1. I added two extremely cheap floor coverings to break up the large expanse of tile. We do not know how long we will stay in this particular house, so I did not want to spend a lot on any type of furnishings. Thus, these "rugs" are $17 each. I used two and can roll them up and take them with us to use as beach mats when we move. My amazon affiliate link if you would like to buy them >>> beach mats. (Remember, if you click through that link and buy anything from Amazon, including paper towels, diapers and gym shoes -- it all counts and helps A Nest for All Seasons. THANK YOU!)
2. The hammock! See it in the background? We bought that hammock years ago in Mexico and have never had an appropriate place to hang it. It fits perfectly in the little corner there and while the low hang makes it difficult to get in and out off, it also allows for privacy. Best 20 bucks I have ever spent on string.
3. The sun hits this porch strong all morning long and as born and bred Yankees, we needed a bit more shade. A simple sail shade did the trick. They range in price, but I bought THIS ONE at around $30. It works just fine to lessen the morning sun's intensity. I also love how the hammock and sail shade angle against each other -- it is a pleasing geometric line.
4. The plants, of course! I stalk the Walmart clearance plant section when we go, but there hasn't been a ton to choose from. Any of the large, fully grown plants you see are Walmart clearance buys. Everything else is seed...including our cashews! The pots are mainly plain terracotta and my favorites are the shallow bowl pots like the one above right. They are about $5 at Home Depot.
Fun sidenote: The nearest Home Depot is in Caguas, but Humacao was supposed to get one. In fact, there are signs around a lot saying that Home depot is building there. Is is completely abandoned. Rumor is the city asked for more money once the project started and Home Depot just said "UMMMM NO" and moved on. Many transactions in Puerto Rico seem to be a bit like this in our limited experience :)
5. The fountains! Remember these fountains? Well, smartpond sent along 4 of those patio ponds to work with and while 2 are serving as fountains (the middle water garden fountain and the middle box in back), I have plans for the other two.
They each have a little plant in the corner sitting on top of a plastic cake topper for height. They add a little green to what will soon become a wide expanse of brown sand and stones. To fill up and lighten the load, I have put some recyclables at the bottom.
We are filling in the top with sand for one box and smooth stones for the other, collecting all manner of coral "houses", coconut shell "scoops" and coconut husk "shovels" for the kids to have a proper summer sandbox/sensory table. I think the boys have had more fun hunting for the supplies for the boxes at Glass Beach, but baby girl will have a wonderful time digging!
Once the sensory boxes are finished, then I am looking for 1-2 additional seats and then it is just a waiting game for the plants to fill in! Of course, in many ways I am fighting a losing battle. A grandpa iguana ate all the leaves of my cucumber and watermelon plants out front. I wonder if they hate cayenne as much as the chipmunks? hmmmmm...