Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning.

My patio is looking quite busted these days.

The scene is usually the same this time of year.  The Little Shop of Horror weeds have pushed their way up through the cloth lining and thinning layer of pea gravel.  Clumps of dry pine needles collect in dark crevices that I dare not touch with a gloved hand or a disposable chopstick.  The ferns are fireballs waiting to be ignited by some douchey neighbor or passerby with a smoking (and littering) habit.

Dead lifeless foliage aside, I really do love the space.  On an old episode of Designed to Sell, Lisa LaPorta (cute little thang) explained to the homeowners that they needed to think of their outdoor area as an extension of their home.  I try to heed her advice and treat our little 12' x 18' rectangle of outside space as another room.  A room to grill in, to entertain friends in and to soak in all of the sunlight that we typically miss out on from living in a humbly-sized condo on the ground level.

Oh, and there's just enough room to display my priceless objet d'outside arts.

Like the jaundiced gnome who clearly needs to get out and see more parts of the globe.

(There's no escaping the punnage.  Not in this home.)

The cheery winged pig who, after three treacherous winters, has resisted rain, wind, snow and patina.

Resourceful lushery.

I can't help but wonder if I'm headed down that road.  You know, that road that leads you to that house with that lawn with the flamingos and the pinwheels and the wooden cutout of a portly gardening woman's buttcheeks.

If you ever sense that I'm heading in that direction, you have permission to throw a flaming fern in my face's general vicinity.

Alright, this patio is begging for some new life.  Time to get crackin'.


  1. Ali, you make decorative arts out of wine bottles...you'll never become THAT house.

  2. You have not gone down that road, yet. No worries.

    And if I compare you to my mom's "bling garden" (she named it that), you haven't even stepped foot on said road yet.

  3. I believe your patio decor has been finely curated and you will resist the flamingos and buttcheeks quite easily.

  4. Ugh, that time of year again. But, here in Texas, it's already summer. Double ugh.

    I will totally be that old lady on the street yelling at the kids to "get off my lawn" in my bath robe. Holla.

  5. i'm jealous that you have a backyard to turn into that yard. i live in the Penthouse and by penthouse, i mean i live on the 3rd floor and that's the top of my building, and all i have is a fire escape.

    grow herbs. not those herbs. but more like, rosemary & thyme. then your whole space would smell divine while you're entertaining and/or grilling.

  6. your not down that road yet. You have one decorative pig, not tweleve. So jealous of you garden, we're on the 3rd floor of a condo builing. We have a large patio but thid year we can't plant anything until july!!! They're painting our building :(

  7. Wendi - I *wish* I could take credit for the wine bottle tealight holder.

    Shannon - "Bling garden"! The name alone gives her immunity from that curse.

    Breadandputter - It's good to know I won't be dodging any fiery objects come July 29th.

    Margie - I need to stop complaining about the bipolar weather over here. Because before I know it, it'll Texas temps all day, erryday.

    Angry Asian - I dropped the ball with my container garden last year...I think you just gave me the push I needed to resurrect it. Last summer, I had to resort to shelling $3-4 at the grocery store every time I wanted herbs.

    Jen - Bummer that you have to wait until July! I hope you're still able to utilize the patio for grilling/sipping purposes.

  8. This girl needs a pig with wings. Stat. And good luck with the cleanup. We didn't buy our house for it's curb appeal and man does it need some. But the yard is overwhelming. So maybe if I start with a flying pig the rest will just come together?

  9. I'm putting together a succulent container garden this year. One of those would look beautiful on your patio and they are very tolerant and easy to care for.

  10. Shannon - Let the flying pig guide you. Believe in the pig.

    I find that setting aside a day (with the man in tow) to knock out that shit out is the best way to go. Keep a reward pitcher of margaritas in the fridge for motivation.

    A Million Little Fibers - your thumb is much greener than mine, Alexis (your orchids are proof of that...wow) but I think I'll give the container garden a shot :)

  11. I am SO glad I am not the only woman under 60 out there who has an unexplainable fondness for garden animals. I have a snail that I probably love more than any of my other worldly possesions. I guess what I'm trying to say is: if you are going down that road...I'm right there with you!

  12. Cleaning your house is no easy task and it can be difficult to do a really nice job. One of the problems is accessing the nooks and crannies, and the other issue is actually shifting the grime. If you live near a busy road, your house will be subject to a lot of dirt and dust from passing vehicles.
    visit the website