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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Backyard Beautification: Part 4 (Let there be light!)

Most of our time spent in our backyard is on the patio after dark. My husband works evenings, so we eat dinner around 9:00 or later most weeknights. (not ideal eating habits, I know, but it's important to me that we still eat a meal together.) We have a porch light... but it doesn't really spread much light outside it's 3 ft radius, and also it attracts bugs. Other than that we had some sad, crumbling, bamboo tiki torches, but they didn't stand up very well, making us a little scared to light them, given how close they were to she saddest, oldest, driest wood fence EVAR.
It was sad. wanna remember how sad? It was this sad:
And I can't even show you haw sad it was at night-- the time in question right now-- because it was just dark darkness out there. Not really a warm and inviting place to talk, eat and enjoy summer evenings.
So we had to make some changes.
First the sad, leaning, tiki torches had to go. We replaced them with some slightly more expensive (but worth it because they are safer and handsomer) (Is handsomer a word?) copper torches. These puppies have a non-leany metal pole that screws securely into metal stakes in the ground. Also, they are slightly smaller than our previous bamboo torches, making the flame size safer for our small wood-surrounded space.
I think they look pretty slick:

 I know the back ones kind of blend into the fence, but there is one at each of the corners of the patio. Here's a shot from the other side of the patio:

I am quite happy with the new tiki torch situation. But it still wasn't a perfect solution to our lighting dilemma. Because there may be times when it's too wet for tiki torches, or we will be outside to briefly to light them all up... but we still need a little light out there.
Sooo... we headed off to the good ol' Home Depot to look for some lighting options. We have some specific needs, though. We have no power outside. So anything we put out there had to be solar. Which kind of eliminated my grand plan of stringing up our patio with lovely clear bulbs:

Source: houzz.com via Valerie on Pinterest

Z told me it would be too much, and interfere with the tiki torches anyway, but I thought it would be cute. Anyway, my function over form husband suggested we get some solar powered flood lights to mount on the fence... and I was all, meh, it's not real pretty, but it will be okay... I guess... sigh...
But then when we were at the depot we found a decent compromise. We got this little pack of smallish solar powered lights specifically meant for-- get this-- mounting on you fence. Awesome.
Oh, clever you! Had you already spotted them in the other pics? They were super simple to install... just two screws in the fence and pop them in place. They are made of metal, and aren't too cheesy looking, even though they were reasonably inexpensive (approx $20 for the two pack). You can see the little solar panel on the top, and since that is the sunny part of the yard, it works great. They come on by themselves after dark, so we don't even have to run out in the dark to flip a switch. The light the provide is a soft glow, enough to illuminate the dark side of our small space. I think the boys even appreciate it when they are doing their business at night.
They've been up for a week now, through a couple thunderstorms even, and seem to be holding up well, so I am quite pleased.
And now for your viewing pleasure... after a long weekend of backyard beautification, this is what Z came home to last Monday evening:
I think we nailed the warm, cozy, inviting vibe we were going for... because we ate our dinner out there then spent another hour or so just enjoying our well-lit patio. Ahhh... it just felt good.
I've got just one more project to show you... and this backyard transformation will be complete! Yay!

1 comment:

  1. It looks awesome! Hooray! I love that you didn't give up on your backyard despite its...limitations. :)