The longest blog ever about my back yard.

As I mentioned in yesterdays blog, it has been all about the garden for me this weekend. I got started on things about 3 in the afternoon on Friday and emailed Chris and suggested he come home after work and help me in the yard. Well we went from having no rhyme or reason to our entire back yard to having a rock outlined flowerbed the length of our fence. We had a flower box attached to the front of our house made of Austin Stone when we moved in that Chris and his dad had knocked down, good thing Chris kept all the rocks because they came in super handy.

From the pictures you can see the length of the garden. We only got about half of it tilled and planted. I have tarps and trash bags over the other half trying to kill the grass and weeds underneath. This is a good trick for lazy gardeners. By next weekend most things underneath there should be dead. Mainly we have been planting succulents, but in the corner I planted a bunch of Wandering Jew. You can see I also stuck in the awesome mosaic flamingo my mom made me over there. The other planter in the corner is this old 50’s chair I found in someone’s trash. It has been outside for a few seasons and is now falling apart. When I got the chair I took the seat out and put wire in and made it into a planter. Pretty Cute.

So that was last night. This morning Chris and I woke up and went down to the Sustainable Food Ball where the Sunset Valley Farmers Market usually is. There was really not that much to see, but of course I did not leave empty handed. Chris and I have been looking for Lemongrass plants EVERYWHERE and we finally found one. We used to have a huge bushy one but somehow we managed to kill it and all my adventures in Thai cooking have been on hold since. I also got 4 different crazy looking little succulents.

After the farmers market I tried a new restaurant I had never been to, Baby Greens on South First and Oltorf. Their low-fat lemon vignette was possibly the best salad dressing I have ever had. If you live in Austin I highly recommend it – and it is a drive through. You can even have your salad made into a little wrap like I did!

So I ate in the car and Chris and I drove over to S. Congress for a little shopping. Another new and exciting pit stop, we went to a new little area of shops on Congress closer to Ben White. The shopping strip was an old 40’s motel that they painted white, made look swanky and gave a hip looking blue sign. Speaking of hip the whole reason we went is because I wanted to go into Hip Haven and check out their screen doors. We walked in and all around, but no one was in the store. It was actually kind of creepy and we alerted the people next door at Unique Boutique and we were all thoroughly worried. I hope the girl who runs the store is OK and not just because I am dying for one of her screen doors.

After a sweep though of these shops Chris and I walked down the street to a big plant nursery called The Great Outdoors. This place was like heaven with all the amazing plants. I could have totally loaded up, but left empty handed because I had already gotten my plant fix earlier at the Farmers Market. Onward to our casa.

Next on the list for today was to paint our patio furniture and my new table and chair set. Well this turned out to be a production. My patio chairs were very rusty from my pseudo shabby chic phase on the porch. Then the outdoor dining set I had gotten in McKinney was just plain white and well I can’t have that. First step was to don a mask for fear of lead paint and scrub away with a steal brush. After that tedious job we coated everything down with a base coat of rustoleom spray paint. Next make things pretty! We had tons of left over house paint so this seemed like an easy enough task, but we soon realized after just spray painting on the primer that this was going to take forever. I had a brilliant idea to go to Lowes and buy a paint sprayer.

So onward to Lowes where I did in fact get a paint sprayer, 4 more little succulents (I think I might be addicted) and a red umbrella to go with my new table and chair set.

Back home it took us a bit to figure out how to work the sprayer, where to spray without getting paint everywhere and deciding what chairs and tables to paint aqua and what to paint yellow. As you can see from the pictures my house is mainly aqua, the trim is yellow and red and the deck is red. This being the case I wanted to use aqua and yellow paint on the lawn furniture (and you can see why I chose the red umbrella). We figured everything out eventually and got all the paint on.

For whatever reason, as if our day was not long enough (speaking of long God this is a novel) Chris and I decided to drive to Pflugerville for dinner. This is a suburb north of Austin, about 30 minutes from our house. Long story short there is an Italian restaurant in my home town of McKinney called Sicily’s. We love it, my parents eat there like 4 times a week (no really) and they even catered the rehearsal dinner at our wedding. The owners had told us about their friends restaurant in Pflugerville called Baris and swore it was just as good as their place. Baris was quite yummy and I could only finish half of my HUGE creamy dinner. It was one of those meals that was so rich and creamy all I could do was dream about eating something minty to cut the thickness in my mouth.

So now I am home feeling so full I could pop, with a patio full of bright furniture and an aching back. Tomorrow we have more yard work to do and I will post pictures of the finishing touches then. I know you can hardly wait. I have to plan a party to show off all my hard work. Looks like tomorrow night is going to turn into the weekly Sunday night party on my porch so at least I know a handful of regulars are going to get to see the goods.

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