~A Tuscan Villa Garden Patio Update~
Hello everyone! It's been a hot minute since I posted anything on my blog, actually it's been over a month and I have been a busy bee, working on a backyard makeover for us to enjoy our outdoor space again. If you have been following along on the blog, you will already know that we have been working on our backyard for a couple of reasons, one including the fact that our backyard neighbors installed a lovely (insert heavy sarcasm here) basketball court on our shared fence line along with an adjustable height goal that is 10' at the rim, but the top of the goal is nearly 12'. This height leaves a whopping 6 ft over the fence line clearance which at the fence looks massive. Here's a pic when they installed it at the end of May. Welcome all to Covid-19 summer 2020 at the Booth residence!
They also installed a 13 to 14' play house/equipment, again, right at the fence line. Now, some people may not be upset by this, but I feel like our neighborhood yards are pretty small (about 25 ft or less from the back of the houses), so it sort of feels like we now live behind an elementary school yard. Now, if I had known that our neighborhood POA would have approved such a thing, I for sure wouldn't have purchased in this neighborhood. However, I will say, we are moving within the next year, so now the issue will be on how to gain back my property value for resale.
It took about 5 weeks to get approval from the POA on a solution to cover up or hide the basketball goal. It took some creativity, sweat equity and a great deal of out of pocket expense to come up with something that would work. After several denials and back and forth, they finally approved a garden trellis wall that could not go over 8 ft. Now, you might be asking why would they approve a 10'-12" bball goal and not a 10' garden trellis? Good question! The answer I got in reply is that they were worried about the "aesthetics" of the neighborhood! This is the moment you slap your forehead in stupor and wonder the logic!!! But, moving on, because you can't explain stupid, we created a design that would cover the bball goal when it was at it's lowest height (a little under 8 ft), and got creative on how to hide the full height, at least visually from the patio perspective, because the patio is lower than the rest of the yard. You could say "perspective" helped to solve the problem! :)
I have been noticing on social media a lot of garden trellis's and privacy walls that are being built, so clearly this has become issues for a lot of homeowner's that are now home a lot more than before! I'm hoping to share the garden trellis we built to help someone else who may be trying to retain or gain some privacy from neighbors. When the basketball court behind me was built, they poured concrete to about 6-8 inches off the ground. This caused a loss in privacy because now anyone on the court, could now see into my backyard! My 6 ft fence now became 5 ft 4". It really upset me that I had no say over my own privacy and that the neighbor and POA had not considered this or just didn't care, but it seriously bothered me, so hence the privacy issue was the priority over design. I didn't care that when I covered it with the garden trellis wall, that the wall itself was not going to be centered in my landscaping.
Now, I may care a little that it's not symmetrical; but the trellis provided privacy and now my neighbor can't see me, and I don't see my neighbor anymore. Aesthetically, asymmetrIcal design is a lot better than looking at a bball goal when I'm sitting on my patio or loosing my privacy in my own backyard. Can I get an AMEN!!!
In May, we had started remodeling the patio with a vision for a Tuscan Villa patio with black wrought iron furniture, cushioned sofa and a wood coffee table. We had ordered all the patio furniture and painted the patio all before the bball goal so it was extremely disheartening to realize that now I had spent all that money and would be looking at an elementary playground vs. enjoying my tuscan villa garden patio.
It took us 5 weeks to get approval, which was into July, from the POA, before we could start our "operation coverup" and build our garden trellis's. We ordered wooden flower boxes that were large enough to attach a wooden trellis wall that we built on the back and placed by the back fence. These DIY trellis had to be free-standing because if we would have poured concrete, we would have had to obtain a building permit and we knew that if we waited that long, summer would be over. This is the design we came up with and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! We will be featuring the DIY garden trellis walls in a future "how to build" blog post with supplies and links.
Our other obstacle in the space, was a gas line located in our yard about 18 inches from the fence line and we couldn't dig down too far in fear of hitting it. We would have to go around the gas line to plant any trees. We were able to plant evergreen trees in a raised bed to coordinate with the fence and avoid digging. Here is what it looks like now with the trees and garden trellis planters installed.
We did plant the trees first and so the walls are not lined up centered, but I still like how it looks and I may try to come up with some way to find symmetry depending on the budget, but for now it works! Can you guess where the basketball goal is? It's not centered in their yard, therefore it was hard to come up with symmetry on our part. Eventually, we will plant a big tree in front of the playhouse gym thingy but we will have to be careful again with the gas line when we do. Here's a pic of the before of the patio which needed to be painted desperately!
After the garden trellis wall's were installed, I was so happy, and now we have been able to enjoy our privacy and retain the aesthetic I was going for back in May, the Tuscan Villa Garden Patio. Here's a look at the patio now:
One thing I have been blessed with is the existing landscaping on either side of the patio, including these gorgeous hydrangea trees and bushes. They are so full this year with blooms that they are drooping. I'm going to dry some bunches this week to use around the house this fall!
We ended up buying new chair cushions at Target for our existing black wrought iron dining set. I love the stripes but couldn't decide on just the ivory or just stripes, so I bought both and mixed and matched with the ivory on the bottoms and the stripes for the back cushions.
My aunt Barbara (shout out: Hi there lovely!), gifted me a Wayfair card for my birthday which I used to purchase the striped umbrella. I wasn't sure if it would match the chair cushions, but it is perfect! I love it so much!
We found the cushioned sofa and wood coffee table on Amazon and I love how cozy it is in this spot on the patio! I matched the stain on the DIY garden trellis' that we built to the coffee table.
The wooden arbor was also purchased on Amazon, and it will be used (after modifying it here in a few weeks) to hide the bball goal at full height from the sofa and patio. By luck, the stain also matched perfectly to my DIY garden trellis privacy walls and table pulling it all together with a cohesive design.
The lounger on the patio was a ripped mesh mess, but I convinced Garrett that we could reupholster it and spray paint it and it would be good as new and just look at it now! I found the striped cushion on Target and again, it was a perfect match to the other decor. Here is a look at it when we were making the evergreen landscape bed and saved the grass to replant by placing on the very sad lounger and called it "lawn art"
I love this backyard so much right now! We still have to find plantings for the 8 ft garden trellis planter, which is my fun project for this weekend.
Here's a close up pic:
To help with the noise of the basketball goal, Garrett bought this outdoor fountain for me for my birthday! It is the most lovely sound and so peaceful back here. It really helps drown out neighborhood noise for sure. I've decided that our next backyard will be filled with fountains! There is just something about the sound of water trickling down the fountain's edges that is so relaxing.
I hope you've enjoyed our backyard makeover projects and you are having an awesome summer! I know a lot of us have kids returning to school and college campuses in the next few weeks, and I hope all goes well and smoothly for everyone out there navigating this process!
Thanks for joining me in my little corner of the world! As always...
Until next time,