a day in the life | a look at my backyard

if you’ve been following along on instagram over the last few weeks, you have seen glimpses of my backyard and patio. well, today as part of my day in the life series, we are taking a look at my backyard with our latest project: how to design your backyard. 

it’s been in the works over the last few years and we will always be making some changes here and there, but i am really happy it’s come together just in time for this gorgeous, mild spring we are having in Athens. and with everything that’s going on in the world, i feel fortunate to have an outdoor space to soak up the spring and enjoy a glass of wine.

outfit of the day 

today’s outfit is perfect for spring, a t-shirt style dress (similar here) from Ann Taylor with a side tie wrap detail that adds just the right amount of sophistication to make this dress a great ootd if you’re headed out and about. and you all know how much i love stripes of all kinds, so this dress really ticks all my boxes.  for those of you interested in last week’s black knit shirt dress it’s back in stock. read little black dress for spring and summer.

a black necklace and bracelet tie into the thin black stripes of the dress. and a pair of metallic sandals finish today’s ootd. metallics work as neutrals, they add little pop of shine to an otherwise restrained ensemble. 

similar dress | similar dress 2 | similar dress 3 | similar dress 4 | similar dress 5 | similar dress 6 | similar dress 7 | similar dress 8 | similar dress 9


how to design your backyard

we moved the grill to this upper patio, where we have a fire pit table. it really expands our living space and with the umbrella, it’s a great spot to sit any time of the day. i have gardenias in the two urns flanking the doorway. citronella plants are arranged between the patio chairs to ward off the mosquitos. ceramic garden stools are so great to use for extra seating or as side tables. 

planter 1 | planter 2 | planter 3 | urn planter | fire pit | umbrella | armchairs | string lights | dining table | dining chair

boxwood, jasmine, and lamb’s ear along the back of the house.

on the landing leading to the lower patio, we have planted dahlias and a lemon tree in urns and containers. 

urn | planters

this lower patio features a bistro table with two chairs and a concrete bench. it’s a nice conversation spot. we have container plantings and new solar string of lights that add a twinkling ambiance to the evening. if you have space, it’s good to create separate little nooks here and there, for conversation, eating, and relaxation. 

oscar loves playing with his toys in the backyard! this is the herb garden before we got to work. ugh! it was so overgrown. but i love to grow herbs that i cook with on a regular basis and add to my cocktails.

a southern patio 

i love water features as part of garden design and so i have a birdbath nestled in my herb garden. it’s so entertaining to watch the cardinals swoop in for a drink or to ruffle their feathers in the water. 

planter 1 | planter 2 | planter 3 | urn planter | fire pit | umbrella | armchairs | string lights | dining table | dining chair

the herb garden AFTER we put some muscle into it. the rosemary was so overgrown. now i’m trying to shape it into a topiary. wish me luck.


a day in the life

i hope you enjoyed suggestions on how to design your backyard.  in case you’re new to the blog or missed some of our entries into a day in the life series, make sure to check all of them out below. 


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  1. Nelda Pattillo wrote:

    The patio and garden look beautiful! I know that you must be so pleased!
    Also, you look great post- op, but I do understand how much hard work goes into rehab!
    Keep up the great work!!😇

    Posted 5.12.20
  2. Suzi wrote:

    I love spending time in the yard watching the birds at the feeders and my many water features. You could use one of those solar water features in your bird bath, The birds go crazy for the small noise it makes. Also, the metal furniture looks like my daughter’s design company, Leisure Made out of Marietta. They sell on line and also to large companies, like Lowes, Home Depot, Wayfair, Target and many more.
    Enjoy the outdoors as it is more important now than ever for our mental health and well being.

    Posted 5.12.20
  3. Dora Renata Pala wrote:

    Ciao Beth che bello vedere il tuo giardino molto grazioso e confortevole specie di questi tempi. Anche noi abbiamo un piccolo spazio esterno pur vivendo in centro Bologna (Italy) è pieno di rose antiche profumatissime ed è la mia gioia. Auguro a te Kelly ed i tuoi splendidi ragazzi tante giornate piene di gioia e serenità 🍀🌸🌼🐝

    Posted 5.12.20
  4. Allison Jones wrote:

    Your yard and brick home is gorgeous !!!!

    Posted 5.12.20
  5. Linda Osborne wrote:

    Love your patio’s! Everything looks great!

    Posted 5.12.20
  6. Anna wrote:

    I love seeing your garden and patio and it’s sparking ideas for me in how I want to make our patio/backyard more comfortable. I so look forward to your daily posts — you are helping me get through these quarantined days. Also love Kelly and learning new recipes from her. Thank you for all your time and effort you put into this.

    Posted 5.12.20
  7. Suzanne Smith wrote:

    Your yard looks marvelous! I always love little “rooms” in a garden, and you’ve got several spots available like that. And herbs in a garden not only smell good but get more prolific the more you snip them for use. It’s so true that gardens evolve over time. And as much as I love gardening, it’s also great exercise, too. Hard to beat that.

    Posted 5.12.20
  8. Lianne MacGregor wrote:

    Your house is lovely – it looks huge! Was this a downsize 🙂 Your hair looks great – have you been trimming it yourself? Asking because I’ve been cleaning up the ends and I like what’s happening. Who knew?!

    Posted 5.12.20
  9. Miss Diane wrote:

    I love that dress! Petite question : are you letting your hair grow long or is it because it is impossible for you (like for us) to go to your hairdresser shop?

    Posted 5.12.20
  10. Terri Lynch wrote:

    I read your blog every day. Your OOTD is a definite winner today! Your hair looks great; my hair is looking like Phyllis Diller. I really love my outdoor spaces too and my front porch is my definite retreat. You have done a spectacular job on your outside spaces. Hopefully, you will continue to recover from your surgery. Keep the ideas coming!

    Posted 5.12.20
  11. Rose Thron wrote:

    You look wonderful and I love your backyard! Lovely and so inviting! Thank you for sharing!

    Posted 5.12.20
  12. Peg Weir wrote:

    Hi Beth,
    I have thoroughly enjoyed your house tour. The garden and patio are so beautiful, but I especially love the feeling of a quiet sanctuary that can be felt through the photos.

    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous home.
    Stay well,

    Posted 5.12.20
  13. Francesca B. wrote:

    Thank you for the post today Beth.
    I jumped when I saw the Ann Taylor dress was back in stock and I got one, yeah! They are running out fast so thanks for the heads up.
    Thought you looked wonderful in it.
    And I have some new gold sandals from Kork Ease that will go with it and make me feel elegant. Something fun to look forward too!
    Keep smiling:)

    Posted 5.12.20
  14. brenda wrote:

    looks very nice and relaxing. Love the planters and layout.

    Posted 5.12.20
  15. Diane Ruebel wrote:

    One of the reasons I’m thrilled to have found your blog is because you are a marvelous story teller. Another is your willingness to be real: your hair, your scar, your herb garden messiness and the way you embrace the reality of your stage of life.
    Inspired to do the same,
    Diney from Camano Island, WA

    Posted 5.12.20
  16. Terri Lynch wrote:

    Your OOTD is a really good one! Love the dress, sandals and jewelry. You appear to healing well! My front porch is my favorite outdoor space from Spring to Fall and you have done a great job with your outdoor spaces. I have never tried a lemon tree before; I might try one this year! Take care!

    Posted 5.13.20
  17. Lyn wrote:

    So wonderful to see your sunny weather – it was 28 degrees at our home this AM! That being said, because of the virus we have either cancelled or postponed some travel plans through the fall. We have always had a lovely yard, but this year it seems vital to create and enjoy our home. After a lot of years of doing our own mulch work, yesterday we had 5 young, and strong, men spreading our mulch for us. We have plans to plant a lot of flowers in our patio area this year. Even though we probably aren’t going anywhere exciting this summer, I have done a wardrobe refresh to enjoy while sitting on that beautiful patio.

    Posted 5.13.20
  18. Gwen Marie Ewing wrote:

    Your home is lovely. The backyard is a peaceful oasis, perfect for relaxing! I love the bird bath. Btw, your hair is looking great! It’s a bob!

    Posted 5.18.20

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