The other night we had dinner out on out our deck for the first time this season. It's been such a cold, wet miserable spring - emphasis on miserable - I've been cranky  for oh, eight months or so now*, and Thursday night it finally cracked 70 and we soaked it up lizards on rocks. Our yard is getting so pretty, and discovering what's planted has been an adventure.

See, when we moved in last summer a lot of plants were past flowering, or an area of yard had moved on to its second blooming, so a lot of things that are coming up now are new, and I have no idea what the hell they are. The violets carpeting the yard are obvious and gorgeous, there's lavender along the front walk, there's Oriental scallions, mint, bluebells, coneflower, what I think are honeysuckle, lilac, lamb's ear, ferns, hostas, ornamental grasses,  and I've put in pansies, petunias, and impatiens in select areas. There's also a huge maple, an aspen, two mulberry trees, and various yew and boxwood bushes. There's other things, but I don't know what's a weed and what's meant to be there and I'm loath to pull anything before I know what it is. My exceptions are dandelions, those giant cabbagy things, and creeping charlie, which has thoroughly invaded the yard and which I spent four hours today ripping out of the flower beds so other plants had a chance to grow. Luckily it's still blooming so it comes up pretty easily, as long as I get my fingers down low enough to grab the vines that connect each plant.

In the above photo you can also see the difference between our newly-refinished deck and the icky bench that needs to be sanded and repainted. I would love enough dry days in a row to do so. It's going to be the same white as the deck railing.Behind it is where the vines that I think are honeysuckle are, and when they fill in they're

And yes, that totally is a tag hanging on that table. We took it back today since I definitely overestimated how many people it would seat.

I didn't really realize, living in apartments, how much emotional difference an outdoor space makes. I like our little house, but it is tiny indeed, and adding the backyard (and our 400 sq. ft deck) makes me feel like we have so much more space - because we do. I feel calmer and much more at peace when I sit out on one of the chairs and sniff the breeze.

I feel like we've turned a corner. With Mr. PW graduated and summer hours starting at work, I feel like we're in less of a mess and more of a good little life.

* My husband calls me his Little Hothouse Flower. I'm always cold!