Friday, August 2, 2013

A Rustic Retreat In The City...

This story all started with a tree.

A tree that was split and no doubt would have come down during this storm if we hadn't had it removed last fall. Of course, we wanted to save money so we decided to keep the logs in order to not pay extra to have them hauled away. Our nice tree cutting company even cut them into stumps for us. 

My husband had a brilliant idea to put the stumps around our fire pit. We have enjoyed many good times around that fire pit with friends. With Minnesota climates, fire pits can be enjoyed 9 months out of the year...pure bliss.

Before of fire pit with stumps

There was only one problem with the whole set up...well, multiple problems.


It was crazy to keep this area mowed (picture moving heavy stumps or getting frustrated at our battery operated weed wacker that dies at the touch of tall grass!), there was no air flow because of the trees and mosquitoes hovered and waited for their daily bread, not to mention that the storm damaged our cushions that were already worn and faded, our fire pit had seen better days (with only a few mosaic tiles left holding on for dear life) and there were lots of dead branches in the pine trees. 

You know, just a few problems. 

Either way, this was still my favorite place to swing and watch the kids play in the yard. 

I was doing just that, one day last week.

Then the grass around the stumps was bothering me and suddenly I'm moving the tree stumps to mow and decided that something had to change.

So it did and with Sam away for the week it became operation, "Surprise Daddy!" I call that a brilliant operation name when you are trying to motivate your kids to help carry brush away. :-)

Hours upon hours of work later, some lessons learned along the way, a good set of gardening gloves, shovels & rakes in hand, a sun burnt head, multiple trips to the compost site, my dad working non-stop beside me, my mom swinging numerous kids on the swing set, giant glasses of ice water & 75 BAGS OF MULCH later and I present...the After!

project, surprise daddy

Here are some fun behind the scenes projects that brought this special operation together. 
Welcome to...

A Rustic Retreat In The City

a swing and tree stumps

a corral colored flower

smores and an owl

a fire pit

enjoying smores

hanging tea lights

creating ambiance outdoors

yellow mums

hanging vase from tree

smore sticks


It is safe to say that I have found another favorite spot that I never want to leave...

before and after of fire pit transformation

If you got to the end of this post and you are are wondering if putting mulch under a fire pit is a good idea then check out the bottom of this post for the answer. It is a funny story actually. :-)

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18 comments:

  1. Your backyard looks super amazing! I am obsessed with owls and I love that you put one in your tree. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I have a thing for owls too. :-)

      ~Sarah

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  2. :-) love it! And the daylilys are finally all planted can't wait for next spring's blooms. When you need plants let me know some of my stuff could be thinned out. Love the great use for the coral can from IKEA. Glad you snagged those. They were too cute to pass up. -becca

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    Replies
    1. Becca,

      Hurray for flowers in the ground! I will definitely keep you posted in the fall when I am looking for some new foliage. And I am so glad that YOU found those adorable cans! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  3. I CANT WAIT TO ENJOY THIS SPACE ON SUNDAY
    ~Chantal~

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  4. Your hard work has certainly paid off. What a welcoming space!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! We have been enjoying the space to the fullest. :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  5. I love it, what a great job of making this space practical and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am giddy over this makeover! I love it! I can tell it was a lot of work. What a wonderful and fun place for the family! I would love to do something similar...next year. :)

    Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie, it sure is fun to enjoy...after the fact! :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  7. I love how it turned out. You could also plant some lemongrass (if it'll grown in your area), mosquitoes don't like it :)

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    Replies
    1. Allyson,

      Interesting...I will have to look into that for sure, thanks!

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  8. I love the stumps! So very cool. Built a fire pit in my friend's backyard recently, and we've been looking for some kind of seating. We'll have to see if we can find a downed tree somewhere. Hope you don't mind if I share this.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing Mac and have fun tracking down a tree! They always seem to be there when you aren't looking and hard to find when you are... :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  9. Such a fun space for the family Sarah- love it!! Thanks for linking up with us at The Summer Celebration party- I am featuring you today!! Have a wonderful weekend:)
    ~Krista

    ReplyDelete

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