Once the weather starts to get nice I  picture myself sneaking down early in the morning, making myself a cup of coffee and sitting outside in the backyard and enjoying a few moments to myself.  This dream sometimes materializes but I am determined to make it happen more often.  There are people who love being with and around other people all the time.  I am not one of them.  I feel more creative , inspired and happy when I manage to get some time alone. I like to be able to ponder the imponderables and just be.

 There is nothing more relaxing to me than sitting  outside in our backyard and doing nothing!  Well today was not that relaxing because I started to think about my backyard renovation.  I don’t have any before pictures but the space back here was just awful.  It was a tiny block of cement with pigeon droppings everwhere.  First on my backyard To-Do-List is to prime and paint the window, shown in the picture below, yellow. 

Then I would like to figure out if I can plant a tree where this greenish yellow bush is (picture below) so that we can get some privacy from the house right next door.

Third I would like Scott to build me a planter all the way at the end of this long narrow pathway (see below).  The dining room windows look into this space and I would like to be able to see some green when looking out of the dining room. By the way I love my yellow door.  We painted it with Fine Paints of Europe, Semi Gloss, in yellow. 

This is a close up shot of the alleyway.  I would like to plant a very narrow row of  bamboos to the left of this picture so that no one can look into our dining room from the top floor of the house next door.

This is a picture of my sedum.  They come back faithfully each year in early Spring.

I want to plant a June Magnolia,  to the right of this picture.  We really need some privacy from the house which is right behind us. 

There is a shared alleyway to the left of this picture which is now defunct.  Once I get someone to break up an area of the cement back there I plan on planting a Japaneese maple in the alleyway to shield the backyard from the house to the left of this picture.

Finally I would like to plant a very narrow row of bamboo next to this wall.

I have chosen the bamboo, June Magnolia and Japanese Maple because they all how relatively light root systems and therefore are ideal trees for city environments.  Now that all my planning is done I feel like I’ve accomplished so much and it is only 6:35 in the morning!


I am over this house! (not really).

The back yard

I should be relaxing in my back yard but I am not!

Sometimes I feel like I spend every waking minute, at some level, thinking about what needs to be done on the house.  This combined with my slight obsessiveness  makes it really hard for me some times to just relax at home.  This seems absurd because I used to be the type of person who wanted to always relax, read and enjoy my home.  I am not sure if everyone who buys a house gets house-nuts or whether it is just me.

Last summer I loved my backyard…this summer not so much.  This is mainly because I hate the slope of the yard and now I’m obsessing over what I need to do to it…slate tiles, break the concrete and pour new concrete and level it, etc.  The previous owners in an (overzealous) effort to keep water away from the house inclined the yard at such a steep pitch that it slants sharply away from the house.  Therefore everything always looks crooked…no matter what I do!

It surprises me when is people come over and don’t notice the slope…is it all in my head? When did I decide that things had to be so perfect? I used to love old imperfect things. When we bought this house I fell in love with it because it alluded to grandness in its past lives in a very atypical row house sort of way. I really wanted to restore it to its original grandness but keep all the personality.  Well now somehow I have entered a house renovation world where I embrace the imperfections but at the same time need everything that we do to be perfect. I am not sure if I could ever reconcile these two emotions. I am making a pact with myself that from today onwards I will make more of an effort to just let things go (just a little).

I will leave you with this picture of my back yard:

P.S. Look closely and you will see that everything slopes to the left.

I’m Back!

I can’t believe that it’s been so long since I posted something. I’ve been really busy at work and at home. All my time at home seems to be consumed with taking care of Kiran who is now 20 months old. I have also been very busy around the house and there’s been a lot of changes (more pictures to come soon). I also bought a new camera so the quality of the pictures (hopefully) will be much better.

For now here is a picture of what my backyard looks like today:

This was what it looked like earlier this year:

For more pictures of my backyard check out this Apartment Therapy post.


This is what the back yard looked like a couple of weeks ago during the snow storm. Our back yard is a tiny city cement plot. It looked totally magical. Most of my plants in the “garden” are perennials, evergreens or other cold hardy varieties. I don’t really like annuals as much because it is so sad when they die after the season. I really like to keep my plants alive. We’ve had some of our indoor plants for over fifteen years.

I want the backyard to feel like an extension of the house. This is what I want my back yard to look like this summer:

I have some wrought iron patio furniture that we picked up at a thrift store in Pennsylvania. I want to re-upholster a set of cushions that go on the love seat. I have been trying to buy outdoor fabric in a geometric pattern but I haven’t found anything that I like that’s not ridiculously expensive. So I’ve decided to buy six yards of fabric (three yards per cushion) from Ikea and sew some slip covers. I’ve never done any sewing other than hemming a few things so I am not sure what the covers will look like. The way I see it anything will be an improvement over the blue floral cushions that are currently on the love seat. I bought two yellow lounge chair cushions (made from Sunbrella fabric) last year for the two side chairs last year which are great. I love all the fabric in the pictures below:

I would love to be able to hang a chandelier outside like the picture below: