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My readers will remember that Hubby and I were able to take on two over-due facelift projects for the house this summer.  One of the projects is the guest bathroom (to be blogged about later)The second project is/was the grass in our back yard, along with a pea gravel space for some teak chairs (otherwise known as the killer patio chairs).   The killer chairs were relegated to the back yard when I purchased the Kooboo chairs from Cost Plus.  The teak chairs were always quite comfortable but would NOT slide on the concrete patio and because they were adjustable chairs, they would collapse on our guests when anyone would try to scoot back from the table.  So once again…

Once we placed the chairs under the trees it became clear we needed some kind of surface  under them to create a sort of patio area.  The grass has never  thrived  in this spot since there is so much shade.  My blog friend over at French Kissed posted a picture of a similar area  (she had helped  design the area during a styling job) where she had created this oasis of pea gravel, potted fern and comfortable chairs.  I knew that would work for our yard and voila...the inspiration for our project...


This is after the grass (weeds) had been sprayed to kill out the invasive devil grass and weeds.  Jose, my talented gardener had started the removal process when I remembered the “before” pictures!

You can see the sparse grass and roots of the trees.  Our next door neighbor replaced the fence with a more weather friendly redwood fencing and the design is so much prettier.


Now that our back yard has lush, green grass, sans all of the weeds, and a pea gravel pad where we can enjoy the shade of 2 very large trees when we’re looking for a spot to put our feet up and sip something wonderful we’ll be spending more time out there…that is until it’s too cool, which may be some time.

Amazing how much better the yard looks with green grass, not weeds and bare patches.

We’ve had this teak coffee table stored for years, it is so nice to be able to use existing items around the house.

The white cushions are $5 / Ikea.  the gravel is birds eye pea gravel.  We had our gardener plant a crescent of boxwood (above) which will provide a visual wall behind the chairs.  We have a calliandra vine (below) planted on the fence.  The vine won’t bloom in this much shade but the plant thrives even without sun. 

This sasanqua ‘noel’ will be blooming by November.  The stone border was the result in our changing out the stone bath we used to have leading to the teak bench.  My gardener put the stones on edge to create a nice border for the gravel space and edge of the flower bed.

The white helebore has seen better days but its getting ready to bloom and hopefully will multiply for next season since it was given some new compost nutrition during our back yard re-do/clean up.

I’ve planted some Irish moss in this little metal bird feeder.  I planted Spanish moss in the spaces between the river bed rocks…it’s a very shady area and I’m hoping it takes off.

This calliandra vine has gotten very large (it’s on the patio) and I’m hopeful the 5-gallon vine planted on the fence is as happy as this one.

The side yard was refreshed with additional Krista Mountain gravel; the lantern is lit when we’re outdoors at night.

We added the lattice overhang recently in hopes that it will provide a little break from the constant south facing sun that beats down on our bay window…it’s been a challenge for fabrics and furniture in the library, the room this bay window is in.

I apologize, our garden shoes are by the door…keeping it real.

So, the back yard is ready for relaxation and fun…even if it’s only a short time before it’s too cool to be out there!

Thanks for coming by for an update.

Happy fall.  Do you have any fall yard work on your list?