July 30, 2013

An Arbor and A Bench

Our backyard has been a work in progress since we moved in.  When we moved in, I was glad we "technically" didn't have kids, even though I was pregnant.  It wasn't fit for kids to play in or people to hang out there.  It was atrocious!  Every year, my husband and I tackle more and more of it to turn it into the backyard oasis we want it to be.  Last year you might remember we laid a LOT of stone for a patio and walkway.  This year we hatched a plan to build a bench and arbor behind the patio to provide more seating.

My husband and I sat down at the dining room table and talked about and drew up plans for the arbor.  He even provided me with directions from a woodworking magazine on how to do the arbor.  I didn't really follow those.  I'm not good at following directions.  My hubby would agree. 

I started with laying the stones across the bottom to build the base.  By the way, aren't those stones just lovely?  What makes them even lovelier is that they only cost the sweat and muscle of my husband!  He went to go buy them at Lowe's and they had discontinued them!!!  So, the smart man my husband is, he asked what they were going to do with the display ones and they told him that they were going to throw them out!  He asked if he could buy those and since they weren't in the inventory anymore he couldn't...so they gave them to him, if he was willing to work for it.  SCORE!!!  If I can tell you anything about us, we aren't afraid of work and getting sweaty.  So, by far, this was the cheapest trip to Lowe's we have ever had. 

After the first few layers of stone was laid, I built the bench, since I had an exact measurement of the length of it.

I used cut copper pipe as spacers in the bench.  Copper pipe was also used at the top of the arbor.  We chose copper because of how beautiful it is and how it will change color with age.

I plan on having a vine crawl up and over, so I planted a star jasmine.  It grows fast, smells amazing and produces lots of clusters of white flowers.  It's not currently flowering, but when it does, it will smell heavenly back there.

Even though I did most of the construction for this project, I feel like it is truly a joint project as my husband and I planned it out together and he acquired all the necessary items for the build.  He also broke a stubborn stone in half for me. 

Now the kids have a place to sit when we invite friends over to sit around the fire with us.  Mmmm, now I want to eat some smores!

I also feel like we are nearing the finish line for our backyard makeover.  It's been a 5 year marathon so far.

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