Nancy's Happy Place

Hello Cottage Friends,

My oh my! June is nearly over and here am I in my new-to-me home with a plethora of things left undone. I'm recalling how much more challenging it is to get settled when working a full-time job, not to mention being single. Having that other person on hand to help with tasks makes a big difference. This was my experience as a widow, too. However, I'm not stressing over it. In fact, quite the opposite. I'm enjoying every moment; gratefully thanking God that I'm here, I'm well, and I'm happy. I wouldn't change a thing. 

Having said all that, let me share with you my happy place. . .

Oh, how I love this little patio. Every moment I spend here is pure joy. Little by little I'm creating the space I envision. I'm not there yet. Not by a long shot. But I've made progress. 

This is how it looked when I first viewed the home.

And here's the blank slate, more or less.  The terrific terra cotta pot and stand was left by the previous owners, along with the sad little fern to the right. The other flowers were some of the first I purchased.

My realtor said the sellers were in a big hurry to leave and ran out of room in their moving van. So, I'm the happy recipient of this planter.

To which I've added begonias.

So, come with me and I'll share a few more details. Because, after all, I did ask you if you wanted to join me on this journey. ;-)

First, let's start with the wicker chairs. Oh, you know how much I love a bargain, don't you? 

I found the chairs at Habitat for Humanity's Restore. It's on my way home from work, so I stopped in one day to check it out. It's by far the best Restore I've ever shopped. Anyway, I saw the chairs on their patio in this condition.

Pretty sad, right?  However, even though the wicker was tired and a bit unraveled in places, I could imagine the chairs reloved and given a home in Nancy's Happy Place. The price was right. . .$7.50 for the two (they were priced at $5/each, but the nice young man who helped me offered to give them to me for $7.50 total. I think he felt sorry for me, that I would actually give them money for those tacky things.) Two or three cans of spray paint would give them new life and for less than $40 I'd have two charming wicker chairs that even if they only lasted one season would still be a bargain.

I'm really happy with the way they turned out.

The poor lighting gives the impression that the color is uneven in places, but it's not. I found the cushions on clearance at Pier 1 (I'm so sad Pier 1 is closing forever), priced $12.99 for  the two. They're so cheery and fun. If I tire of the polka dots I can always make slip covers for the cushions. I purchased a second set for spares because they were such a great price.

The patio is shaded by a big tree most of the day, so I pretty much have to stick to flowers that do well in little or no sun, such as Impatiens. I picked up the black wrought iron plant stand at a thrift store for $6.99.

I also found this vintage plant stand last night for $15 at an antique and vintage mall that I love. 

There were so many cottagey and shabby chic things there that I wanted to bring home with me. Alas, they'll have to wait for another day and another paycheck. 

One thing you'll notice about my outdoor space is that it's very informal. This isn't a matchy-matchy sort of patio, and it's not about having everything "just so".  I'm choosing furniture, flowers and accessories that speak to me. That perhaps have a story of their own to tell. I like the hunt and the capture when I find that one item that would work so well in the corner, or fill in that bare spot. I like rescuing plants and flowers that would make someone else turn up her nose.

Like this little Clematis. . .

I found it on the Lowe's clearance rack for $5. It had a lot of dead vines on it, but it also had new green shoots. So, home it came with me and it's showing me its appreciation. It has grown about 5 inches. I need to get it repotted this weekend, and then see how it does with limited sun. It may end up outside the patio wall where it can get more sunlight. Although it is growing, I'm just not sure it will bloom inside the patio. But that's the fun of gardening, right? It's an adventure! What works? What doesn't work? 

Another challenge I'm dealing with is where to grow my lavender. I have to have lavender. It's just about my favorite thing to grow. I inherited two French Lavender plants from the former owners. They were on the north side of the house and looking kind of sad. So I moved them to the patio and they're doing much better. There is some afternoon sun where they are standing right now. I think I see some new buds, so hopefully they will bloom again.

I purchased three small pots of English Lavender and planted them in this terra cotta pot. It's hard to tell in the photo, but there are some flower buds appearing. My plan is to move all the lavender indoors for overwintering. I've been reading up on container lavender and it's said they will survive indoors, and even thrive in the right conditions. 

There's a little story behind this terra cotta pot. While at Lowes, buying the Clematis, I spied this pot that I thought would work well for my lavender. Well, it had a big chip out of the rim, and a hairline crack along the side. So I did what any frugal, thrifty buyer would do. I asked if they would give me a 50% discount. And they did. I was pretty sure Gorilla Glue would satisfy the crack, and I could turn the pot so no one would ever see the chip or the repaired crack. And that's what I did. Again, it fits my "imperfect" view of my outdoor space. "Wabi-sabi." Embrace imperfection. 

So, remember in my last post I mentioned the possibility of adding pea gravel between the flagstone pavers? Well, that was before Su of Butterfly Bungalow blog suggested I plant herbs between the pavers.  Now why didn't I think of that? (Hand slap to forehead.) At one of the local nurseries I talked to a very knowledgeable woman about what would work best, and she suggested Scotch Moss. It's prolific here in Colorado, and it holds up well to foot traffic. Perfect!

I've started a few plants and will see how it does. It will grow in sun or shade, and doesn't require much water. Sounds good to me. Oh, and it supposedly does bloom with tiny white flowers in summer.

There are so many other things I want to do to make Nancy's Happy Place truly happy.  For example, this ugly corrugated metal wall needs some camouflage. 

I pinned this photo from BHG. A lattice screen would add so much character to that wall, and make a great backdrop for interesting decor, whether it be old garden tools such as used here, or some other interesting items. Hmmm, my mind is racing. Is yours racing, too?

Do share your thoughts with me.


"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11


  1. You've done a lovely job on your happy place! The lattice is an excellent idea! Now you need a little table to set your iced tea on, or a book. You're thriving and I'm glad.

  2. What a great scripture to end with, Nancy....with so much upheaval in the world, in our nation, in our cities, it is sure that there is upheaval in the human heart. To different degrees, we are all wrestling with something, but if each one of us can have a refuge of safety and a place to dream, then that is all that we ask, isn't it! In the Lord's Prayer, the essentials are stated to live a full life. I am thrilled to see that you are primping and fluffing up your nest, a place where you are happy. May you find peace and joy every day of your life dear Nancy! BRAVO for a job well-done!

  3. On Nancy ~ I sure enjoyed seeing what you are doing with your 'happy' space. What a deal on those wicker chairs. Everything looks great and I think the lattice would look wonderful and be useful as well, covering the corrugated panel. Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  4. Love your Happy Place. I am so happy to see you making your new place your own. Have a great new week.

  5. Nancy, with your sense of style and artistic ideas, you are creating such a perfect relaxation
    spot for yourself. Great bargain on the chairs and the color of green really brightens the
    corner, along with all the blooming flowers. Lattice on the metal wall would probably
    be the simplest way to go, not that the work is easy! Then you would have more area to
    hang pots or wreaths. I love what you've done by yourself. Keep your faith strong and
    all will fall into place with God at the helm of your life.

  6. Nancy it' all looking fabulous! Love how you've given new life to the gorgeous wicker chairs - they look comfy - and yes, I'll be missing Pier 1 also! You should have no problem with semi-sun loving plants there - clematis loves its roots in the shade and has good place to clamber upward. I like that you are raising some plants to give a whole new look to your sweet patio. You will have a fun time, and I really feel you are making a good transition to your new phase of life - as always I wish you luck,
    stay healthy and be safe during these rough times. Huge hugs - Mary

  7. Nancy, what a sweet wee happy place! How fortunate to have the flagstone pavers already there and Su's idea was brilliant. I can't help but be glad the former owners were in a hurry and didn't have room for that handsome planter on the truck. One like that would be pricey, I imagine. I love the green wicker chairs! I really would prefer old wicker to brand new ones anyway and those cushions are so cute. It is sad that Pier 1 is closing forever. I remember reading that Sister Parish always finished out rooms for her clients by going there and picking up a little basket to sit beside chairs and pretty cotton fabrics. Oh, the hours my daughter and I used to spend in their stores! I wound never choose matchy-matchy and you've done a lovely job making your happy place individual to your taste, even on a frugal basis. And my father's favorite thing was to nurse back plants that other people would have discarded. We always check out Lowe's ailing plants discounted in the back! Your inspiration wall of lattice is darling and would give you storage of tools if you choose to go that way but I also wondered if some sort of living wall could be made there, with small pots of herbs hanging on the lattice.

    You'll have great fun fiddling with this space!

  8. I think you will have many hours of relaxation and inspiration while out in your patio. Those chairs turned out so well! I've always been a fan of wicker. Your lovely flowers and the moss growing between the flagstone add so much charm, too. You've done well. May God continue to provide every single thing you might need to make your home a haven for you!

  9. Charming patio. I can't grow a beautiful garden but Lavender is something I have done well with. I plant it in a HUGE amount of sand with a bit of dirt mixed in and it seems to love it that way. Your green chairs are charming and a great deal. Girl.. I need those pink cushions. I am painting my front door pink to match my new "women for Trump" banner, my pink flowers and my pink polka dot bird houses. I am going to call the Asheville Pier 1 store today to see if they have 2 left. Love them.. SO fun and fresh. I like that lattice idea and just saw patterned lattice on the Hm Depot site. Even making that metal rusty with a solution of Vinegar might add age and charm. I can see a vintage ladder leaning against the house between those windows with trailing plants. Adding vintage mirror will make that space feel a bit bigger, but cozy and charming how it is now. Yes.. my mind is racing since you asked..LOL. Hope you received my emails with some links to Vintage shops and shows in your area. Sweet patio post.

  10. Hi Nancy,
    I enjoyed seeing your HAPPY place. :-) It makes me smile.
    I purchased my first French Lavender plant this season. I love it. I also have English Lavender, I have loved on that plant for going on four years. I have to bring it indoors for winter and cross my fingers. I am hoping my French Lavender will winter inside for me too.
    I enjoyed your post Nancy! Well done with the chairs.

  11. Love, your "Happy" patio. The chairs really look wonderful. I never would have thought the before picture of them, is really how they looked. And the potted flowers add color and beauty also. What a wonderful place to relax with a cold drink in the summer, and a good book, and maybe even a tiny table for that cold drink. Can't wait to see how you cover the corrugated wall. Good Luck and enjoy .

  12. I like your patio and you did a great job. Those chairs came back to life with the new paint job. I would add twinkle lights and it would be magical.

  13. Oh, Nancy! I am SOOOO super excited for you, sweet friend! It is just beautiful!!!! I can see why you call it your happy place!! I LOVE the color of the chairs and those pink and white adorable cushions! OH, my, they just complement the chair color and come together to make such a joyful scene! All of your plants are so beautiful and cheery, and I just love the thought of the moss growing between the pavers!! What an amazing idea that was! I agree that the lattice would just be a perfect solution for covering the metal. I can just envision all the neat things you could hang on it, and you could even paint it pink to match the chair cushions. You have such a God-given gift of being able to make all things beautiful and you are so, so creative. This is so much fun walking alongside you on this journey and watching God's beautiful plan for you unfold! I know the inside of your home will be so pretty, too, and wish I was there to help you with jobs and things you might need help with. One thing that is so comforting is that there is NO hurry and no worries. One day, and one small project, at a time, and the work will all be well-rewarded when you are finished and have things the way you want them. One thing that keeps coming to my mind concerning the covering of the metal wall (and I am not sure how well this holds up outdoors?) but I think it would be pretty to intertwine some burlap through the lattice work. Also, it would be beautiful to intertwine ivy (real or silk). I can't wait to see what you decide to do!! Sending much love and many hugs your way today and just SO grateful for all God is doing in and through your life!

  14. Oh Nancy! It certainly is very happy.. and it is YOURS. You can do what you want with it! That is wonderful in and of itself! Wicker chairs are just so inviting and 4 of my favorite "shrubs" in my yard were ones I bought 2 years ago when we were having a drought, and the Bi mart people hadn't watered them and they were pretty bedraggled and looked almost dead! I got them for 50 cents each, 2 lilacs and 2 snowberry bushes. they are THRIVING now and huge. Most plants do come back with some pruning and watering (and love of course)! I like the idea of lattice also.. I love hanging things on a fence or lattice.... love little garden signs and old tools. Have fun and I know you're enjoying your happy place! Marilyn

  15. So excited for you! Love the chairs!
    I like the lattice idea--hang flower boxes, signs and old tools!

  16. Nancy, In our wild and crazy world, it was such a pleasure to read something so charming and so good. I love how you appreciate, even the littlest things and giving all the Glory to God.
    Thank you for giving me a piece of your tranquility.

  17. Absolutely lovely, dear Nancy. I hope that this is where we'll sit when I come to tea.

  18. Hi Nancy, I am so happy to see you out enjoying your garden space. I know how much you enjoy gardening. You have a delightful knack for turning a nothing space into a charming oasis, beaming with character. By the way . . .LOVE . . . those chairs. Job well done. I just wish I lived close enough to come visiting with a pitcher of lemonade and some muffins.
    God bless you sweet friend.
    Connie :)

  19. I love the lattice idea and the plant stands. I'm also big on wicker chairs and think you made a great choice there. I wanted more slate for my yard at the Garage Apartment. Wish now I had done it. My balcony is so small it is hard to be creative and I often have to stop myself from bringing finds home. Your new place is really turning into a home. So glad you've found a place to enjoy.

  20. So happy for you Nancy. Don’t you just love the resilience of life?!

  21. I LOVE your happy place! It's so nice and such a relaxing place. Those chairs! Incredible what you've done with them. I love the idea of lattice and I so wish i still had the fun things my dear, little mother had hanging on her shed. If I had them, I would share them with you! Can't wait to see more of your sweet home.

  22. This is such a lovely space Nancy! What a blessing that the former owners left the planter there so you could give it some love! I too love to buy things that are cracked, broken, or half-dead and bring them back to life within my garden. You need some lights, I think... would be lovely to have a darling strand of lights to light up the night there. I also like the lattice idea... so many possibilities... your creative mind and soul will have it full to the brim and overflowing before long! So happy for you! Many blessings :)

  23. Dear Nancy, it's good to see your happy place and to know that you are feeling happy and positive. You did a lovely job with the chairs, what a great find. I have some glorious lavenders in my front garden which just keep going year after year, but one of my clematis has succumbed to the dreaded clematis wilt, it was doing so well with lots of buds on it.

  24. Everything looks so nice, Nancy. I love your happy place ♥


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