80s pop radio is blasting in the background as I upload these photos of our new cottage garden reveal. It’s inspiring + uplifting, nostalgic + harmonious setting my life + garden to music. Reliving the past while looking toward the future with hope + anticipation for good things. Such great things came out of the 80s! #Childofthe80s
Ok, back to our cottage garden! A few weeks ago, Ken and I talked about how disappointed we were that our epic three-week trip to Alaska would likely not work. The timing, the traveling with kids part, the money – really, mostly the money was the biggest factor. Did you know that five tickets to fly from Maui to Alaska, along with lodging + food is really expensive? We were hoping to stay with Ken’s parents for the trip, but then we needed to change our dates + their vacation rental was booked. So sad! We went so far as reserving a separate vacation rental, but after reviewing our dwindling bank account + doing all the math for the trip, we decided to save that $4,000+ in travel costs for building on our property. Ken also encouraged me that our time to visit Alaska would come again, that there’s a season for everything – and maybe next summer will be our season for an epic trip back to his home state. We’re so hopeful!
Since we decided that a big trip is not financially possible for us at this time, we decided to instead invest in our property, and make it a nice space for living. I have a thing for hotels, I should mention. I really really love staying at nice hotels here on Maui. It’s one of my favorite things! As a family, we average about three nights at hotels each year, spread out as one overnight stay every four months typically. I always shop for great deals, and will often score a hotel stay for about half or a third of a typical night’s rate, so about $300 total with all tax (meaning a base rate of $200/night.) That same hotel room will usually be posted at $600-$800/night. Having worked at a high-end boutique hotel myself, I can appreciate the beauty that goes into resort hospitality and all the little touches found in an impeccably clean hotel suite. I love fresh flowers, ironed sheets, sweeping views, the ocean breeze, waves glistening in the distance. So, I decided to channel a little bit of that resort feel into our garden area. Because we likely aren’t staying at a hotel any time soon (summer hotel rates here on Maui are around $800-$1200 per night at the moment), I brought the hotel lifestyle to us!
Our little garden area gets such lovely afternoon breezes + there’s a peekaboo view of the ocean from our terrace. I found just about all the outdoor furniture on clearance (or super clearance) here in town. What a blessing! I’m loving all the rattan elements, it reminds me of the pictures I’ve seen of old Hawaii.
To complete our DIY garden update, Ken + I spent hours shoveling gravel + lifting pavers, loading them in the wheelbarrow + transporting them to the other side of the yard, where this garden sits. We dug up almost all the grass/weeds, leveled the dirt, set down weed mat + pavers and then gravel around the pavers. We forgot to do those last two steps in order in some spots + maybe lost three hours fixing that mistake. By hand. Hehe. Ken reminds me of how good it is to learn new things, and learn from our mistakes. He’s such an amazing guy, with way more patience than me. He built me such a neat walk-thru trellis for our tomato plants, and just when we thought we were done, both decided to try our hand at creating a DIY pizza oven with bricks + lava rock slabs. Check it out!
Here are some before and after photos for your viewing pleasure. What do you think of our DIY renovation/redesign?
I cannot wait to host friends + family in our sweet little cottage garden! This morning, I surprised Ken with breakfast in the garden to celebrate its completion. I think he liked it!
Scroll through to see what’s growing in our garden.
Thank you Babe for helping me create the Cottage Garden of my dreams!
DIY Cottage Garden Renovation