OK folks. I am, in all seriousness, addicted to Craigslist.
(Do you know Craigslist? No? Maybe you should stop reading--I don't want to be responsible...)
No, really, Craigslist rocks. Every day, I'm scouring Craigslist for the bargains. It's strangely soothing, like retail therapy except you don't have to spend anything or leave the house. Can't get my attention? Um, just a sec--I'm on Craigslist...
Right now my bargain hunting is concentrated on yard items, as our backyard is pretty much a blank slate and I want to pretty it up for the summer. That could cost a bundle paying retail price at a nursery. And since this is a rental, it doesn't make sense to sink too much money into landscaping. But yardwork gives me joy, and a fun backyard for the boys to explore will be worth its weight in gold. Just, we can't spend hundreds of dollars on it. But free or cheap on Craigslist...see where this is going??
Behold! My recent scoreage:
First, this play structure! At $100, probably our most expensive yard item, but I am still really happy with it (bargain- wise). It's weathered but sound, and we'll use it so much. Best of all, it has a very small footprint and was not too hard to take apart (putting back together remains to be seen, but E is upbeat about it). Loo was learning how to "big boy swing" on it (before dismantling) and has tested the slide, which works great. As you can see, he does not mind playing on it at all. Score!
Okay, I am so excited about these that I literally did an end-zone dance directly I hung up the phone after scoring them. These are 6' x 8' um, things, two of them, FREE. You're going, uh, what-the-hell. Right? Well see, these solve a major problem. Several major problems, actually.
One thing I dislike about our yard is that it's really exposed to our neighbors over the back fence. You walk out our back door and immediately feel you're on display. Don't really dig that. I'm going for more of a sanctuary and privacy type feel. So I've been scheming how to solve this problem.
There is a fence, but it is not high enough. So we, what, bear the expense of adding height to a fence (which would be structurally challenging and probably not allowed by the neighbors or our rental company, or both), or plant bamboo (invasive, probably shouldn't do this without permission) or ??? Well, THESE! We will place them against the fence and get some vines growing on them. Can't you see it? How much does that rock? No structural issues (save anchoring these to the ground) and they're FREE so no big investment and they're also impermanent, so if we need to take them down, we can. Okay, I had to hire someone to go pick them up for me, so they're not technically free, they're $50 which is still a GREAT deal, especially for all the problems they solve for me. Score!
This table, perhaps hideous inside your home, will totally rock in the backyard. Again, placed against the fence (with some vines growing up it?), it provides a surface for potted flowers or for drinks when our friends come over. $10, plus the cost of hiring the movers which adds $15 so, $25 dollars. Still such a deal. Love it! Score!
These topiaries. In the picture, they look all rustic and iron-y so I had high hopes, but in person they're a little underwhelming. I was going to stick them in the ground as sculpture, but they're smaller than they look and probably won't work for that. You win some, you lose some. I still got them, and they'll look great in pots with, uh, vines growing on them. $15 for all three. Semi-score!
Our house is situated in a wind tunnel, on windy nights there are gale force winds whistling along between our house and the one directly west of us, so I can forsee this baby getting a lot of action. Loo is already enamoured of the "fans" at the house down the block, so he'll be thrilled to have his "own." $15. Score!
Alright so for the moment that's it. We'll (read: E'll) be assembling the play structure this weekend, and the Big Ass Trellises (tm) and Hideous Table (tm) get delivered tomorrow.
So excited so excited, it's all coming together! I love it when my schemes and designs actually come to pass. I'll post before and afters for you.