Though Mr. Magpie and I speak with less and less frequency about our former home in Chicago, as we thaw into spring, we find ourselves revisiting our backyard often in conversation. Mr. Magpie talks about the first grills of the season on his beloved Weber kettle grill (a great gift for any dude, though it does require a primer in lighting a chimney, etc.), and I can see him out there, through the sliding glass doors to our stone-paved terrace: the plumes of smoke perfuming his requisite UVA sweatshirt, an IPA in a koozie at his side, country music blaring through our speakers, a look of satisfaction on his face. I often caught him idly looking around our backyard, probably taking stock of the trees and mulch and plants, plotting changes and additions, or maybe thinking of nothing but how happy he was standing in the middle of our backyard oasis, that small plot of land we called our own.
Though Central Park’s proximity across the street is not a paltry substitute, we miss having a private outdoor space. We spent most evenings out there in the summer, grilling, eating, sitting on the steps enjoying aperol spritzes, idly tossing the tennis ball to our rambunctious airedale. During the day, I’d sit there with an iced tea and a book, and, after she’d arrived, mini in her boppy or stroller bassinet at my side. There was the shade of an enormous maple (one Mr. Magpie endured a love-hate relationship with — it shed those propeller things all over the place), the seclusion of a tall fence separating us from our neighbors, the tidy hedge of boxwoods.
Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite backyard finds for those blessed with such a space of their own, one of our greatest treasures as homeowners.
+Patio umbrella — I love the trim on this one. So old world Hollywood.
+String lights. Mr. Magpie would hang a few strands of these across our backyard in the warm months and I loved the cozy glow it afforded our al fresco meals. These are a bit bigger in size, but they get insane reviews.
+Wicker dining chairs (on sale for $99!) — love the different colors these come in. So fun! I like the soft blue or coral.
+I love these urn-style planters.
+Cane tray. A well-priced alternative to the Serena & Lily one I’ve been spying all over.
+Woven sofa — probably best for a screened-in porch, but I love the vibe.
+Mint outdoor bench. Imagine these flanking an outdoor table! Chic!
+Tassel throw pillows — a classic.
+This pendant lamp is incredible! And the price?!
+These decently-priced patio furniture covers get solid reviews and I rather like their simple styling.
+These planters would look fantastic with potted boxwoods in them.
+A wicker throne for a mini me.
+A patio egg chair. Love.
+Love the rustic vibe of a pitcher of water or lemonade or sangria on an outdoor table. This is lovely, and you know I love anything chinoiserie. I also own a monogrammed acrylic pitcher like this, which is not only lovely for showcasing a punch or water infused with diced fruit and herbs, but a perfect housewarming gift.
+We frequently filled a galvanized metal tub with ice to stow beer, sparkling water, and wine when entertaining. I’m IN LOVE with this style (on sale!), which comes with a stand! Amazing.
Finally, a couple of outdoor cookout fashion finds for you:
+These bow-bedecked sandals ($25!!!) in the taupe and white stripe.
+This gingham jumpsuit, marketed as a cover-up but…I’d wear it at home.