39 Things About My yard That Make Me Smile (and one thing that annoys me)


I’m on a great quest to create an awesome yard: A magical garden full of mystery and joy.  I’m striving to make the piece of land around our house a part of our home. I want it to be a place for children to explore and friends to relax and animals to find refuge. We’re getting there. Our yard is a work in progress, as all great spaces always are, I think… especially gardens. Even though it’s not done there are many things about what we have so far that fill my heart with joy.

Here are 39 Things About My Yard That Make Me Smile

(and one thing that annoys me)

(In no particular order)

1. This angel that was given to me by my sister years ago.  She’s been moved a LOT and suffered some damage in one of our moves but she’s still beautiful and she watches over our garden and reminds me of my beautiful sisters. angel 2. Birds! Last year we became an official “backyard wildlife habitat” through the WWF. (Easy to do, lots of fun and a great way to help wildlife. Learn more here.) Almost immediately the birds caught on that this was a place of abundant food and water with plenty of nesting places.  Watching them is always a joy. bird with corn 3. This birdhouse/sign.  This was a homeschool project. Sweet Hippie Daughter named off a list of places she loved and we looked up which direction we would need to travel to get there and how many miles it would be. Then we painted and put it all together. Her places include everything from Grandma’s house in Nevada to Disneyland to Meijer. birdhouse sign 4.  Bunnies! “He’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” 6987_10201617690792063_455740408_n 5. The corn box.  It makes me smile because it makes Hippie-saurus Rex so stinkin’ happy. It’s a box full of corn.  I’m not sure why he thinks this is the BEST THING EVER but the kid never gets tired of playing in there and the animals never get tired of eating the corn he throws all over the place (refer to photo #2 for proof).


6. Crab apple trees. I wouldn’t have included these on the list a month ago but then I learned you can cook and eat those little things and they’re REALLY good. Now these are my favorite trees in the yard.

crab apple tree

7. This eaten broccoli plant.  It may seem strange to celebrate one of your plants being destroyed but we kind of figured, in attracting wildlife, we would have to sacrifice some percentage of our garden.  As it turned out the ONLY thing that got destroyed was this one single broccoli plant and I truly hate broccoli so I couldn’t possibly care any less.  It’s all your’s Mrs. Bunny (or whoever keeps eating it down to the nubs). Have at it!  I’ll happily plant a new broccoli sprout just for you next spring!

eaten broccoli

8. The Fairy Garden.  To read more, click here.

fairy house

9. Our free veggies sign. I love being able to share the abundance of our garden with others!

"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to garden, the whole neighborhood gets free tomatoes." FREE! Help yourself.

“Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to garden, the whole neighborhood gets free tomatoes.” FREE! Help yourself.

10.  This frog planter.  My husband came home one day, feeling very proud for having picked this planter (along with a few other items that have been very useful) out of someone’s trash pile (yes. We are THOSE people).  Now they are in use instead of in the landfill and I know for sure I’ve converted my man to my hippie ways!

frog planter

11. Squirrels. My BFF and my dog think they’re the spawn of Hell but I think they’re cute.


12. Occupied bird houses.  We hung a few bird houses around the yard and the birds almost instantly made use of them.


13. This pot full of marigolds was on my porch. The plants died. They were just withered brown stems. I put the pot outside to “take care of later” and this one hardy little plant came back with bright beautiful vibrant life. Every time I look at it, it gives me hope.


14. And these marigolds that turned out bigger and more colorfully than I ever would have guessed. Plus, they’ve been blooming like this for a full 3 months now!

marigold bush

15. Our little rest stop.  A LOT of people walk, jog, bike, skate (you get the idea) on our street.  We figured we’d give them a place to sit and rest if they get tired on the way.

rest stop

16.  Our “little library” is part of the rest stop. Books make me smile, no matter where they are.

little library

“Welcome! Take a book. Leave a book. Sit a while and enjoy a book. Have a nice day!”

17. This metal cactus came from Tombstone, AZ. That’s where I met my Handsome Hippie Hubby and that is a happy memory, indeed.

metal cactus

18. Mint. Right outside our back door there is a weird little “Bermuda Triangle” of dirt, surrounded on all sides by concrete. Nothing will grow in there… except this pretty little mint plant we put in last spring. It thrives there and it can’t take over the yard since it’s surrounded by sidewalks.  Often, I can smell it’s sweet freshness as soon as I step outside and my family all loves picking leaves off to munch on as we go in and out of the house.


19. This random tiny “mouse among the rocks” decoration thingy.

mouse house

20. My awesome pallet chair.

pallet chair

21. Two rows of perfect little pea seedlings. This is our 2nd planting of the year and I’m just so happy that we are getting a whole other round of yummy goodness from our garden!


22.  The “dream catcher” trellis.  OK… so it didn’t exactly turn out in the perfect dream catcher pattern that I’d envisioned but it’s colorful and fun and it will hold the peas up when they get tall enough.


23. The Mary Poppins sign.

poppins sign

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” – Mary Poppins

24. This weed. I realize that weeds don’t normally make a person smile but this one is just so darn pretty and those sweet purple (my favorite color) flowers just never die.

purple weed

25. I don’t even know where this big rock came from but it’s cool, so we found a home for it near the mint.


26. Traces of the mini-Hippies. It makes my heart happy that my kids love to play in our yard.

sidewalk art

27. This hummingbird sprinkler.


28.  This stepping stone. Sweet Hippie Daughter made this, years ago, at an Earth Day celebration. She was SO PROUD! It’s beginning to show some wear but I still love it.

stepping stone

29. Sunflowers. The most freakishly tall, gorgeous sunflowers I have ever seen.


30. This sunflower, especially.  This tiny guy grew near the back of the bunch and crawled out through the tangle of massive stems, asparagus and watermelon (1st year gardener mistake – WAY too much stuff, WAY too close together) and managed to face the sun and flourish.  Of all of them, it is my most favorite.

tiny sunflower

31. This sign.

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow."  -Audrey Hepburn

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” -Audrey Hepburn

32. This tomato jungle. These plants were just ridiculous. They produced and grew and produced and grew and then they collapsed the cages and stakes and grew some more.  They even choked out the English Ivy and, if you have ever dealt with English Ivy you know that is really saying something. They have escaped the garden and crawled across the yard and they just keep making more tomatoes!

tomato plant

33. The Vegas Car. Pictures don’t do this justice. It’s Vegas-style gaudiness in all it’s glory.  It sparkles in the sun and you can shake it like a snow globe but, instead of snow, there are dice and cards, poker chips, gold coins and $100 bills.  Everyone who spots it in the garden is fascinated by it. It’s just fun!

vegas car

34. The Fairy Windmill.  Handsome Hippie Hubby bought this for me. He said, “I thought your fairies would like a windmill so they can be more green.”  It makes me smile that he knows me that well.


35. The “Worm Crossing” sign that is near our compost bin.

worm xing

36. The DIY Toddler Swing.  This makes me smile for three reasons.  1) It’s just so ridiculously hillbilly! 2) It makes Hippie-Saurus Rex incredibly happy. 3) It, originally was a “Pinterest fail.” When I posted about it, it got picked up by everybody from Pinterestfail.com to Babycenter.com and the story of its creation became my all time most viewed post and led to a major increase in traffic for this blog. My failure became success, on several levels.

Jeans: an old, outgrown pair - $0.  Dowels: Pieces of an old wood ladder - $0.  Rope: $3.

Jeans: an old, outgrown pair – $0. Dowels: Pieces of an old wood ladder – $0. Rope: $3.

37. Our compost bin, made from old pallets.  This is the first project I ever made with power tools and the fact that it is actually serving its purpose and hasn’t fallen apart yet makes me happy every time I see it.


38. The squirrel feeders. Because they’re shoes. In a tree.


39. These people! Everything else in the yard, combined, doesn’t make me smile as much as these three people.


And one thing that annoys me:

This prickly crap. Every time I pull it up it pops up somewhere else.  I believe it’s mocking me.

prickly leaf

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!  


3 responses »

  1. ugh, that prickly crap! and won’t you know, the only place it grows is smack in the middle if my garden! argh!
    Tell your lovely little hippie daughter that I love Meijer too!
    Does anyone use your rest area? I love the idea of the free veggie basket! I want to build something that we could put out by the road here ( it’s all sun out there so I’d need something that could give a little shade).
    keep on posting I love to read new posts! and hey those are some really good looking photos! 😉

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