Michael and I have discovered a Secret Garden every where we have lived since getting married in 2010. Whether it was the creek that ran behind our first apartment in Sacramento or the tiny little space of our 520 square foot, 1962 single-wide, mobile home in Rancho Cordova, California, we were always able to discover and create a unique sanctuary to call home. Even though, in years past, we did what we could to make our surroundings uniquely wonderful, we never had the room to go really crazy until now.
Since moving to our new home in North Carolina in May, we have not only discovered a world of exotic creatures and plants outdoors, but we have also started taking full advantage of the additional space we now have available to add our own touch of whimsy to the new "Wood's Secret Garden".
Our first major project was the Patio which joins the in-law quarters (where mom lives) to the kitchen entrance into the main house. We have received so many questions about "how we did this project" that I thought the best way to reach as many people as possible was to provide a step-by-step description of how the whole thing came together.
It all started when we found two chartreuse chenille moon chairs at Habitat Restore for only $20 dollars each. Those chairs pretty much established the color scheme. We then found a round glass coffee table at Samaritans thrift store for $20. Following that, a church has donated 100 vintage hardwood pew chairs to Habitat Restore and they were selling them for only $5 a piece, so we purchased 10 of them. They were upholstered in a really durable olive green which tied in nicely with the moon chairs. I found a few throw pillows at a local discount store for only $2 a piece which brought in the poppy red as an accent color.
I had originally hung colorful bamboo runners from ceiling to floor on the vinyl siding wall (which looked very nice) however, the high humidity caused mold to start growing on them. Not something I had ever had to deal with in California. So, the bamboo runners had to go. The question was what would we do to add some color to the wall? A friend of mine had giant poppies painted on her wooden fence which I thought looked stunning. I initially was going to attempt to recreate those on the patio wall. But, after looking at the space and realizing that the design would not work well in our space, I decided to create my own "Giant Blossom" design and went with oriental poppies and peonies.
I had purchased black caulk for a wall project I was going to attempt on the inside of the house and decided to experiment with it outside first. So that is how it all started. For those interested in attempting this on the inside or outside of their own home, the following are step-by-step instructions.
Once the colors are determined and you are happy with them, you can add your lighter highlights and darker contrasting colors to bring the images to life.
This was the patio before!
and here is the full patio after both walls were completed with the furniture in place:
I hope you experiment with this idea in your own space. It is really quite wonderful! Put on those thinking caps and get busy! You could do a field of daisies or even just broad leaf grasses in different colors of green. Oh, that would be subtle, yet beautiful. Hey, I might do that on the garage doors. The most important thing to remember is--Have Fun!