On Saturday R, my Mom (who was visiting from New Jersey) and I worked on the back patio at our new apartment. We made incredible progress for one afternoon – placed outdoor carpets, bought flowers, shifted the table and chair to create a dining vs. lounging space. It looked fantastic.
On Sunday afternoon I found the one area of the backyard not yet decorated and championed an aggressive DIY project that I had no intention of or ability to do myself.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make this same magic in your own co-habitating lives:
Step One: Stand in glorious backyard with happy boyfriend. Compliment all his hard work to date. Say, “this is exactly what I was hoping it would look like!”
Step Two: Turn your body around to the one wall of the backyard not yet outfitted with a plant or piece of furniture. Stare at it quizzically…then shift that confusion to a slight disappointment…then shift that bummed out look to a light-bulb moment! Say, “OH!” then, “HHmm,” then, “Nah, we could never pull that off.”
Step Three: Attempt to execute something very close to the following conversation:
- Him: What are you talking about?
- You: That wall over there. It’s the only blank part of the space, and everything else looks so fantastic that I hate to leave it so…unfinished.
- Him: Well what do you have in mind?
- You: Eh, I don’t know if we could do it.
- Him: How hard could it be?
- You: I guess not that hard. I saw it on Pinterest.
- Him: Oh jesus…
- You: Let me just show it to you, and then you can decide.
Now get your computer, log into Pinterest, and show your boyfriend the following image:
- Him: That’s cool looking.
- You: I know, right?! And it’s the perfect thing to put on this blank wall. I feel like it will really finish it.
- Him: I can make that.
- You: Really??
- Him: Sure. It’s easy. We just need to find a palette somewhere, but we can tackle that at some point.
- You: Oh…at some point?…
Step 4: Drive to the only hardware and garden supply store that is still open on a Sunday at 5pm. Agree convincingly when your boyfriend suggests that you only buy some of the supplies today and start the project another day.
Step 5: Ask the hardware and garden supple store people if you can have one of the shipping palettes that they’re getting rid of. (They look like that picture over there —->) When the 65-year-old manager man looks at you like you’re crazy and says, “what do you want with an old shipping palette?” don’t say, “We’re going to make this standing herb garden that I saw on Pinterest!!”
Step 6: Tie the shipping palette to the roof of your boyfriend’s Volvo. Be prepared to do this without the assistance of the 65-year-old manager man because it’s an “insurance liability” for him to help (read: way funnier to watch two clueless 28-year-olds do it).
Step 7: Now attempt to execute something very close to this conversation:
- You: We did it!
- Him: Barely.
- You: Do you think we should just get the rest of the supplies now that we’re here.
- Him: Um…
- You: Because I feel like we’re on a real roll here.
- Him: Yeah, but…
- You: And it will feel so great to have it done.
- Him: Done??
- You: Meet you by the potting soil!!
Step 8: Get three giant bags of potting soil, lots and lots of flowers, and this stuff called “landscape paper.” If you don’t have sand paper and a staple gun, get those too.
Step 9: Attempt to load everything into the car. Realize you’ve tied the doors shut with twine while securing the palette to the roof. Laugh your asses off. Climb in the car windows (note: not face first, apparently).
Step 10: Sand the palette. It’s best to do a little dance while you sand sos to re-endear your boyfriend to your wonderfully quirky ways.
Step 11: Cover the back and sides of the palette with that landscape paper using hundreds of tiny nails (if you are fools) or a staple gun (if you are everyone but us).
Step 12: Fill the covered palette with dirt. This is the easiest part of this project. If you can’t do this right you should consider stopping.
Step 13: Plant the flowers inside the slots!! This will be insanely exciting at first. It will become slightly less exciting when your boyfriend asks if you’ve ever gardened a day in your life because you obviously don’t know how to plant flowers (note: You have to dig a little hole of dirt and put them in it. You can’t just sit them on top of the dirt and hope for the best.)
Step 14: Water your beautiful, new palette garden!!!
Step 15: This crap –
- Him: Okay. We did it.
- You: Aren’t we going to stand it up in the spot where it goes?
- Him: Not for about a month.
- You: ABOUT A MONTH?!?!
- Him: Yeah. The flowers have to take root.
- You: Why??
- Him: So they don’t all fall out.
- You: But we dug those little holes for them!
- Him: Three to four weeks babe.
- You: You’re sure??
- Him: I’m sure.
- You:Well if I’d know that I wouldn’t have started this whole thing.
- Him: Not exactly what I want to hear right now…
- You: Right. Sorry. It looks amazing!! Thank you!!!