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Side Garden

It's hard keeping up two places (I know, cue the first world problem music), but the truth is when you have two places and you're pouring most of your energy into redoing one, the other gets neglected.

Enter my side yard in the city: I called it my secret garden. You can get to it by going through the backyard or through the dining room french doors. 

 It used to be a favorite spot to sit on the deck and relax as it is right off the dining room. I had a small table out there where we sometimes ate. There used to be just a window there but Bruce replaced that with the French doors and added the deck. Then we added an awning about 5 years ago to cut back on the hot sun which really made it nice.
But a couple of things happened - we bought our country place that needed lots of updating and care and our neighbors moved and the new people sit out on their back porch smoking all day (literally). Ugh. It blows right over the fence and stinks. 

So we moved the patio furniture around to the barbecue area and pretty much quit hanging out there. I'd weed it about once a year, but that was all I had the energy or inclination to do. To say it got overgrown is an has gotten so bad, Bruce took to calling it my secret "jungle". 

Recently, my twin sister was sharing her side yard makeover with me:

my sister's side yard - it's wider than mine
and I got the bug to clean mine up! Never mind it's July and hot. I'm whipping this garden into shape!

First, I started tackling the gravel pathway and overgrown beds. Yikes! This is going to take awhile as I can only work outside for about an hour or two before I have to come in and cool off! But I've made some progress!
stones reset and gravel pathway cleaned out
Looking down the side of the house and toward the street - the front part is starting to shape up. Notice my birdbath and gazing ball? That's not where the gazing ball belongs. ha.

Looking toward the backyard and gravel pathway:
Do you see the dogs? They want to come check the secret garden out.

Privacy panel - blocks neighbor's kitchen window and our breakfast nook windows so we can't stare into each other's house:

Another view toward the street - it's very overgrown:

Weeds between stepping stones:

I've got a long way to go - I'm going to add river rock for mulch (the rain water drains through here so regular mulch won't work, plant my birdbath with succulents since it's cracked, clean and restain the deck,

add some seating, and decorate!

I'll be sharing the progress in between the bathroom remodel so stay tuned!

Oh and the stinky neighbors? They're moving. Here's hoping the new homeowners aren't smokers!

I was on my way to the grocery store and saw this on the curb:

It was FREE!! It's pretty rough but perfect for the side yard!

Have a wonderful week!

Linking up at these parties:
Coastal Charm Show and Share


  1. I can't wait to see this space when you finish! It does look like a peaceful little spot to relax. I love the idea to plant succulents in the cracked bird bath. I have the same problem and couldn't figure out what to do with it. Maybe I'll do that too! And the bike project has me curious too. Good luck with it and don't get overheated! Hugs!

    1. I was so happy when Bruce put those French doors and deck expanded the dining room and was such a nice little spot to sit. It has been such a disappointment not to be able to enjoy it.

      My friend has a couple of old bikes in her garden and they look so cute. I'm looking for the right basket to hang on the handle bars. Bruce just shakes his head. (But he's glad I'm cleaning it up!)

  2. I'm sure your side yard was once a lovely space and it will be again. Hoping you get some really nice non-smoking neighbors.

    1. Thanks Jeanna. The current ones are nice, just the smoking issue. I'm sure hoping for non-smokers this time. :-)

  3. Cecilia! are you sure some kid didn't just lay down his bike and run off to play ? :-)

    1. Lol! Quite. I went and knocked on the door. The tires are about rotted off - no one has ridden it in a very long time. The guy told me I could have it. :)

  4. Your yard looks like mine! lol I know how much work this will be, but the fact that it's relatively small will certainly help the process.

    Neighbors can be such pains sometimes, but it's great that they're moving! Yippee!

    1. Heh, the rest of the back has no grass thanks to the dogs. This is my dog free zone. :) they are only allowed in the side yard if I'm out there with them. Good news is they are growing up and not eating everything. Maybe next Spring we can plant grass again.

      Here's to new, non smoking neighbors! (Please God). I can't wait to move to the country! :)

  5. Hi Cecilia!
    Just popping over to your blog to say hello...I'm one of the Thrift It/Gift It crew! :)
    Have not been to your blog before and have spent a while here.
    That bike was a perfect roadside score! A few streets over from here a lady has a red one similar to yours in her front garden under a big tree, with a basket and flowers planted inside - it is amazing!
    I can't wait to see how your yard turns out, if this blog is any indication it will be gorgeous!
    Kimberley @

    1. Hey Kimberley! I'm so glad you stopped in. Thank you for your kind comments. I haven't had a chance to visit all the Thrift It/Gift It bunch yet (it's on my list for tonight!); isn't that going to be such a fun thing to do? Looking forward to meeting you and the other ladies. I'll be popping over later to say hi!

  6. Hi Cecilia, it takes so much work to keep up a home and garden and it can get away from you fast--I can only imagine the challenge of having two! Can't wait to see your progress! We always seem to be on the same page--wait til you see my latest project and the color ;) Blessings, Cecilia

    1. It's tough. I love my flower beds but I only have so much energy. Lol. I want to garden at the farm so bad but I have to be content with what can survive by itself for now. I am pretty excited to be redoing this spot - my sister's side yard is so sweet. Really inspired me.
      Oh my goodness! That's too funny. I can't wait to see what you're up to. Someday, we are going to have to meet...too close not to!

  7. Thanks so much for stopping by!
    What a great score with the bike!!

    1. Isn't the greatest thing ever to find something for free that works with a project? I can't wait to get to the stage of decorating the garden. Half way there! Thanks for coming by!


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