The second problem was sorting through dozens of photos trying to pick which ones show what I want to show. So my next decision was to show a different area of our yard in each post. I have a lot of gardens, so if this is boring, just come back in a week or two, and I should have it out of my system!
When you live on the lake, the street side is considered your back door. Our street is like a little paved alley - you pull over if you meet a car and let it pass. Because there is no on-street parking, we have a driveway going the entire width of our property along the street. To keep the dogs in the yard, and to make a clear border between driveway and house, we put up an iron fence that Mark made, and we have paver stones on the patio. When they did the patio area about 3 years ago, they also made me a couple raised planting beds that are lined with limestone. It's nice to have some perennial spaces along with container plantings.
This first photo is the entry to the patio: window box on the fence, gate (with welcome sign), paver walkway going either to garage side door or to steps down to patio. The raised planting space has some fun stuff: siberian iris, dwarf bearded iris, geraniums, mountain bluet, asiatic lilies, daylilies, Hawkeye Belle rose, hibiscus, yarrow, veronica - and probably a couple more things I can't think of right now. I wanted color there throughout the season rather than a big splash of color for a short time. So, at times it is showy, at others not so much - but I'm pretty happy with it. Oh, and can you see my cool iron bench? The previous owner left it for us when we bought the house - it's very old, and I love it. The gate in the garden is from a neighbor - it's old and fun too.
The grill doesn't add much - lol - but it's close to the kitchen and is usually sheltered from the wind - so it's staying. The caladium in the iron planters have been phenomenol this year.
This shows the other side of the patio: door that goes directly into the kitchen (so handy - NOT!), a small metal table and chairs, great iron urn by the door, and the other raised planting bed. This planting space is shadier and has goats beard, The Rocket ligularia, daisies, asiatic lilies, ferns, geraniums, and a ton of daylilies.