Summer outdoor spaces tour

Hello and welcome to the Summer Outdoor Spaces Blog Hop hosted by AnnMarie & Anne from Simply2Moms! If you’re visiting from Brittany at The Modern Juggle, or if you just happened to stop by, I’m so glad you’re here!  You are going to find tons of inspiration to turn your outdoor spaces staycation ready this summer in this blog hop!  

My name is Christina, I live in GA, and I have a passion for turning our house into a home on a budget – which not only involves lots of indoor projects, building, DIY, yard sale makeovers and more but also working outside in our yard which I happen to absolutely LOVE!  We moved into a fixer-upper type house 4 years ago and have been slowly transforming and updating it inside and out.  Today, I am going to give you a tour of all our outdoor spaces and yard with lots of before/after pictures showing the 4-year difference.  We aren’t done by any means but wow, even I forget how far we have come until I see the before pictures!

Here’s our ranch style home with the front flower beds currently in full bloom for the summer… 

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I still have several big projects I would like to tackle on the front of our home but the difference already made has done wonders.  Except for having the house painted, all the other outdoor work has been done by us.  We had to completely start over with the landscaping – many hours spent that first summer removing tons of bushes, digging up roots, and then finally prepping the beds for new plants. 

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I loved the long front porch the first time we saw this house and imagined rows of rocking chairs and a porch swing on it.  You can read about how I have completely furnished the front porch with yard sale finds in this post – yep, all rocking chairs, swing, side tables, and more all found secondhand!

You can see the entire spring tour of my front porch here.

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I love to enjoy my morning coffee on this swing especially when the weather is mild. 

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I have red Knockout Roses blooming in these beds, daylilies, and the lime green bushes are Sunshine Ligustrum by Southern Living.

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Each season I try to focus and work on one new bed or area around our home to help spread out the cost of plants, mulch, etc. and the work!  This spring during quarantine I worked on this side of our house.

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The hydrangea plants were there along the side of the house, but I had never made an actual bed so they were lost in grass and weeds.  So I layed down landscape fabric, moved a few plants, split some hostas from my backyard and transplanted them here, and then laid down some mulch.  I can’t wait to have huge hydrangeas on this side that I can cut and bring inside to my heart’s content. 

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Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite!

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And I have to say I have never seen such a pretty flower from a hosta before!?  My hostas are blooming like crazy this year which has been fun to enjoy. 

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Here’s the before of this spot


Moving on to the opposite side of the house this is how it looks early spring which is my favorite time of year for this bed.

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Hard to believe it started like this!   So many overgrown bushes – we counted over 50 bushes we removed that first year!

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In spring the purple flowers (Firewitch Dianthus) steal the show and bloom for almost a month!  The rest of the year they have a minty green mounded foliage which is still pretty.

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So so glad I grabbed flats of those purple flowers off the clearance racks at Lowe’s for $0.10 each several years ago!  That is another huge way that I have worked on our landscaping while sticking to a very minimal budget.  I have gotten almost all of my plants and bushes on markdown racks at various stores and a few others at a discount local nursery.  All of my roses were $3-5 and many of the smaller perennial flowers/hostas/daylillies were $0.50-$2.00 each.  I also only plant perennials in the ground so my initial investment lasts forever and only use annuals in a few pots on our porch. 

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Now on to the backyard which to be honest I haven’t shown very much here on the blog.  We focused on working on the front yard in the first year and the backyard has taken up until this spring until I really am enjoying it and happy with how it is coming along. 

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We still have more work and some big plans we’d like to do, but considering this is where we started, we have come a long way!

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This view is one of my favorites now!  You can find the tutorial for that large DIY picket fence piece flag here.

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There was already a pool installed when bought the house and I won’t focus much on the actual pool deck as I have a big post on that coming soon. But the way it was installed left this massive weed-covered hill in our backyard that was a nightmare to mow in the summer. 


So last summer we had someone come install stone stairs up the middle and then cover the entire hill with landscaping fabric and pine straw.  I have worked on planting flowers, grasses, and bushes as I find them on clearance – again not done but better!

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I have worked on beds in our back yard around the house one at a time starting with this small one under this window filled with azaleas, a rose bush and lots of hostas.  Our yard is very open and gets lots of sun but the backyard near the house is shaded in the afternoon and evening which allows me to use some shade-loving plants such as hostas and hydrangeas.

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Again… can you even believe the before?? 


On the other side of our back patio is one of my favorite beds filled with 3 hydrangea bushes I got for Mother’s Day last year – they are just thriving this year and I love it!

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Again here’s the before… I think I’ll take the current look! Smile


I was so happy to have a covered back porch in this house versus an open deck that was in full sun from our last house.  It’s not very large but I have found a way to use every inch of it!  I built a DIY hall tree for pool towels/goggles storage last summer and then added this DIY potting bench this spring. We use it for a potting bench and serving table!

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On this side of the back porch, I built a DIY farmhouse table completely out of 2×4’s for less than $60 and we have just loved how this has made this spot so functional and used now.  We eat many meals and just hang out around this table often.  This spring I added the DIY hanging plant wall which was a fun project – it contains a mix of herbs and succulents. 

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Again, reason #594 we are finally enjoying this space out here – nothing alluring about the before picture for sure!

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During quarantine my little girl and I ate lunch out here on this table every single day – it was our little escape right in our back yard and we so enjoyed the beautiful spring weather we had this year.

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I’ll give you just a peek at the pool area but I have a few projects up here that are almost done that I can’t wait to share soon. 

Again filling in the narrow spot that was impossible to mow with pine straw and flowers/bushes was such a good decision!


Oh, and I have a small garden area as well!  I grew up having huge vegetable gardens and chickens so I was excited to add 2 raised beds last spring and another 1 this spring to help teach my little girl all the life lessons that can be learned through growing your own food. We have several kinds of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, lettuce, herbs, and yellow and green peppers this year.  I have a full tutorial on how to build a very simple and inexpensive raised garden bed here.

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We have already harvested some cherry tomatoes but can’t wait for the large ones to be ready soon!

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I hope you have enjoyed this tour around our yard and outdoor spaces this summer!  I hope it inspires you that with some work you can create a beautiful yard and outdoor spaces even on a small budget.  We did have to invest some money in the hill project last year but all the other bushes/plants/flowers and even mulch were paid for overtime with usually some yard sale earnings money. 

But the outdoor fun doesn’t stop here – the Summer Outdoor Spaces Blog Hop continues with Lynn from At Home in the Wild Wood.  You can find links to all the inspiring outdoor spaces below!


  1. I have followed your blog for quite some time now and amazed at how you have transformed your home and yard. It is absolutely beautiful! I especially like that you do it “frugally”. I admire that in you. I can’t wait to see what you do next! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Donna Marie says:

    Well, you have done an excellent job of turning a wasteland into a wonderland!!! All the while taking care of a little girl. It looks wonderful and you have done it all very frugally!!! You go girl!!!

  3. Wow!!!!! What a beautiful transformation! An incredible result after all that hard work. The place looks gorgeous and shows your style and grace.

  4. Your yard is lovely! Your hard work and diligence has paid off tremendously! What a difference. I love that you put so much thought into keeping a lot of the beds lower maintennance with the pine straw and perrenials! It sounds like a labor of love for you to transform this area, it is just beautiful! Can’t wait to see the pool area.

  5. Reminds me of the story of “The Ugly Duckling” that turned into a beautiful swan. Your home is so beautiful now!

  6. Wow, that is quite the transformation! Thanks so much for sharing, especially for the names of specific plants. We moved into a new house this spring with just new sod and some bare areas between the sidewalks and house and porch and garage in desperate need of landscaping to help with drainage issues and mud covered sidewalks when it rained. We did hire one area done because it was more than we could handle right now and wanted it done right to deal with the drainage, but we learned a lot from our landscaper and plant to tackle other areas on our own. Our porches on the front and back look very similar to yours, so you’ve given me some great ideas!

  7. Wowza, what a huge transformation! Love all the landscaping ideas. Especially the picket fence panel leaning against the house and the flag on the side of the shed. Beautiful job! Pinned.

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