Now that the weather is finally cooling down, I’m looking forward to spending more time in our back yard! Except that our back yard is basically a weedy jungle, because apparently that’s what happens when you have a baby and then don’t do any upkeep or gardening for 11 months! But all of that is changing now; I finally feel like I have my feet back underneath me in terms of being a new mom. So I’m going to tackle our crazy back yard jungle, starting with the patio because it’s where we spend most of our time.
Besides being covered in three-foot tall weeds, our patio was just too dark, so it was unusable after about 6pm. It would be fine to just not use the patio when it was dark out, except that our garage is detached, so the patio is the walkway into the house. And let me tell you, it’s kind of crazy when you’re carrying a baby, a giant diaper bag, a bunch of groceries, and trying to maneuver your way over uneven bricks in the pitch black! I have no idea why no one put a light above the door from the garage when it was built, but there isn’t any source of light in our backyard except for a small light just outside the back door of the house.
But before I could do anything out there, I had to start by weeding the patio. The grass had basically migrated over onto the patio and I could barely tell where the bricks ended and the grass began!
It took a few days of hard work and picking weeds out of the cracks between the bricks, but the patio now looks like this! (Don’t mind the junk off to the right of the garage; that’s a clean up for another time!)
The only things out on the bricks are the patio table and chairs; all the weeds are gone, all the random junk that we were storing on our patio is gone, and now the space is totally gorgeous and useable, especially with the addition of the string lights!
We strung the lights from the small deck at the back of the house, across the patio over to the trellis attached to the garage. It’s perfect because it lights up both the patio table and the walkway from the garage to the house! And the Enbrighten Cafe lights come in 12′, 18′, 24′, and 48′ strands, so you can get exactly the length you need for wherever you want your lights.
These string lights are really easy to hang because they have a small loop at the top of each light bulb; you can use a nail, a screw, or a zip tie depending on what you’re attaching the lights to and what you happen to have on hand.
We used zip ties to attach the lights to the trellises, and drove a screw hook into the wall of the garage above the window to hold the center string.
On the deck side, we attached the lights to the railing using zip ties, and I added some gorgeous fall flowers to the planter boxes hanging off the railing to add some color to the space.
We plugged the string lights in through the TouchSmart Timer to automatically turn the lights on and off at appropriate times. The timer is really brilliant; it already has settings for morning and evening or you can set your own custom on and off times. You can also turn the lights on using a countdown timer for when you want the lights on a separate time from your normally scheduled times.
But my favorite thing about these lights BY FAR is how bright they are! We have three rows of lights going across our patio, and it’s like football stadium lights out there once it gets dark!
Now I never have to worry about coming home in the evenings and making my way into the house in the dark. And I don’t even have to remember to turn the lights on and off because the timer does it for me!
Plus they’re built for outdoor use, which is great because here in Chicago we have really bad winters! But these guys will hold up in rain or snow, so I can always have light out on the patio.