Sunday, November 27, 2011

Evolution of our Patio

The major project of 2010 was the retaining wall for the garden.  For 2011, we added a patio.  The old 'patio' was not functional or worthy of the greatness of our new backyard.  It consisted of a 4x6 slab of concrete and pea gravel.  We also wanted to include a way to get from the deck to the patio without blocking too much light to the basement windows, or obstructing the view from the patio.

I had met Alex of Alex Schmidt Landscape Design while drinking wine at a downtown kitchen store.  We had interviewed him last year for our yard, but decided to wait until we were ready for the patio before hiring him.  The plans he came up with were prefect for our needs!

Being water conscious, we had a 1,000 gallon cistern installed under the patio, and have underlayment  under the patio that will hold another 1-2,000 gallons before running off into the yard or cistern.  To keep the water fresh, it needed to circulate, so a fountain was created with a large rock.  Wes was happy that he got his firepit.  For the staircase, we came up with the idea to purchase a spiral staircase kit.  Wood was added to the risers to tie in with the modified deck railings.  The old deck railings were pretty boring, so we swapped out the wood spindles with metal ones to tie back into the staircase.  A new, fancy greenhouse that we purchased from New Frontiers Home Furnishings sits on top of an addition to the patio that Wes and I built.

The patio was installed in July, but the finishing touches are still being worked on.  Thankfully we had great fall weather and were able to get a lot done over Thanksgiving!  Just a few more last-minute items before the spiral staircase can be inspected by the city.  Keeping our fingers crossed it goes well.

Merry Christmas to Me

On my to Ames this weekend, I swung by Kyle's Bikes in Ankeny, Iowa.  Best triathlon shop in the area by far!  Every time I go in there I fall in love all over again.  Thankfully I have just about everything I need, so I walked out with just a pair of new Zoot Advantage WR's.  Perfect timing, as all shoes were 25% off!  Gotta love the pre-holiday shopping deals!

My old pair, also purchased from Kyle's, was ready to be retired to the Zoot shoe graveyard.