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Our Backyard Plans for the Summer... Part 1 of ??

mStarr design / A Holiday Dinner Tablescape with Floral Canopy…and Tips for Creating Your Own Festive Table!

above top source unknown via Pinterest / above bottom source unknown via Pinterest

Oh hey, it’s been a hot minute since I last posted! Yet here we are in mid-May, we’ve been in the new house for almost a year (!?), and the nice weather finally seems to be sticking around here in Massachusetts. Which means it’s backyard season!

While our offer was accepted last April and we made several visits to the house before moving in June, this has been our first Spring here. It’s been fun to see things bloom and also a bit challenging not knowing what’s a weed and what is still growing in as actual plants and flowers! Because we moved in the middle of June and were fortunate to inherit an overall lovely and landscaped property, we hired a landscaper to do a big cleanup and weekly mowing, and were able to focus on the interior of the house. This allowed us to enjoy the yard and get a feel for how we want to use it moving forward, what we may want to do long term, and what we want to do short term. I really want to lean into the English cottage vibes…lush & floral but with wispy grasses and greenery in a palette of mostly whites, purples, and blues.

In all honesty, I find it overwhelming to share everything we have planned or are envisioning at this point 😂 So let’s start with what’s planned for the next several weeks (hopefully)!

mStarr design / A Holiday Dinner Tablescape with Floral Canopy…and Tips for Creating Your Own Festive Table!

01. Tree removal…

this is the key to any major changes. The tree (above) is massive. It’s grown quite a bit in the past year too. It blocks the view from the Big Room (below) and of particular annoyance is that it turns what could be a large outdoor living & dining area into two not so functional ones. The slider on the left is in the Big Room and the slider on the right is in the playroom/office. Since we’re primarily in the Big Room but the BBQ needs to be on the playroom side, it means we have to walk around this monstrosity to get back and forth. It’s just not practical nor do I think it fits the general aesthetic of the yard (currently and as I envision it).

Anyways, I was very excited to get the tree down this past weekend but nature had other plans. We found a nest with 3 eggs! Admittedly I was (and still am) a bit bummed because now everything is delayed a bit but the good news is they hatched the very next day and after a close call, we think at least 2 of the babies survived and mom has been with them/bringing food. Could be another week before they’re ready to leave the nest so fingers crossed this tree can come down soon!

02. Stepping stone patio…

the area outside the Big Room slider (where we currently have our lounge seating) will be transformed from grass to a paver situation. This is as much for function as it is aesthetic given that the constant traffic has made for a loss of grass and a lot of dirt/muddy spots and an unevent ground. I’m picturing medium to large size, asymmetrically shaped stones (most likely Pennsylvania Steppers), spaced maybe 3-4” apart with a low growing plant such as creeping thyme planted in between them. Having this space done will allow for more flexibility in how we use the yard and entertain in it. Plus it’s going to be GORGEOUS! There’s a lot to still think about and take into account (like the transition from the pavers to the existing brick patio, not blocking access to our septic tank etc.) and while we want this to look great, I’m not sure I can say whatever we do will be the end all be all to our yard transformation.

above top part of the area we’re updating / above bottom a peek at that area from the Big Room

03. Pergola…

for the holidays, we asked my in-laws for a pergola. We got this one and didn’t bother putting it up over the winter. So I’m looking forward to doing it but the question is where…I’m thinking probably over the seating area where the new pavers will be? I’m envisioning bistro lights (we already have these weatherproof ones) and plants & flowers! My end goal is to train plants to grow up and over the pergola but will manufacture what I can in the short term, maybe even getting some faux UV safe strands to incorporate.

above top via Better Homes & Gardens and Edmund Barr / above botto source unknown via Pinterest

04. Mini cutting garden…

with the intention of growing it. Max has been growing some seedlings and they need a home. Plus I’d really like to plant some wildflower seeds! I’m not totally sure if I want a raised bed of some kind or to just plant them in an area of existing soil/mulch.

above top via La Musa de las Flores / above bottom via Google

05. Miscellaneous…

...we need seating for around our fire pit, an herb garden or planters, adding some plants/flowers in and around our stone steps, and a whole lot of power washing!

Below is a roundup of a bunch of outdoor items we have already and are using or considering/planning to get.

And if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my #farmhousedialfano the sequel…outdoor Pinterest board, and a look at our yard story highlight.


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