Court Rules

This landscaping bit is no joke.  We’ve been working our way around the yard since early April.  Leveling low spots, transplanting plants, and spreading rock to keep our yard as low maintenance and weed free as possible.  Here’s part of our front yard before:

Lots of dirt, weeds, a few dead or dying plants and that’s about it.  After weeks of work, here’s where we are today:


When discussing and planning the front yard, we knew we didn’t want to water, mow, and keep up a small patch of grass here.  What to do instead? gave us the perfect (for us) solution.  A bocce ball court. 

Once spring rolls around, we’ll stock up on plants to green up the rock.  But, that hasn’t stopped us from playing a few games already.


To edge the court, Ben used steel (it came with the wood deck beams) for a clean edge.


We also pulled the giant concrete fountain out of the pool house and put it in the front yard.

New-House-Pool-Room April 13 2012

It’s centered on the pool house door, but off-center of the bocce court.


And this little area is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.  Home Depot had 1 gallon hydrangeas for 9 bucks each, so I grabbed two.  At first, I didn’t know where I’d put them.  Then realized the part shade end of the deck would be perfect.


Now I’ve got to get a hammock to hang between those trees.  They’re practically begging for it, right?!  And I just might have to get a few (or several) more hydrangea plants.  One can never have too many beautiful flowers.

Terrific Terrarium

To make a simple terrarium, find or buy pretty rocks, moss and a pretty, lidded jar.  Place the rocks (I bought mine from Michael’s) at the bottom.  Then add moss (we had some growing on our patio) on top, making it somewhat level.  Simple as that.  If you want to add some animal friends, continue reading.

I started out with little birds, inspired by these.  I used polymer clay to make the little guys.  I softened the clay before free forming my animals.  I decided to make birds, eggs, hedgehogs, and a gnome.

Then, I cut 2 inches of wire, folded it in half and twisted the ends together.  Insert the wire into our clay critter, but do not go completely through.

Follow the baking instructions on the package.  Let your dudes cool.  Now you’re ready to start painting.  I used acrylic paints from Michael’s and gave the guys a few base coats of color.  Add as much or as little detail as you’d like and let them dry.

Here are some of my birds.  I added eyes, wings and dipped their beaks in orange to add more color.

I thought I finished with my terrarium, but wanted to add some height.

So, I made a wire nest by coiling wire around.  Then, I needed a tree – do you see the “If you give a mouse a cookie” tendency I have?  To make a tree, I took a dead branch from our tree and snipped it to fit.  To attach the nest to the tree, uncoil the bird base.  Insert the bird wires through the nest and twist around the branch.  Push the tree firmly into the moss.  Add the rest of your critters and admire.

I love the colors and interest the animals add.  Aren’t they cute?

And, it’s cute from above!

I know it’s kitschy, but I think it’s charming and cute.  AND, it should be one plant I can’t kill!  Bonus!  So, what house plants do you like?  Any black thumb people out there?  I’d love to know what plants you’ve had luck keeping alive.