A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

While we still spent a good portion of the weekend working in the yard, we also spent a lot of time relaxing on our patio. The finishing touches are complete — check it out!

Here’s the view walking from the front of the house along the sidewalk to our side yard (the house is directly on your left):
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Again, where the dirt ends and grass begins (on the right hand side) is our property line. The swing you see in the background used to be part of the PO’s property when he still owned the entire lot, but now that the neighbor owns that half of it, it belongs to them. They say they will turn it to face the other way. Either way, hopefully the sumacs that we planted will shield the view to our patio from the swing as well as the back of their house.

The shrub in the foreground is a Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium), which will eventually grow 12-15 feet tall and 8-12 feet wide and should sufficiently screen our patio from the street.

I picked up the lanterns at Target a while back and am really happy with them. They’re solar-powered and give off a decent amount of light at night — not so much that it will disturb the neighbors, but enough to softly light the area. The only issue with them are the posts: they’re made of plastic so they’re not as sturdy as I’d like to keep the post standing upright, but I’m sure we can prop them up better. For the price, though, I can’t complain.

Here’s the view from the opposite direction near the back of the house:
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I bought some annuals for some of the pots to go along with the herbs already in containers and spent Saturday planting those and arranging them with some leftover flagstone and the bricks that we unearthed during the patio dig.
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I went with white flowering annuals like Cosmos and Heliotrope and some other ones whose names I can’t remember. The Heliotrope smells amazing — kind of vanilla-like but also kind of like Dr. Pepper. That one looks a little scraggly at the moment, so I hope it makes it. I’ve never really been an annual or bulb gardener —— perennials all the way —— so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully I can keep the ones in the window box alive this year too. I underestimated how much sun it gets in front, so the coleus I planted last year didn’t last very long.

Anyway, we christened the patio with a last-minute BBQ and then another dinner last night with our parents. I’m amazed that the weather was so beautiful —— it usually ends up being a cold, rainy weekend for Memorial Day in Chicago. I guess the patio gods were on our side for a change.

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