Reveal: Out-the-back-door

April 20, 2012


I have an “iffy” relationship with my “out-the-back-door” world.  It’s nice.  I’m fortunate enough to live on top of a hill– a really lovely, private and woodsy sloping lot .  My deck is elevated with a treehouse view of towering old oaks and a mature stand of mountain laurel and dogwoods. I’m in Virginia, with an agreeable temperate climate. It is nice — but just some of the time. Which is why I’m not quite sold on the “outdoor living room”  idea. But I’m experimenting with it. : )




First, there is my fickle relationship with the hibiscus plant. In Virginia these would be classified as annuals– showy, exuberant  beauties that are enjoyed during a short summer season. I love them. I buy them every year with high hopes but usually watch them wither and fade away by July.  But I try– so  last week I carted a pair of lovelies off the lot at Home Depot, determined to make them thrive.  Of course, what caught my eye was the gorgeous egg-yolk-yellow color of the blooms (with a brilliant red center)– a new variety. Triple swoon. Perfect.  Form over function every time. : )



A snap after a rain shower today ~perfect~



And by late this afternoon, three blooms had unfurled…shockingly pretty (no, Photoshop not involved)!



So had to capture things at their most perfect because I ‘m guessing the blooms will drop in like 3 days– total peak (MiracleGro -enhanced), including the purple ‘May Night’ salvia that wintered over in its clay pot this year. Color trifecta.



And it’s also time to enjoy my new sunken “living room” on the lower level of the deck… just off the truck from Ballard Designs and unpacked.  LOVING IT so far.  But not sure how it will truly hold up with the onslaught of sticky tree sap, rain and coffee/wine drips. When I first experienced these sorts of outdoor spaces while living in San Diego and Sydney, they seemed so sensuous and indulgent.  Rugs and cushy sofas outdoors? Well it made sense there because this stuff stayed outside year round w/ little rain. We will see. But for now, I’m enjoying morning coffee and evening vino out here.




The colors all came together… a dark green market umbrella, neutral cushions on the furniture, an old outdoor Safavieh rug in an over-scaled red medallion pattern and a pop of color in pillows (World Market).



My girlfriends have christened the new space with Pinot Grigio and gossip.  And the cat approves.  All is colorful, waterproof, blooming and good in my little corner of the world… today.




photo via Mik Caravan



Happy April weekend!



6 Responses

  1. Donna Frasca says:

    You have a beautiful backyard Jean – one that I would love! I have very limited time in my backyard since I don’t have that many trees and the Southern heat would cook me in 10 minutes.

    Love the pops of color you have with the flowers, perfect backdrop for that morning coffee and evening vino. Thanks for reminding me about the Miracle Grow – I’ll do that today.

    Have a great weekend and enjoy your beautiful deck!

    • jeankee says:

      Up bright and early I see! You are so sweet to comment, Donna. Yes, things start mildewing and then baking in July. Oh well, need to go cover things up because of the weekend RAIN forecast. : ( Have a great weekend!

  2. Denise says:

    Your deck is lovely. It’s fun to rework the container garden year after year. I too live in Virginia, we can’t escape the mildew. Last summer’s rain, followed by mildew, did a number on new eucalyptus furniture. This weekend is set aside to scrub it clean.

  3. Priscilla says:


  4. Kelly says:

    Gorgeous space, Jean. I’d be more than happy with a glass of Pinot on your patio. 😉 Enjoy!

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