I have been settling into my new gardens and making them my own, but now what I need to figure out is how to lounge in the outdoor space. I need a place to sit and enjoy the fruits of my labors and all the birds we have up here in cow country. We like the quiet and the beautiful landscape this move has provided us, we just need some comfortable outdoor seating so we can become one with nature.
For my husband and I, part of the issue is we don’t agree on what it should look like. He doesn’t always understand my vision, so my ideas result in arguing. Often I win out in the end, but sometimes I just give up from exhaustion over the debate.
We have a large patio running the length of the back of our house. However, it’s not covered, so when the sun gets up over the house, it’s a sunbather’s paradise and a sun shunner’s nightmare. I like the sun, it gives light to darkness, lets us know the day has begun, and helps things grow. I cannot handle the direct rays shining upon me. I get out in the morning to garden, but by 1:00 pm, I’m squirrelled away in the air-conditioned house because there’s nowhere outside to sit in the shade.
Some would be quick to remind me that I cut all the trees down in the backyard, but who’s to say they really would have helped this time of year? This is our first spring and summer here and now we’ll never know. The sun goes up over the top of the house and probably would shine on the back patio before dipping behind the trees.
We were sitting on the sunporch the other morning when I suggested to my husband we just buy one of those gazebos from Costco. It would create outdoor seating all year around. He told me it would block his view.
I suggested pulling out the cement blocks from the top patio. My idea was that it would be easier to maintain weeds in dirt rather than them growing through cement blocks. Besides, it’s an odd patio placed above the garden, and there is probably no scenario when I’d just walk off the back porch to sit up there, shade or not. He said he thought we were going to try and pressure blast the weeds out.
It’s a space where I want to create a fire pit with swing seating (Google it, it’s pretty cool), which would also be better accomplished in the dirt. He said the fire pit would go well on top of the cement blocks and the swing is a bad idea, because swings and fire pits aren’t a good combination. It’s not like it’s a child’s playset where you’d swing over the fire, they’d be porch swings on a hexagonal frame surrounding the pit. He would rather people sit in chairs and be able to move them about, instead of being stuck on a swing in one place.
So what do we do when we disagree about everything? Nothing at all. At least right now. When I have the gumption, time and money, I’ll just start projects by myself. He’ll get involved because he won’t be able to stand that I might do something wrong. He’s not far off with that assumption, I’ve been known to put holes in walls trying to accomplish things and he has to fix it after I’ve had my way with it.
But sometimes, I know best. I have a vision.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com; to read her column every week and see pictures illustrating them, follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.