July 19, 2010

a warning about project creep

Come back in time with me. My daughter is 1 and splashing in her kiddy pool while husband and I soak are feet in it. We're in the far shady corner of the backyard contemplating our deck. We had been tossing around various ideas about improving it or creating some sort of roof to help block the evening sun that made a pleasant outdoor meal impossible. Suddenly my husband says "What if we took out the deck?" And so the discussion goes to stone patios and pergolas. I am excited and check out stacks of library books the very next day. Alas, my dear husband is in the throes of finishing his master's degree and the summer passes with no tangible progress.

This summer he is more serious and we begin spending our evenings standing on the deck waving our arms around. Or in the yard gesturing here and there. Or perched up on ladders to take the best aerial shots of the deck so we can sell the wood on Craig's list. The neighbors must be amused.

The deck is ripped out. More arm waving and now scratching lines in the dirt and dragging hoses into curves. More stacks of library books and oodles of web pages.

Suddenly what began as two large projects: patio and pergola has grown. The list has quietly gotten longer, creeping along with our creativity.

One day this:
1. stone patio
2. pergola

Became this:
1. stone patio
2. pergola
3. steps off of sun room
4. stepping stone path from gate
5. stepping stone path from front yard
6. side yard garden along stepping stone path
7. pocket gardens beneath pergola and next to sun room
8. vines for pergola
9. furniture for patio (gliding rocker bench!)
10. fence replacement

We probably aren't going to get to the fence this summer. And of course the gardens can grow over time. I am tempted to make some purchases though since plants are starting to be marked down. And as soon as that row of lilies is done blooming they have got to go because they are really in the way of this project.

We have really got our work cut out for us now!


  1. what a creeper!!! ps--where might those lilies be going?

  2. the end result will be a beautiful and relaxing oasis in your yard. i'm excited for you!!

  3. It better be good! :-) The lilies will be part of the side yard garden that leads to the patio. If there's leftovers, I will let you know, sister Carrie.