Friday, May 12, 2017

Cafe' Bleu Reveal

There's a little corner in my back yard that's kind of wasted space. 
It's too small to sit comfortably, too shady to grow anything, too boring
to want to spend time there. It was barely big enough to accommodate my bistro set.

Here's the "before" picture.
Tiny, but I could see the potential. 


Except for a lilac bush, a nice shade tree, and a cottage garden 
on two sides, the corner itself wasn't much to look at. 
Although my little dog liked to explore the raised area behind the table, 
we didn't make much use of this space.


That's when I decided to make some changes. 
The first thing I did was look at the space for a long, long time. 
This appeared to be a back-breaking project and I debated if I really wanted to take it on.

Several years ago, I'd built a low brick wall defining this small corner 
but it merely took up valuable space. When you live in the city, every inch counts. 
So I took a deep breath and decided to dig in, so to speak.


I removed all those bricks, every single one, down to the ground level, stacking them
in little towers. Then I outlined a new edge with an ax and started digging. 
I chopped off a bunch of dirt from the raised area and threw it in my wheelbarrow,
pushing back the wall about a foot.
A foot may not seem like much but it made such a difference in the available space.


Next I relaid the brick wall in a semi-circle under the tree and topped it with a paver capstone. 
A layer of fresh gravel gave it a French feeling underfoot
and some river rocks expanded the existing dry stream bed on one side.


After all that work rebuilding the brick wall, it seemed a shame to cover it up.


But when I snugged a weathered garden bench up against it,
I still had space for a small bench that I could put my feet up on. Yippee!

Then came the fun part. 
Blue cushions, an old quilt, a farm chair I spray painted blue,
a blue enamel bowl on the fence, and a few shade-loving plants.



I couldn't believe my luck when I found a vintage, circa 1960s, blue bicycle
at an estate sale this weekend. Just what I'd been looking for and only $10!
We removed the shiny metal gears and wiring and added some daisies in a basket
(also found at another yard sale).


I hung a faded blue cafe sign on an old ladder against the tree . . . 


and christened the space
Cafe՜ Bleu.



Now I have a cool private corner where I can retreat during the heat of the day 
or sip a glass of wine in the evening.
From this quiet space, I can watch the birds visiting the feeders and birdbath,



or admire the garden as it explodes in a Spring frenzy.


Definitely worth the effort.


Come on over and put your feet up.

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Linking with:
DwellingsBotanic BleuBetween Naps on the PorchCoastal CharmCedar Hill Farmhouse,
A Stroll Thru LifeSavvy Southern StyleA Delightsome LifeHave a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,
21 Rosemary LaneAdirondack Girl at HeartFrench Country Cottage

52 comments:

  1. What a difference! It's even more inviting because of the circular shape.
    I would have been sorely tempted to ride around on that bike. It probably isn't easy to get up hills, though.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm enjoying the new space, especially now that nicer weather prevails and I can be outside most of the time. I kept all the gears, brakes, etc. so I can actually ride that bike some day. Pat

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  2. What a delightful place you have created. I love how it all came together, and it is certainly worth your labor in transforming the space. Congrats!

    FlowerLady

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    1. Thanks Lorraine! Don't you love it when a plan comes together! The teeny plants are starting to fill out now that it's stopped raining (and snowing!). Hugs, Pat

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  3. Super duper cute! Like that you used resources you had to fluff the space and didn't go out and spend a fortune. Very cozy and pretty! Lisa @ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

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    1. Thank you Lisa! I'll probably spend the fortune on plants this week! So glad you liked the finished project. Hugs, Pat

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  4. Way to work it, Pat! Cafe Bleu is the 'beumb' (in my best Inspector Clouseau voice). ;)
    Have a great weekend.
    Rita

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    1. Thanks so much Rita! Cafe Bleu is taking reservations so stop by sometime! Hugs, Pat

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  5. WOW What a difference. I love the bleu incorporated into that corner. .Who would have thought that a foot of extra space would make such a difference? I love it!!!!

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    1. Thanks Jan! I'm enjoying the space and am looking forward to us using it soon. Hugs, Pat

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  6. What a wonderful transformation you created. It's a beautiful space!

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    1. Thanks very much Lorrie! I found a couple of galvanized buckets at estate sales this week and am incorporating them into the cafe'. One had a hole in the bottom but it makes a nice planter. Hugs, Pat

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  7. Now you have a wonderful peaceful place to enjoy your gardens. Did you take down the arbor too? Lovely space!

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    1. Thanks Carole! No, I left the arbor cause Ron made it for me and I love it. I think it's a nice entrance to the cafe'. My climbing rose has buds on it today so hopefully it will be blooming soon. Hugs, Pat

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  8. You are a brave soul but look at the glorious benefits all your hard work created for you! It's a little have, a secret garden and just a delightful spot to simply "be" during the warm days. Three cheers for you!

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    1. Thank you so much Jeanie!I don't know about brave, maybe a little bit of an overachiever but I do like the way it turned out. I like the secret garden thought. Hugs, Pat

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  9. What a job, but what a wonderful space! I love the bicycle -- it just "makes" the space.

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    1. Thanks Snap! Agreed, I love the bike too and it's portable so I can move it around the garden. Hugs, Pat

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  10. A great job! You have created a special place. The bicycle is a great addition.

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    1. Thanks Sarah! I enjoyed creating this little corner and am happy you liked it. Hugs, Pat

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  11. Cafe Bleu looks like a calm, peaceful place to sit back and enjoy the beauty of your garden. It's quite charming!

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    1. Thanks Carol! It's funny how Cafe Bleu is starting to feel like a real cafe from the comments I've been receiving. May I make a reservation for you? Hugs, Pat

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  12. all the blue is so pretty. It turned out to be a great little corner.

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    1. Thank you! I like the blue too and I usually don't use it much. Good to be flexible I guess. Hugs, Pat

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  13. I love what you've done with an unused corner! And blue is my favorite. Just fantastic!
    :) gwingal

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    1. Thanks Nikki! I always feel good when I can make use of something that wasn't serving much purpose. Probably why I like to repurpose and recycle stuff. Hugs, Pat

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  14. Wow! you did an amazing job! Love the space and I can just imagine how nice it must be to sit out there!
    Put your feet up and enjoy your new space.
    Diane M.

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    1. Thanks Diana! The new cafe is currently being smothered in snow! I'm so ready for warm weather. Just when I think it's safe to go into the garden... Hugs, Pat

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  15. Your hard work paid off, it looks just amazing!

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  16. What a charming spot! Enjoy your lovely retreat.

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    1. Thanks so much Ellis. Will enjoy it even more when it stops snowing!!! Hugs, Pat

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  17. Wow, I missed this somehow last week ( popped over from today's post). It looks great! I love everything about it. I'd love to sit and watch the birds and just drink in the garden from this lovely spot.

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    1. Thank you Cecilia! Wish you could join me on the bench! Hugs, Pat

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  18. Pat, Good for you on getting the project done. I love the blue bicycle. Have a great day! Sylvia D.

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    1. Thanks Sylvia! Yes, that bicycle is just the right accent. All we need is a bottle of wine! Hugs, Pat

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  19. Pat, café bleu is the perfect little retreat! I can see that you are going to have many hours of relaxing in your sweet new space. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  20. Kudos on a lovely re-make. Hope there was enough Advil to last through all that hard work.

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    1. Thanks Monika! Advil and massage. Worth it. Hugs, Pat

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  21. Pat, I love your little corner of the world! It's so welcoming and the perfect spot to read a book or just watch nature. Thanks for sharing at SYS.

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  22. Your garden "makeover" is just lovely, Pat--thanks so much for sharing it with us all at Vintage Charm :)

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  23. Hi Pat, just wanted to let you know that you will be featured at SYC today.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks Jann! You made my day...so sweet of you. Hugs, Pat

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  24. I have two areas near my house that I would love to have some creative ideas for. Do you want to visit and make them this pretty? I would certainly provide a bottle of wine or a glass of sweet iced tea.

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    1. Thanks so much Carol and sorry for the delay in answering. So, where do you live? I'd love to visit if you're in my neck of the woods. Pat

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