s website. The last I looked it was marked down to $150. It’s dreamy and I want it. Not enough fringe but it will do. I told David that I could make my own because when I searched umbrellas, I also found hand-painted ones. I could do that and tassel and fringe however I please. He said this would be tacky. I feel he has no faith in me. I mean I am not going to bedazzle it. But, I really know it is because he found out about all that tiki stuff. Rats.



It's dreamy.

Read Full Post »