What has been the most popular place in your home this summer? Odds are it’s your backyard. With the current world situation, everyone has been spending time at home and enjoying their outdoor spaces. And, many people have added improvements to their yards – from mulching, gardening, fencing, or adding fun “toys” such as a pool. Reports the Wall Street Journal, “Some 46% of consumers said they did a landscaping, gardening or outdoor-living project update in the last three months.” The newspaper also said sales of grills increased by 46% in May and sales of inflatable pools, playground equipment and water blasters increased by 51%. Needless to say, Americans are staying busy in the yards. It’s the destination for summer!
We wanted to share some of Sibcy Cline agents’ and employees’ backyards and outdoor spaces with you:
Shelbey Loudin (of Sibcy Cline’s Professional Development Center) lives along a beautiful golf course and her backyard has very lovely views. Shelbey’s family spends much time outside on the patio. They enjoy grilling out, using the fire pit and jumping on their trampoline. Their dog, Maya, also loves being outside and has been very good about leaving the golfers alone. The Loudins stay up-to-date with their neighbors with evening chats – all from the backyard!
Cindy Zulla, Branch Office Administrator from Sibcy Cline’s Hyde Park, lives in the West End in Cincinnati and has a very quaint backyard. The brick-laid courtyard gives her some green space that she enjoys with her dog, Twyla. Behind the lattice arbor is Cindy’s veggie garden. And, on the side is a flower garden filled with hostas. Cindy’s backyard is hidden, green urban treasure. A tree grows in the West End – so to speak!
Wayne Milam a Realtor from Sibcy Cline West Chester has an awesome backyard. It has everything you could want: Large stamped patio – check. Sun umbrellas with LED lights – check. Fire pit – check. Hot tub spa – check. Pool – check. Swing set – check. Half-court basket ball – check. Wayne and his family basically have a vacation built right in the backyard. Weekends are busy at the Milam house with family BBQs. The pool is been quite popular since many family member’s HOA pools were closed this season. The basketball court is enjoyed by all including Wayne, his children and grandchildren. His backyard borders some Fairfield Township woods so there is plenty of privacy.
Maura Black of Sibcy Cline’s Western Hills office has been enjoying wooded views from her 1.5-acre backyard this year. (She moved to her home this past spring.) The former homeowner was a master gardener and converted the green space into a wildlife habitat and converted fallen trees into a log-style walking trail. From a screened porch, Maura enjoys taking in nature and has seen owls (see pic of a Barred Owl below), deer, foxes, turkeys, ravine salamanders, turtles, snakes as well as bugs. She says the best time in her yard is between 8:30am and 11:30am when the sunlight filters through the trees. She and her family love where they live and if you visit, bring binoculars!
Sometimes that backyard just has to have amenities. Such is the case of the home of Rob Streicher, Vice President/Sales Manager of Sibcy Cline West Chester. He and his wife, Vonda, have a “decked” out deck complete with a flat-screen television and hot tub spa. They can enjoy being outside while watching their favorite sports – which this summer has been viewing Reds baseball games. It’s very good times at the Streicher residence!
Tawnyah Wolff, Branch Office Administrator at Sibcy Cline West Chester, has a gorgeous three-season porch decorated “boho chic”. She hung a porch swing and has all kinds of interesting fabrics that mix well. It’s a comfortable place to peer out and enjoy viewing the backyard and bird feeder. Tawnyah said this outdoor room is her “happy place” and is her favorite place to relax, listen to music, chat on the phone or take a nap. (The room used to be simply decorated in blue and white. Her son gave her a Moroccan-inspired lantern and that inspired the color changes!)
Lisa and Rob Fix (aka The Fix Solution) moved into their home a couple of years ago. Their backyard is along a golf course that offers the most heavenly sunset views. They spend much of their leisure time in the backyard patio or screened porch, grilling dinner and enjoying life. There have been a few instances of golf balls hitting windows – but Lisa and Rob don’t mind. It’s worth it to have those vista views!
Lovita Williams, a Sibcy Cline Florence and Northern Hills agent, has been busy gardening in her backyard this summer. She and fiance, Curtis Gordon, worked very hard tilling and planting in the spring. They are now harvesting a bounty of veggies: zucchini, cucumbers, kale, potatoes, banana peppers, green peppers and tomatoes. And, we cannot forget about their garden containers of herbs! Lovita and Curtis also enjoy relaxing in their yard – they have two hammocks where they can sit back and enjoy life.
Larry Fisher, Sibcy Cline’s Webmaster, enjoys vegetable gardening in his backyard. (He has been known to plant very hot peppers!) Larry and his wife, Anne, are serious about their garden – please note the raised bed, animal-guard fencing and weed-guard cloth in the photo below. This year, the Fishers are enjoying zucchini, yellow squash, jalapeno peppers and several varieties of tomatoes from their backyard garden.
Sandy Butler, an agent with Sibcy Cline Kenwood, is a passionate gardener. (She hosts a Facebook group called Cincinnati Urban Farmers.) This year, Sandy (along with her friend Donald Morris) planted: peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, green beans, collards, kale, watermelons and herbs. (She also enjoys planting flowers along with the veggies.) Sandy checks the plants daily, looking for bugs, removing dead leaves, waters and fertilizes when needed. Once Sandy harvests items, she takes them to the kitchen where she either prepares wonderful meals or cans veggies to use later. (Where do you find time for all of this?) Sandy and Donald’s backyard is one of green-thumb wonderfulness – from the patio to the beautiful lawn, to the flowers and vegetables.
Andrew Tanen of Sibcy Cline Kenwood has been quite busy this summer in his backyard. He and his wife, Victoria, have been tending to their flowers and shrubs that include: sunflowers, butterfly bushes, zinnias, Black-eyed Susans, Russian lavender among many other types of flowers. They also have been growing veggies – tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapeno, cilantro, shallots, turnips and lettuce. Andrew and Victoria “hardscaped” the flower beds with decorative lighting, rock edging, statue figures and river rock. Their yard is gorgeous and has been attracting pollinators including butterflies, honey bees, bumble bees, yellow finches and humming birds. What a wonderful place to enjoy while staying home this summer.
Nancy Holthaus, Sibcy Cline Photographer, has been busy this summer with her backyard garden. For the past several years, she has worked on clearing out the back area, and this spring she planted hydrangeas along with other plants. She dug a vegetable garden for the first time and planted lots of tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash and peppers. The container-style herb garden has flourished this summer and Nancy reports she shares the bounty with neighbors. The piece de resistance are the dinner-plate sized hibiscus that grow in the yard. Those plants came with the house when she purchased it and have been blooming yearly. Nancy had help with all of her planting this year in her backyard from her daughter and son!
Melanie Beck with Sibcy Cline Northeast has had fun in her backyard with her granddaughter, Hannah. When you want to go to the beach but you are stuck at home – all it takes is a watering hose and a beachball. Voila – fun times cooling off in the yard!
It’s pool time at the home of Chip Hatfield, agent with Sibcy Cline West Chester. He has a wonderful yard with an upper deck, lower patio and in-ground pool. He and his family have spent hours in the yard. The grandkids love to come over and splash in the water.
Bev and Bill Scott (aka The Bev Scott Team) are from Sibcy Cline West Chester. The view from their deck in the evening is glorious with the full moon! The Scotts live along the 7th fairway of the Shaker Run Golf Course in Lebanon. They watch all of the golfers in action from their third-level porch. Bev and Bill enjoy entertaining family and friends all summer long on their deck where the drinks are cold and the friendship is free!
Helena and Marc Cameron (aka the Cameron Group) have a beautiful backyard to enjoy. These Sibcy Cline Northeast agents have over one-half acre of yard along the end of a cul-de-sac. Three Honey Locust trees turn a breathtaking golden color in the fall. The Camerons’ dog, Banks, loves to run throughout the yard and chase deer and squirrels. Helena and Marc spend as much time as possible on their deck taking in the views. They have a grill and a smoker and have enjoyed many meals outside this summer. For the past two years, a family of Cooper Hawks have nested in their backyard trees and they have enjoyed watching these birds teach the fledglings to fly. (And, yes, Marc does all of the mowing!)
Susanne Anton has a peaceful backyard setting at her home! An agent with Sibcy Cline West Chester, she has been taking advantage of its screened-in back porch and deck this summer. It’s coffee, dinner and socially distanced entertaining outside for Susanne and her husband, Dave Wendt. Their home backs up to a green belt and they like to watch the birds and admire the trees!
Tiffany Allen-Zeuch of Sibcy Cline West Chester enjoys outdoor living with her family. Her father has a fabulous covered patio that is an oasis of wonderfulness. It includes two televisions, a fireplace, kitchen, fire pit, grills and plenty of seating. Why go on vacation? Just step outside!
That’s it for our “Sibcy Cline Backyard Round Up”. If you want ideas on enjoying a vacation at home, read our article here.
What’s been your favorite outdoor activity at home this summer?