It's been about 4yrs to get to this point and there are still things that I want to do but mainly it just includes turning the front portion of our garage into an outdoor room, moving the swing to the right side of the yard and installing french doors where the swing currently is.
DH and I installed the patio 2yrs ago ourselves using those molds from Rona and bags and bags of concrete...cost around $350 and seems to be holding up good to the freeze and thaw. I purchased 3 bags of jointer sand and just top it up every year...once I am rid of the rest of the sand I will likely invest in the stuff that is a little more expensive and hardens when wetted. We used the old broken up concrete from next to the house to create a pad for the swing and eventually a solid surface for when I get around to my grand scheme mentioned above :D
Our neighbor tore down the old chainlink and built the privacy fence, all I had to do was split on the materials...pretty good deal if I do say so myself :)
Picked up the MS patio set from Sears at the end of season 2yrs ago for around $350. Also most of the plants are either hand-me-downs from my grandmother in NS, driven back up in a rental car about 3yrs ago when we were down for a wedding, or protected and carried on the plane from one of her visits. Behind that huge evergreen tree we have a Bleeding Heart that is just thriving, the interesting story there is that it once belonged to my Great Grandmother in Brantford, ON who had given a piece to my Grandmother to take back to NS...now it's come full circle back to Ontario and into my garden :laugh:
Also spent a couple hundred bucks about 3yrs ago at Plant World during their 40% Off Sunday weekend sale...picked up our two trees (I believe the Red Bud died this year :cry: but the Dogwood is doing great although it hasn't flowered yet), bushes, grasses and a bunch of other perennials.
We also have our outdoor lighting done, which includes low-voltage pagoda style lights scattered around the garden, two spotlights into the back corners and those little white candle lanterns you see on the swing and fence. We just got another lantern for the cafe area and one of those wrought iron pendants for the umbrella that holds tealights.
....it's such a retreat on a nice night even amidst the centre of Toronto :D