Monday, March 23, 2009

Where Did the Time Go?

I had hoped, even thought that this weekend would be semi-productive either in the yard or in the bathroom. The weather here has been remarkably beautiful, spring has definitely sprung, and working in the yard seemed like a wonderful way to spend a few of my early morning hours - even my whole day. My brother, however thwarted that plan by insisting that I show him around Buffalo and Toronto this weekend ... so, there are no updated pictures of my own landscaping, just a few inspiration pictures I keep for when the progress actually starts.

Our pergola will be painted SW Roycroft Vellum, the trim color of the garage. Scott had suggested that we stain the pergola or keep it in it's natural state to gray with time. Although the gray with time patina did sound beautiful - I've let him keep all the wood in the house natural, and the garden can be my place to have wood painted! This pergola (above) and it's irregular shaped slate floor is gorgeous - and a wonderful way of proving that painted pergola's really do have a look all their own, very chic.

Our brick is reclaimed, and it's important for me to use these beautiful pieces. Once used in Buffalo, NY to create multi-family apartment buildings and garages, these bricks were a part of the foundation of this area, and they have some wonderful history - not to mention fantastic patina! I may not have a connection to these bricks personally, but their age and meaning will add a charm that won't be matched to our patio and back yard garden. Above, the herringbone pattern in this walkway was the inspiration for our patio.

Scott and I have contemplated using natural stone (flagstone and slate slab) in other garden structures, and outdoor kitchen ideas; like a fireplace or cooking/prep area inside of the pergola. I for one love the combination of the two especially when the brick is aged or discolored in areas and the stone is covered in moss. The picture above shows how well brick and flagstone can work together in one space.

And finally, the last picture in this post, and also in my catalog of pergolas and patios. There are so many things that this picture captures. When I look at it I feel calm, and filled with peace. The sound of the water from the rock pond, the smell of the moon flower ... the taste of lemonade on a warm and blissful summer evening.

For me, (us), building this pergola and patio is more than just extending our outdoor space, it's more than winning the unwritten garden competition our neighbors participate in every summer, it's the creation of a space where summer days and fall evenings can be spent relaxing, restoring, and refilling - on love, friendship, and lemonade.


  1. Beautiful, inspiring photos! Would love any one of them. Sad thing is that my husband is a landscape contractor - laying brick pavers is his speciality! Aside from our tumbled brick front porch in the beloved herringbone pattern, I stare at mounds of dirt! our driveway is all supposed to be brick too! He's just too busy to work on our own yard & tired too...someday!.. But I am going to show him these photos to get him inspired. Good luck with your own yard - you really have an eye for detail & no doubt yours will be beautiful to relax & entertain in.

  2. Your photos make me want to get out into my own yard - they are certainly inspiring & beautiful. I plan on doing a few outdoor projects myself as soon as I recover from doing the bathroom!! Can't wait to see yours completed. Have a good day.

  3. Oh your images really make me long for spring, green grass, leaves on the trees, bulbs blooming and a warm breeze....NOT like the 20 degree day we are having in Maine right now.


  4. Awesome pictures of pergolas and patios. Ones I aspire to have in my own humble backyard someday. You are so lucky to have all those reclaimed bricks-the charm and history! Even without a personal connection cannot be matched. They will endure forever. Good luck on building it, somehow I know it will be simply outstanding.

  5. Artie I was thinking about you this weekend. You are into several projects right now. I always do that too.

  6. Aww just think of it as making some memories with your brother!

    {{Big Hugs}}


  7. I sure do hope your brother enjoyed his tour, 'cause he screwed up the whole damn productive weekend! LOL

    Justine :o )

  8. If your weather has been anything like ours, understand why you didn't tackle an outside job. Brrrrrrr....cold and our b/yard has still mounds of snow! The ice on the s/pool hasn't even began to thaw.
    Hope you and brother had a great time on your excursion to T.O.

    Looking forward to seeing all your projects in motion.
    Hugs -Brenda-

  9. Your first picture is from my clients Chicago area home!
    How funny! It's a beautiful garden and pergola!

  10. Beautiful photos -- and yes, a garden is a wonderful place to spend summer days and evenings -- and there is nothing like a pergola to spend it in! A garden is a joy -- you have some great inspiration photos.

  11. These make me want a pergola! I have the perfect place and climate, too. I love them. thanks for the thought! -susan

  12. Hi, Artie, loved that post down below about the RMS person, gorgeous beautiful home.

    Love these inspiration pics too of outdoors. I can't wait to see what you end up with. I've got another outdoor project on my plate this year too.

  13. I want a pergola soooo bad. But when we put in the paver patio last fall my hubby said....this ends your quest for a pergola for years. I understand that the expense in the patio makes it so I won't get my pergola. It was a trade off. I hope I'm not sorry about the choice. Good luck in your quest!

  14. I would love to have any one of these in my garden. glad to hear you are seeing ...not so much. we did have some warm weather here the last two days...and some melting happened...but last night we got 2 inches and tonight we are getting two more. I just ache to clean my garden! you sound really pumped!