A Garden Bench

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Today I’m sharing the new garden bench we added between the brick pillars we recently added to the side yard.  I found a metal bench online that I liked but of course they wouldn’t ship to Alaska and the local store didn’t have any in stock, so I went into the store to see if they had anything similar hoping they’d have a decent option or two on sale for the end of the season.

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They had this bench which is very similar to the one I saw on the website but it was $30 more!  Luckily I had printed the online option and taken it with me so I sweetly asked the sales guy if he could price match their own website since they didn’t carry the one I really wanted.  He must have wanted to clear out the last one they had because he quickly agreed and offered to carry the big box to the register for me!

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On the way to the registers I realized that the outdoor pillows I’d been eyeing were on 50% off sale so I snagged a couple of those as well when I noticed that several of the options available tied in the navy, green and aqua I already had going on in the yard.  My favorite is the little bird pillow, which I got two of!  They look pretty great on the fire pit chairs.

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And they coordinate perfectly with the two over-sized navy pillows I got at Sams club earlier this summer.  I plan to paint an aqua pineapple design on the drop cloth pillow I have on the sectional and will add navy grain sack stripes to the ones on the table chairs over on the deck so there’s a cohesive color scheme throughout the area.

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Stop back by tomorrow to see how I finished off the brick columns with some more fun aqua accessories!

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Burlap Pepper Pots

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Hi everyone!  I’m feeling quite a bit better and am back to the usual routine, albeit a bit slower than normal.  Today I thought I’d share this quick project I did over the weekend to create planters for some extra pepper plants that didn’t fit in our garden box.  I originally saw the idea on Pinterest but it didn’t have a tutorial so I just kinda made it up as I went along.  These cute pots are actually 5 gallon buckets.

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This is how they started life.  Not quite the look I was going for.  So I dug out some burlap I’d picked up last season and did a test fit to see how it would work.  Since my pieces were fairly large I folded them in half, which worked well to block the blue color and store logo on the bucket.

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To finalize the fit I laid out the burlap on the ground and wrapped it around the bucket until I was happy with the placement.  Then I cut pieces of twine and tied it around the bucket at the top and bottom to hold the burlap in place.

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I fiddled with the burlap on the first bucket, trying it both pulled tight and leaving it loose.  I ultimately decided I like the loose option which made them look like old grain sacks just filled with dirt.  Here they are tied and ready for plants.

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The Hubs drilled a couple of drainage holes in the bottom of each bucket and I filled them with soil.  Each got a single pepper plant so that when it grows I can add a support stake or cage.

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And here’s the finished line up.  The Hubs was actually pretty impressed with how nice they turned out – and I know this because he commented on them unprovoked!  Since I took this shot the other day Brinley decided to ‘help’ with the gardening and pulled the pepper plant on the right out of the soil.  Luckily, I caught it quickly and was able to put it back in and give it some extra watering to revive it but I’m not sure it will make a full recovery.

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But even if it doesn’t I’ve got the two others in buckets and three more in the garden box so hopefully, we’ll get quite a few peppers to enjoy this summer!  I’ll be sharing more of our garden starts next week so watch for that.  Until then have a fabulous weekend! 🙂

Shared on Knick of Time’s Talk of the Town #24.

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The Gravel Patio

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Once the fire pit went in the next step was installing a gravel patio around it.  The hubs added small side-walls on our big flatbed trailer to pick up a load of pea gravel, which only cost around $80 since we didn’t need delivery.  It took him most of the day to dump and spread it, but it was totally worth the effort.

GravelCombined with the new garden, our Adirondack chairs and one of my pretty little garden stools it’s starting to look like the backyard I’ve been envisioning all along!

Our DIY Fire Pit

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One of the projects I really wanted to tackle this summer was a fire pit. Luckily, the hubs was totally on board.  We started with the freebie washing machine tub I scored last year, which we set on two cinder blocks to keep the heat off the ground.

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We stacked landscape stones around the tub, off setting the seams.  But after the second row we ran into a little problem, the ridge at the back of each stone required the next row to be a smidg bigger.  After a quick Pinterest search we learned that others using the same stones removed the ridge when building their fire pit, so we chose to do the same.
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The hubs attacked them with his fancy power tools, but it wasn’t working as well as we hoped.  I suggested going old-school and use a hammer.FirePitGrind

This time old-school worked better, so we stuck with it row by tedious and muscle building row.  Eventually we upgraded to a larger hammer which was a bit more efficient, although still time consuming.FirePitHammerFirePitHalf

Apparently all the noise we were making didn’t bother the dogs who napped on the deck nearby.  It truly is a rough life they live…
FirePitNapA puppy nap and several more rows of stones and we were almost done.  That’s when we ran out of stones.  Go figure.

FirePit90The hubs picked up some more stones the next day so we could finish off the top row, where we left the little ridge in case it’s helpful for a future table top I want to build to cover the pit when it’s not in use.

FirePitFinishedTopIt’s taller than most fire pits but it feels more impressive and should be safer for when we have little ones around.  The top row sits just above the top edge of the metal tub so the fire stays contained and the smoke rises a bit, keeping it out of our eyes when sitting around it.  We’re pretty pleased with how it turned out.

FirePitFinishedWe only got to test it out once before Alaska’s burn ban took effect.  Hopefully, the conditions will improve soon and we can enjoy it again before the summer is over Because next time I’m planning to create some backyard s’mores!

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The Little Birdies In Our Backyard

I rarely go in the backyard here at the rental.  There’s nothing out there but a hillside of mossy weeds for the dogs to run in and a small grouping of trees.  Granted that’s on purpose since we decided not to do anything in the yard because we knew this was a temporary residence and we’d rather spend money on something permanent at the new house.

That being the case, it was unusual for me to venture out into the trees to spread some flower clippings.  I like to throw things that will biodegrade out into ‘nature’ rather than in the trash can whenever possible.  It’s just one more way to recycle in my mind.  As I stepped into the trees I came face to face with a little bird peeking out at me from around the other side of a tree.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera on me to get a shot of him checking me out from around the tree and every time I’ve gone back out in search of him he’s no where to be found.  I believe he was a downy woodpecker because he matched the pictures I’ve found online for that species.

There is a bird feeder out back and the trees provide a nice little oasis from the suburban area nearby, so I can understand why birds would want to hang around. I found it quite nice to be still and listen to the wind in the leaves while I waited for Mr. Woodpecker to appear.

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It’s been almost two weeks with no sign of him.  Although Mr. Woodpecker is apparently camera shy, I did spot this little sparrow.  He flitted around from branch to branch and then flew off in search of a less populated hang out.

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During another visit to the ‘woods’ I discovered this nest in one of the trees.  I was excited to see who might be inhabiting it, but I haven’t heard a peep or seen anyone visit it yet.  I guess whoever built it has moved on to a bigger tree.

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And every time I venture out into the ‘woods’ my little assistant tags along with this “What the heck are we doing mom?” look.  I think she hopes we’re on a quest to find the perfect throwing stick and doesn’t understand why mom seems to keep looking up rather than down. 🙂

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