I wish I could say this Garden Retreat is in my own backyard, but it’s not. It belongs to my sister who lives in Silver City, New Mexico. This past week, I visited for a couple of days and was able to soak in the scenery while sipping on a glass of iced tea. It was fantastic, although short lived. That’s because the rest of the time I was helping my sister gather rocks for a walkway, shovel dirt, and paint what she hopes will be her future “she shed.” It was hard work making her Garden Retreat picture perfect, but we laughed through the sweat dripping down our foreheads and into our eyes! So, I hope you enjoy this blog and are inspired by all the pictures I’ll be sharing.
To be honest, I hadn’t planned on blogging about our mini makeover so I didn’t take a lot of “Before” pictures. My sister’s Garden Retreat was already beautiful. But you can see that the shed wasn’t painted when I got there.
The main thing my sister wanted help with was creating a pathway from an arched gateway to the pergola where she and her husband like to relax. She had flagstone rocks scattered elsewhere in her yard, and we dug them up and thought we’d use them to make a walkway. Besides, how hard could that be?
The answer to that question is… EXTREMELY hard! As in, what were we thinking!? After we gathered the heavy pieces of flagstone, we had to break up the dirt with a pick and shovel. Then we dug holes the size & depth of each flagstone rock in order to lay them as level to the ground as possible. It took us all day. We tried to move the umbrella to work in the shade, but we were still huffing and puffing our way through.
Once we got all the flagstone down, my sister — inspired by some photos she’d seen from another blogger we follow — decided we should shovel up pieces of moss growing in the back of her house, and transplant them between the flagstone. We’re not sure if it’s going to take, because moss grows in the shade, but it was worth a shot.
It was about 5:30 in the evening. My sister and I were beat. We sat at the table to rest and look proudly at the work we’d accomplished, when all of a sudden my sister surveyed the rest of her backyard and said, “wouldn’t it be great if the shed was painted blue to match the birdhouse?” Let me just say for the record that you can’t use the word “paint” in my presence without causing my heart to race. A sudden burst of energy came upon me. “If we go get the paint now,” I said, “there’s still enough daylight to get started.” A couple of minutes later, we were still covered in dirt, but we were in the car headed for the store to buy paint.
It’s a good thing the summer days are long, because we were able to paint the front wall of the shed before the sun went down. We bought a quality exterior paint with primer already in it. But because of the grooves in the walls, and all the bushes and plants growing next to the shed, we wound up having to paint a good portion of it with brushes instead of rollers, which made it more time consuming.
It was getting dark and we were growing hungry, so we decided to stop for the day and finish up in the morning. Then, about an hour later, this happened:
There was lightning, thunder, and pouring rain! It’s monsoon season here in the southwest, which means heavy rainstorms can come with no warning at all. And that rain is driven by high winds, which makes the rain hit you sideways! After all the loose dirt we created, and the fact the paint on the front of the shed was not fully dry, I had a horrible, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Would we wake up to find blue mud everywhere? I couldn’t even sleep. I prayed all night. And, thankfully, those prayers were answered because there was absolutely no damage, and the rain actually helped settle the dirt.
We not only finished painting the rest of the shed the next morning, I used craft paints to paint pink roses on the window frames to “girly” up my sister’s She Shed. (Kind of reminds me of the State Farm commercial about the chichier she shed, which is hilarious.)
We rearranged a few things throughout the yard and finally this Garden Retreat makeover was complete . Now, everywhere you look, there is something fun for the eyes to see. I hope you enjoy all the pictures.
What I love most about this Garden Retreat is how perfectly it reflects my sister’s personality. She’s fun loving and artistic. She has an appreciation of all things vintage and victorian. And, above all, she enjoys nature. As we watched the butterflies flutter and hummingbirds zip back and forth, it made me realize how important it is to unplug and leave the cellphone behind once in a while, just to take in the fresh air and enjoy all that is in bloom.
Thanks for checking out my blog. If you were inspired by this outdoor makeover, you just have to check out Lavender Nest Cottage on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lavender-Nest-Cottage-661407387621056
It’s like a fairytale! My sister and I can’t get enough of it.
And, if you’re looking for a simple outdoor DIY project, check out another one of my blogs at http://www.muralsbymarcy.com/woodsy-hexagon-wreath/#more-2678