Badass Pergola COMPLETE!

Memorial weekend was one of those power weekends, even though it started out raining, and the patio stones we had meticulously cleared two weekends ago now looked like this:

dirty flagstone

Mom and I thought we’d get creative with the shade fabric/curtains to try and keep the rain out.

makeshift roof

This worked about how you would expect, which is to say not at all.

So instead we decided to go steal some stone from the place my family used to own, then auctioned off, then bought back again. Technically I wasn’t entirely sure if it was stealing, but I did have to 4wd over the berm again. And it was entertaining turning Mom into a Master Thief. After we got done loading the wastebaskets fill of stone in the the Xterra, Mom looks up to the top of the old building and says “Ohmygod, is that a camera?!” And the paranoia is kind of infectious, because as I drive away I look up and say “Ohmygod, is it following us?!” Okay. It was totally a spotlight on top of the building, but obviously the blonde took over for a minute. We got pretty hystericall when Mom turned to me and said “I was JUST thinking the same thing!”

By the time I got back to my house something mysterious had appeared in my back yard…

birthday present

My FIRST birthday present!

MysteryMan was all nerved out about what to get me for my birthday, so I told him just to pick out a couple of nice shade plants for the back yard. Obviously he suffers from the same problem I do… once I see all those beautiful plants, I need them all! He did an excellent job.

Then the three of us set to actually getting something done around the house. Three hours later we were ready for this:

dry mortar

We went with the shovel it in dry then sprinkle it with the hose method for grouting the flagstone… which worked pretty good.

wet mortar

This was Saturday night… notice, unfinished bench in right corner, unfinished flagstone, unfinished everything.

Sunday brought slightly better weather. I spent a lot of the morning in this position…

brushing 1


…up to my elbows in cement dust. (I have half a dozen pf these pics because Mom thought my knees were “so cute” she just kept taking pictures of me. Mothers… what can you do?)

By the end of the day… whooped!


Monday was when everything really took shape.

We finished off the flagstone… MysteryMan had a very conventional way of checking for level:

checking for level

My mother? Not so much:

checking for level2

The bench covering that ugly bid of exposed foundation was taken care of:

bench cushions

After several hours arguing the laws of physics and wood with MysteryMan.

Again, Mom insists on doing things unconventionally… such as staining the bench.

mom painting technique

Well, that’s one way to get those hard-to-reach spots!

After twelve hours of hard labor, we were finally able to move the table I bought last year onto the finished patio:

Pergola Finished

My new favorite place to be!

Since I had everyone over yesterday for my birthday (and my grandmothers husband’s birthday), I had the whole house cleaned and ready to go. (I did get the curtains hung on the pergola, some new pictures hung in the house) but oddly enough…


Everyone wanted to be on the patio!

I got some nice planters and birdfeeders and in general “outdoor” things from everyone who stopped by, and I need to get a picture of the finished pergola from the outside. But for the most part, this section of the back yard is DONE. Now I just need to stain the fence and get to planting!

13 Responses

  1. Hey girl,

    I loved your comments as you put these pics up. I kept laughing at your viewpoints on these pics, still chuckling. Thanks for the laughs and the absolutely beautiful patio. I love to see women making things like this happen! Gives me the confidence to just jump in there and try something. Feels good to make things with your own two hands. You do ROCK! I bought 10 acres out in the woods and will be building a house out of cob and I am terribly excited and terrified all at the same time. Wish me luck!

  2. Loved the pics and design. Did you use 2×8’s for the rafters? Also, what thickness on the lattice?
    Very nice, very unique!!!


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