This year's Garden Walk Project

Each year I take on a project I have had in my head–with a deadline of getting it done by Garden Walk (THIS WEEKEND!!!). This year's project was my "Outdoor Kitchen." It's in quotes because it's not what you might think of an outdoor kitchen. There is not, nor will ever be an outdoor refrigerator, sink, garbage compactor or outdoor dishwasher. It's basically counter space around the grill, with a couple nice features. It's tiled with slate, in a diagonal pattern. The only thing left to do is to add grout, which I may get to tomorrow or Thursday. As long as it's dry by Saturday at 10 a.m., I figure I met my deadline.

Seen above is the counter along the house wall, with the grate I attached to the house from a few posts back. I built into the counter a planter to grow some climbing vines and herbs. It's attached to the wall with a 2x4 cleat, so it's solid. You can dance on that thing.

Here it is in progress.

The hole cut out for the planter.

The area in question–those wimpy wing shelves that come on grills are so inadaquate!

Cleat secured to wall.

Base up with temporary legs. It's even level!

Second counter top built, installed & stained.

Installed but not yet tiled.

Idea was to have the counters wrap around the grill.

Believe it or not, the stain colors are the same–just six years apart.

The inset planter on the left is intended to act as an ice bucket for drinks. I may get another one and fill it with herbs and just switch them out when there's a party going on. Be wary of slate tiles, they of different thicknesses.

Can't wait to fill this with mandevilla, or sweet peas, or chartreuse flowered Nicotiana 'Limelight' or clematis, or phormium pink stripe. I'll probably try something different each year. Unfortunately, they won't be in for Garden Walk.

And now, finally, I have a great spot to rest my gin & tonic while barbecuing.


  1. this looks amazine...I especially love how you have added features for the climbing wall and ice bucket!!! totally ingeious...makes me wonder what I could do in my little garden!!

  2. This does look really good. It looks like you have curtians around your door. What type of fabric did you use and are they holding up well?

  3. You are so clever! I just love it. Green with envy over here. :)

  4. allotments4you,
    Totally ingenious!? I may have to print this out, have it notarized and hand it to my wife. She's just glad I'm keeping busy.

    Thank you.

    Foy and Jeff,
    They are holding up well. They've been outside for three years, inside during winter (though they spent this past winter outside). The color stays fast & bright & not sun-worn. The only place where they look only slightly worn is where they drag on the ground. We won't leave them out for another winter again. We started looking at Sunbrella Fabrics. Criminy they were expensive! We settled on this non-name-brand outdoor fabric from a fabric store. Even went out and bought more of the same fabric for a tablecloth (THAT is looking used) and roof-top covers for our daughter's jungle gym. It's important to coordinate things, you know.

    Well it's raining today, so no grouting will get done. If you stop by during garden walk, don't touch the grout, it could be just added that morning. And aren't you Greenan with envy?

  5. I LUV it !
    Practical, economic, stylish and with great panache.

    Bravo !

  6. DeviantDesigner,
    High praise coming from such a great garden designer. And yes, it was economical. It was done for just a few dollars over $200.

  7. I can't wait to drink something from out of your bucket...

  8. Teddy's Mom,
    You're on my bucket list.

  9. It looks wonderful and I'm glad you shared it here. I'm quite sad that I'll miss GW this year. I hope you have great weather!


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