I love summer, it is my absolute favorite time of year! Today I am sharing my Outdoor living and garden home tour!
The best part about this is that there is also a bunch of other bloggers sharing their beautiful outdoor home as well! So many flowers and relaxing outdoor spaces to be inspired by! Growing up in Southern California means I grew up living outside. We ate, rested and I even remember napping in the back yard. It is just a way of life out there, the indoor/outdoor living. Now that I live in Wisconsin and it is a frozen tundra for 6 months of the year, for the warmer spring and summer months I soak in every second of that outdoor time.
When we purchased our house, I had zero experience with flowers, except helping my grandma cut flowers in our yard. But no maintenance of any kind. Funny story, I did not know the difference between annuals and perennials. In California, growing season is year round. So imagine my surprise the first year we lived here and I added a bunch of flowers that did not come back the next year, either due to them being annuals or because they are not hardy enough for the -30 degree temperatures of winter. Yes, it gets that cold here! Imagine my So Cal girl self literally shivering all winter long.
With some better research I tackled out flower beds. Over the years we have added Hydrangeas, roses, Lilys, Day lilys, just this past Mothers day I got four bushes of Peonies! In spring and summer you can find me cutting and watering my precious flowers. Typically barefoot and in a sun dress, like I said.. I soak in all of the summer days I can. People mention all the time that I seem to have a green thumb, and my yard is full of blooms. My secret is water, seriously that is about all I do. Other than spraying a fertilizer on all of my flowers in the beginning of spring and cleaning out the flower beds, that is it!
In Wisconsin we do get rain even in summer, which blew my mind when I moved here. In California we get maybe 10 days total of rain, and everyone has sprinkler systems in their yard. Imagine my surprise when I learned people in Wisconsin have this lush green grass just from the frequent rain in summer. Sprinklers are just for kids to run through. Last summer when we were in California my youngest son saw a home with sprinklers on and confusingly asked where the kids were. Because we do not have to water our lawn or trees here. I only water our flowers if there is two days of no rain, and that is only one time in the evening.
I do also cut all of my blooms, to make flower arrangements with! That is the absolute best thing about growing flowers. I currently have huge bouquets of orange lilys, hydrangeas, and roses. In spring my home was filled to the brim with lilacs and their gorgeous scent. I also got to have my first few blooms of the peonies. Next year I should get even more! I adore arranging the flowers that i grow and filling my home with all of them!
Aside from the flowers, I also live outside in summer. We eat dinner and oftentimes lunch outside. I revamped my back patio space last summer and adore the results. Creating a few key seating areas, the main one in the center of the patio. I redid our old patio table and brightened it up with blue paint. Lastly I added the small seating area with a DIY water fountain. I like having these sections of seating, it works great for entertaining. We live in an awesome neighborhood and many evenings my kids have a few friends over and their parents end up in our yard where we spend the late evening hanging out.
I also created a fire pit, and it was crazy easy to do. No power tools necessary! We love to relax on a beautiful summer evening with a bonfire, and always end it with smores or at least roasting marshmallows. Pretty sure it is required!
Utilizing the outdoor space around our home, revamping the front porch and any old furniture has really allowed us to enjoy it in the warmer months. It adds to our home, and becomes an extension of our home as far as living space. I even take my laptop out here when the kids are playing in the backyard and work. Pretty much the best office to ever exist!
The last projects for our outdoor space is to spruce up a few flower beds and add a huge pergola to our back patio. Which is a massive undertaking! We need to dig below the frost line, which is 4 ft below ground. Yep, no small task. Luckily we have beautiful and massive trees that provide a lot of shade, so the pergola is not a must have at the moment. We adore our outdoor space and finding any way to carve out a little outdoor living is so important! I hope you enjoyed my Outdoor living and garden home tour! Let me know if you have any questions on certain flowers or plants. I decided to put most of the pictures within a slide show since there are so many of them. This would have been a super long post otherwise. Also, be sure to check out the other lovely home tours!
To see the inside of my home, click here.
Be sure to click on the pictures and visit the other outdoor home tours!