Trimming Boxwoods and Progress on the Back Deck

When last we left off with back deck, it looked like this. (Yeah, we lived with that astroturf for the past eight months. Yikes.) This post has a wider shot of the roughly 7x20' space. It's small, but there's plenty of room for a round table and chairs and a grill. So with the warmer weather enticing me with promises of barbeques in my near future, and my new shop-vac giving me the necessary boost of courage, I pulled that nasty astroturf up, scraped up the flaky glue and loosened concrete with a planing shovel and a wire bristle brush. Then in was time to vacuum.

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Some of you guys had questions about shop-vacs since I mentioned mine in this post. They are very, very powerful vacuums that you can use to suck up anything - water, spilled paint, sand, sawdust, rocks - and the mess deposits into this big rolling bucket that you just dump out when you're done cleaning. But the filters are pretty basic, so I wouldn't recommend using them in your home for regular cleaning. They're almost too powerful for that. But they're amazing for messy outdoor projects. This is after literally one swipe of the shop-vac:

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And here's what the floor looks like now. I scraped up as much of the glue as I could for now. We might still rent a wire brush drill bit to clean it up more, but the concrete is a little fragile, so we'll probably just skim right over everything with a fresh layer of concrete before I paint.

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I also picked up some new boxwoods for the back deck recently. Two big ones for the matte black  planters I bought at Target last summer. And two smaller boxwoods for these new urns I picked up at Lowes last week. I love the chalky black finish!

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I used my favorite pair of pruners to trim up the new plants. 

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I rounded out the big ones and squared off the smaller ones. I'm hoping they fill out this spring so I can shape them a little more.

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I love seeing the shot of green outside the doors in our living room. And I love that the green is not astroturf. :)

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38 comments:

haphazardlife said...

You know, I quite like the grungy look of the cement as it is...

miss garlic said...

was just going to say the same thing as haphazardlife. i do kind of love the patina your porch has right now. looks loved and a hard to duplicate color!

Kate Madden said...

May I ask where your leopard rug is from? I love it!

mom23 said...

ditto question on the rug...where to buy?

Kate said...

Hard to tell from the pics, but it looks like a coat of resin on the grungy concrete might look really cool!

theanatomyofdesign.com said...

such a great change! and, i like the look of the concrete too. what if you just stained it darker? and,after seeing your boxwoods whipped into shape i am going to have to fix the unruly boxwoods outside my front door.

Becca said...

Hm, think I need a shopvac....

LindsB said...

love that you shaped up the boxwoods, the round ones look great out there!

the-marrying-type.com said...

Jenny,
I'm totally with you on the shop vac! It is probably my most favorite thing in our garage!

-Rachel

Margaret said...

I, too, love the patina of the floor!

As for a shopvac, so worth it when my dungeon was flooded by the water heater.


xx

April Sharman said...

The cement looks beautiful and the leopard rug is a nice touch.

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

A little green outside makes all the difference doesn't it? And I love my shopvac too. I wish they made one for inside use!

W said...

I love the look of the concrete. I am with everyone else that you should just finish that. Love your blog. Need to get your energy and do my never ending to do list! -W

Sarah said...

Love that little leopard rug! It's almost spring!

Simone Daniel said...

I love that cute little rug. Where did u buy it?

sarah said...

keep that concrete. it looks amazing. people spend a lot of money to get that exact look!

Rachaeln said...

I'm sure you know this already, but just in case... concrete does not "stick" to other concrete. You have to get a binding agent or put something in between the already hard concrete before new concrete will adhere and make a new level.

I personally vote for the new, but the old concrete is pretty cool too!

Anna Williams said...

It's look much, much better already. Love your boxwoods and that matt black pot is amazing! xx

Anna (My Design Ethos)

Donna said...

I'm sure you've notified the city or power company about that pole.

jtc said...

I understand wanting a nice clean look - but the existing concrete is pretty amazing. Now that you've pulled up the astroturf, the concrete should quickly fade and weather into an even better patina. Oh - and the old marble you found - wow!

carykate said...

How are the girls still enjoying the playhouse? Do they use it as much as you anticipated? Would love a follow up. :)

Caitlin said...

WO, Donna is right about pointing out that pole! Call that in before it comes down in a storm. Good eyes, I was too busy checking out the boxwood :)

Alicia Reisinger said...

I love boxwoods! Some day I'll have an English garden with a boxwood border. :-)
asyncopatedhome.blogspot.com

Kimber said...

I'm with the majority here and love the concrete as is. Wow, it's gorgeous in these photos.

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Lauren said...

yes, please share where you found that great rug!

Jennifer said...

i have to admit - i kind of love the concrete as is!!!

Kimberlee Martin said...

I'm with everyone else, too. I think the worn concrete looks amazing already. My vote is to keep it as is or maybe seal it with some type of matte clear top coat. I'm sure whatever you choose to do will look amazing, though!

Katie Cole said...

Looks great...that play house in the back is adorable and love the cheeta print door mat!

Jenny at LGN said...

Hi guys! Thanks for your comments! I agree that I like the patina of the floors. I definitely showed you the prettiest spot though. :/ There are lots of spotty ridges and rough parts that just have to be fixed. Plus from the inside of the house looking out, the floors just look messy and like a construction zone. Still mulling over this one though!!

The rug is from Ballard Designs. I don't think they sell it any more, but I saw one (also indoor/outdoor) at Homegoods last week. It was a different brand but looked exactly the same.

And about the playhouse! We've loved it. Especially now that spring is here. The girls are out there playing everyday. So worth the investment!

xo

simplymodernhome.com said...

I need a shop vac. My entire garage needs a good shop vacuuming!
Your deck looks great!

Susan
http://simplymodernhome.com/

Jessica Munroe said...

Hi Jenny,

What do you do with your potted plants like these beauty boxwoods once winter hits?! I've been thinking of doing this when our new deck is built but I don't have room in the house for them and they will die potted outside in the winter!

As for your balcony floor, my vote is to try the paint!!! If it doesn't turn out, just paint a solid colour over top but everything you do works out fabulous!!!

JM

sarahwinchester said...

Looking amazing. the only thing I would suggest if you are going to give it a skim coat of concrete is to clean it with a 3500 PSI pressure washer first. I have worked with Concrete Resurfacer many times and it is the only way it won't flake off. I worked in the creative department of QUIKRETE for 8 years doing photo shoots, and we always pressure washed. I still do contract work there. Let me know it you want a bag or two. Actually I think you will need like 1 and 1/2 bag for your patio. I am happy to ship them to you :) Love you blog.

xoxo
Sarah

Aileen said...

So I did the same thing in my backyard- removed astroturf. I want to paint the concrete but I should definitely sand I think. There are old paint chips and glue stuck. What would you recommend?

Thanks

lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lauren said...

I just saw a post on Ikea' design blog of an apartment balcony with this decking. It looked lovely.

Priscilla Kwak said...

I actually like how the cement looks now!

Jennifer said...

I don't usually comment, but I do love your blog. I am a pediatrician and I think you have small children. I am not sure when your house was built, but you may want to think about the possibility that someone used lead paint at one point. Your kids are probably not out on your patio very much, but be careful about tracking in dust on your shoes in your house. You could also get a lead test kit to make sure. You may already know all of this. If so, sorry.

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