Remember the 5000 grass seed planting project?

Remember the inspiration?

Remember the vision?

Of rows and rows of pavers with lush patches of green grass squishing between the toes as far as the eye could see.  Pavers and grass and adirondack chairs….ready for a sunny day with a high of 75.

Remember the sweet tea?

And the croquet set?


We researched and planned and lugged load after load of pavers and planted and watered and talked to the grass seeds and told them how absolutely wonderful and beautiful and grassy they would become.

How much potential they had.

If they played their cards right, they could really make it big in the grass world one day.

Maybe even become BMOT  (Big Man on Turf).



The only problem is.

Only six of them listened.

Only six bothered to show up.

The other 4, 994 are still watching MTV and texting with their headphones on……waiting for Snooki and the next episode of the Jersey Shore.



And so… it’s finally arrived.

The big reveal day to get ready for the Great Outdoors Linky Party on Tuesday.

The day to show off our incredibly inspirational outdoor projects.

Projects so incredible that I was hoping you were going to pin them and facebook and twitter and discuss them endlessly at the water cooler.



And I got nothing.

Nothing to inspire.

No lush grass.

No croquet.  No sweet tea.

Well….actually….I do have these slightly inspirational adirondack chairs.  Oddly perched atop dirt mixed with fertilizer mixed with recalcitrant grass seed (please tell me you adore that overly pretentious word as much as I do).




And I do have the rows and rows and rows of pavers.

And this intriguing sketch of the next step in the vision.

Where the dream lives on.


A mini-greenhouse…..

…..perfect for growing even the most reluctant of grass seed.

PS  Can you help a blogger out with any suggestions on what will grow in direct sunlight in this space?  The concrete pavers and I….thank you.

Outdoor Karah's 12May pallet bed thumbnail (2)  Outdoor Kelly's Dresser Planter (2)screen_porch_birch_tree_art

PPS  If you want to see some much more incredible outdoor projects….check out these from my co-hosts.  And Andrea from The Cottage Market will be joining us on Tuesday as well.   🙂

PPPS  Now we want to see what you’ve been working on outside.  Link up your projects at our Great Outdoors Linky Party this Tuesday, May 29. 🙂  See you there.

I also wanted to give a big shout out to Susan, for letting me guest post on her blog, Crochet Addicts.


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Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Michele Michele

    OK. So perhaps this isn't exactly an exclamation project...............yet..................well the pavers certainly ARE................I am envisioning pea gravel. May cost a bit but, well, it would work and look awesome and since grass doesn't want to GROW there, well, it will be relatively maintenance free I should think? I love the paver patio and your greenhouse idea rocks too, even if just in the plannin stages. ; - ) Have a GREAT weekend!

  2. Image for Kirby Kirby

    It's wonderful! There are certain varieties of ground covers that will grow in full sun--and many of them are low-to-the-ground. You may want to ask at your nuresery. (The ones I have purchased are called "steppables"-they were in pink pots at my nursery.) I'm going to be finishing my project this weekend.

    1. Image for annel annel

      I`m a bit late w/a reply, but YES, I do small garden designs and I just LOVE creeping thyme, when you walk on it the smell is heavenly, it also gets pretty purple flowers and can be used for would look just perfect with your gray pavers! ;-)

  3. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Have you been watering it regularly? And what have you temperatures been like? In the upper 80's to lower 90's? If so that could be part of your problem. Grass seed is pretty finicky about growing when it gets really hot. We planted grass seed in hopes of the bare spots being filled in prior to graduation this weekend..... we have the same amount of growth EXCEPT for where there has been watering running off from watering some sod. That grass is growing in nice & lush. Otherwise creeping thyme is lovely and fragrant and oh so tough!! We used it as ground cover in a river rock paved terrace when I took college horticulture classes in Nebraska. In all honesty it would be much more attractive and practical than lawn/grass!

  4. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Patience is a virtue. Don't give up because your vision is the perfect look. You will probably get better results if you seed again in autumn. You can get grass out of one of our rose beds. We have one that borders our neighbors lawn, and every year the people you seed her lawn get seeds in our bed. It seems like we pull of grass all year long.

  5. Image for Kim Kim

    Kari, you are such a hoot. Sorry the grass is not cooperating. You can try mondo grass which you buy in pots and plant and it will grow quickly. It isn't regular grass and will be higher than the pavers, but it doesn't get tall.

  6. Image for Anne Anne

    Oh finally something I'm an expert at!!! Woolly thyme is fabulous, it grows like mad, loves hot, sunny and dry conditions and will creep over the edges of the pavers to make them look ancient and buried. It smells fantastic and feels nice and handles foot traffic fairly well. Any of the low growing thymes will work but the woolly is my fave and grows the fastest. Plus it's really easy to pull apart or up if it grows somewhere you don't want it to go. I think your rows and rows look great, the chairs look a little lonely so you really should do either the greenhouse or a little pergola to grow vines over. I LOVE landscaping :) Have a fabulous day!

  7. Image for liz @ Designing Domesticity liz @ Designing Domesticity

    Too funny. I did something similar to our pavers when we first moved into this house. Trying to make something interesting out of old, crusty pavers and it too was an epic fail. What did grow actually ended up looking like weed patches. I ended up tearing everything out. Strangely enough, two summers later things are sprouting again. i will never understand the fickle minds of plants! Thanks for sharing, liz

  8. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Well, do ya think some pesky birds were munching on those reluctant, pretentious, recalcitrant grass seeds with headphones on, watching MTV, in adirondack chairs, saying how much those seeds taste like popcorn!..... When we relocated from the land of year round, lush grass...we had to adjust to the grasses of the not so tropic species...My hubby tried the grass seed...he is too impatient....the one who wants immediate he ditched the seeds that either took forever or never saw the light of day and went straight to the immediate results of sod...the kind that is it's happiest in winter...the kinds that it's green blades peek thru the beautiful blanket of white snow....singing "I will survive".... The patio of 250'ish pavers look wonderful...with or without the pretentious recalcitrant grass....and look forward to the future greenhouse project! Have a wonderful holiday weekend with your family sipping sweet tea while lounging in the adirondack is good!!!

  9. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Oh, mercy. I can grow rampant clover and, apparently, marigolds which propagate themselves despite my detestation of them... But grass? I fail miserably. In fact, we are now paying someone to do that which we are unable to do. Otherwise our neighbors might arrive on dark, lonely night with pitchforks and torches... ugh!

  10. Image for Lorraine Lorraine

    See've already revealed your recalcitrant (I DO love that word) grass.....I was going to suggest green spray paint and an artistically blurred picture. Too late, you ruined the chance now.....impetuous self-castigation....take THAT! LOL......I DO have creeping thyme as someone loves sun and most abundant offerings here.... Tell people to sit very still in those chairs.....

  11. Image for Bliss Bliss

    At our last house we had a paver area with grass between. I hated mowing on top of them, and I can't remember how we got it to grow. I'll ask Mr. Muscle if he remembers. I'm also noticing in the back ground...... is that a non art shed I see? You keeping yet another cute shed hid from my view? ~Bliss~

  12. Image for Heidi @ Decor & More Heidi @ Decor & More

    My neighbor did a walkway similar to this with mondo grass -- a low growing grass-like ground cover. It's sort of slow-growing, but once established looks great and is VERY hardy. Just my 2 cents... the pavers look AWESOME! Looking forward to Tuesday's linky party -- have a lovely weekend, KariAnne! xo Heidi

  13. Image for NanaDoll NanaDoll

    i agree about the creeping thyme or other herb-type groundcover that is easier and more tolerant than grass--but it is truly an exclamation point project--it just takes thyme to grow--i apologize for the pun--i just couldn't help myself :)

  14. Image for Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers

    I hope your grass grows for you! Another option would be something like thyme.

  15. Image for Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    Grass or no grass, I'm green with envy! Very Downton Abbeyesque! I can picture you outside with Matthew arguing over whether he should leave Lavinia for you! In your long gown, hair twisted into the perfect up-do. I vote for ground cover that elicits a fabulous scent when you step on it. And can I come and live in that future mini greenhouse? Kelly

  16. Image for stacey stacey

    You had me in stitches with that post!! My BFF was having trouble with some grass growing at her place. She gave up and called the True Green fellas. They knew exactly what to do! Her front lawn is so beautiful now!

  17. Image for Pinky Pinky

    This is going to be a FABULOUS spot. I agree with the ground cover suggestions. It will fill in and be lush and gorgeous and WAY easier to maintain than grass, ESPECIALLY recalcitrant grass:):):) Have a lovely weekend with your family. See you Tuesday!!! XO, Pinky

  18. Image for CAS CAS

    I think the pavers look great! I agree with some of the others who have said to replant grass seed in the Fall. Another idea would be moss, although not for summer (depends on where you live). I know there are lots of low-growing ground covers, & there must be some for your particular weather & sun conditions. Personally, I think gravel of any kind, would drive you crazy. It never stays where you want it & would get scattered into your lawn. But with those lovely chairs just beckoning, go ahead & brew some sweet tea! CAS

  19. Image for Melody of One Chatty Chic Melody of One Chatty Chic

    I actually think the four chairs look fabulous on the pavers without any greenery. I can't figure out why but thought it was very "simple and modern yet homey." Crazy, right? But when I first saw your shot, I was like "oh my, what a great use of space!" Maybe you could add pillows with flowers on the chairs for color. :) hee hee

  20. Image for Andi Andi

    Grass or no grass i think it looks great, but I am not normal so keep that in mind :) And I thought grass seed LOVED sun. I have always had a hard time growing it in shade. I know it needs lots of water but not too much and fertilizer. Not sure if I am helping so I am off to watch jersey Shore ;)

  21. Image for debbie debbie

    You did try to grow grass in the middle of a draught. I still think grass. I have used the thyme before and it does work here does make very uneven surface for walking and sitting objects, also the cool creeping onto the stones giving an aged look eventually means scraping some back to re expose the stones. Plus it is so easy to mow over the paver with grass. It will be great, some projects arnt cinchy

  22. Image for Chris Chris

    Whoa......wait just a season, Kari! What's there is proof your project is well underway. So now you have to decide which course to take - let mother nature do her thing or come up with a very creative idea for grass to grow. My neighbor did........she moved her kids' trampoline all over the yard. Everywhere the trampoline spent a few weeks the grass beneath it grew lush, green and lovely. There's more than one way to get that exclamation point!

  23. Image for Rita@thissortaoldlife Rita@thissortaoldlife

    Here's the sum total of what I know about gardening: 1. Decide a spot needs something growing in it. 2. Go to Home Depot or a nursery and buy stuff. 3. Dig a hole in the ground and put water in it. 4. Put stuff in the holes. 5. Put the dirt back and put some more water on it. 6. Hope it doesn't die. If it does, go back to step 1. Oh, and now I know that there's something called wooly thyme (which sounds suspiciously like the hours I lose to blogging and reading blogs). I am about as good at gardening as I am at cooking. So good to know I'm not alone in my attempts to get better at both!

  24. Image for kristin M kristin M

    I'm no expert but I am thinking that the crushed rock or whatever you put down to level your pavers is not the richest soil for grass seed. I would choose a different plant variety, cut up sod into strips or buy pea stone and purposefully have a stone and paver mix.

  25. Image for Athena at Minerva's Garden Athena at Minerva's Garden

    You could try mini Kenilworth ivy--it has little flowers, too, or maybe Isotoma fluviatilis, common name Blue Star Creeper. This is covered in pretty light blue flowers. Golden Creeping Jenny will grow in gravel, but it will overtake your pavers, and you'll then spend all your time trimming around them so the pavers show. But it is very pretty and tough. As others have mentioned, the ground cover thymes are probably a good choice as well. Good luck!

  26. Image for Diane Diane

    The pavers look great. All I know is seeds need to be watered at least once or twice a day until they catch on. You could make a terrarium out of clear plastic, I did that on year to fill in a 4' x 4'. I used Saran wrap and fastened it down with sticks. My DH laughed at me until the grass seeds started growing.

  27. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    Only six what the hell bloody grass not playing ball and doing what grass is suppose to do..............................grow.......................oh well such it is

  28. Image for Sherry Sherry

    I couldn't help but giggle because I also don't have a green thumb! We had the sprinkler system extended to the back yard today and tomorrow they are putting down sod. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it survives. Best of luck with your landscaping plan.

  29. Image for Kimberly from Serendipity. Kimberly from Serendipity.

    Hi Kari, Having started an entire lawn from seed eight years ago only to have it get some kind of strange fungus, turn orange, and die; I know your pain. As the man in the nursery said to me after my nearly tearful explanation, "it's probably your substrate, ma'am". What that means, I subsequently figured out, was that my tender weak seeds were trying to grow into hard pan clay. The man told me that I could fix this by scratching up the soil, adding peat or another "organic material that helps hold water" (I went with peat) then reseed when the weather isn't going to be beastly hot. As an alternative, you COULD buy sod and cut it up to fit in between your rows....labor intensive, yes...but INSTANT GRASS! Beyond that, I'm with the folks advocating creeping thyme. Don't give up, your vision is FABULOUS! xo

  30. Image for Brandy Brandy

    Clover, clover, clover. Shamrocks, shamrocks, shamrocks. Both are green, pretty, soft!, and love the bright sunshine. Plus they are pretty idiot proof. Not the same bang as perfect grass...but did I mention the softness? Plus shamrock flowers are gorgie. Good luck and the pavers are gorgeous--with or without grass.

  31. Image for Susan Susan

    Goodness! You are funny! Are you dry down there like we are? Maybe some good old rain will help your grass seed sprout. Love the door on your little smokehouse in the background!

  32. Image for Melanie Melanie

    Hi Kari, A friend of mine has pavers like you and she has grown Mondo Grass in between each paver and it looks great. Also our native Australian violets are fantastic and they spread really fast and have really pretty purple violets. See if you can buy someover there.

  33. Image for Erin @ His & Hers Erin @ His & Hers

    Oh man...I am no help. I know absolutely nothing about how to cajole the outdoors into behaving. But--your patio area looks stunning with those pavers, even if the grass is MIA. I think Snooki would agree if she were lounging there. (Would you want Snooki to be lounging there?) ps--your mantel exclamation point project looks gorgeous! You have a great eye. :)

  34. Image for Stacey@ A Sort Of Fairytale Stacey@ A Sort Of Fairytale

    I think it looks just dandy without that mean ol' grass! I don't know what else will grow there, but maybe the grass will grow someday after another re seed? Or the pea gravel sounds good too. You probably won't even notice it when the fabulous green house is there!

  35. Image for anne anne

    I love the pavers :-) Sorry no suggestions on what to grow.I am the wrong person to advise.I am thrilled when something survives and I don't kill it LOL. ((Hugs)) Anne

  36. Image for Little Bit Little Bit

    Oh my word! The hard part was laying it all down. Getting plants to grow will be the easy part. I'm sure that the pavers are heating up the soil between them just too much. I think you probably need either some sort of grass that loves heat! or for sure creeping thyme would be gret! and it will smell wonderful when you walk on it to get to those chairs! It's truely looking lovely. Little Bit

  37. Image for Shannon Fox Shannon Fox

    Karianne, It wouldn't take much sod to get it insta green. But sod isn't as hardy as real grass, once it comes in. How deep down did you prep your planting area? You have to be careful not to over fertilize too, It could be burning it, before it gets a chance to peek out. You may be able to simply overseed what you have now, and let it continue to thicken and some in. Tons of luck to ya ;) The project looks great!! It'll get there =)

  38. Image for SheilaG SheilaG

    check out this site- she used various varities of thyme between her pavers- looks amazing!

  39. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    But look at the potential! It looks beautiful to me!! I agree about the thyme - it would be GREAT! If you heart is set on grass water water water - and reseed in autumn. and water water water!!!

  40. Image for bj bj

    I don't know where your OVER 4000 grass seed went but I sure know where my 24,000 seed the DOVES. I've been trying to repair our pitiful lawn that we lost last summer to the drought and every single solitary time I toss those coveted seeds over the yard, every single solitary dove in the WHOLE STATE OF TEXAS has a picnic in my yard. Sometimes as many as 20 birds are out there...and I have a smalllll yard.. I've even sunk to the low of throwing rocks at them. ....and, yep, you do need to keep them watered every day, I think. I wouldn't know for sure....too many doves in the way to water mine. :)

  41. Image for lynn lynn

    it's beautiful grassless, kari:) i hated moving all my stuff off our flagstone to mow! i wonder, if you'd planted some bad grass seed?

  42. Image for carollynn carollynn

    Hi, Just found your blog via Rhoda's Southern Hospitality. Love it. Not sure where you live, but the advice we're given in the mid Atlantic region is to plant grass seed... mid September-ish. Why? Because cold weather lawns don't do well past the early spring with the hot weather. What works well for this sort of paver and grass look is either mondo grass (monkey grass) or liriope. Both of which are resilient, hard to kill and drought resistant. Hope that helps!

    1. Image for carollynn carollynn

      Sorry, just read my post and realized I told you mid Atlantic lawns don't do well past spring. What I meant, is that seeds planted in spring don't have a chance to establish themselves and become heat tolerant in enough. Planting in the fall enables them to get established and survive a long hot summer. Sorry your didn't show up, yet. :)

  43. Image for Jana Jana

    That's how it goes. You plan and plan and the little grass seeds didn't listen. I completely understand. :0) We have an area in our backyard that needed grass ASAP, I bought the seed but then decided that we would just do sod, so that's what I was busy with last week. Laying 2 pallets of St. Augustine grass. Whew~what a job. Your area looks great and I love that your going to have a little greenhouse to enjoy. It will all look fabulous when your finished!

  44. Image for karen@somewhatquirky karen@somewhatquirky

    Kari - I agree that the wolly thyme would be the very best for the area. Grass around pavers is a little more romantic in pictures than it is in real life. Maintenance is an issue. I think you would LOVE the look of wooly thyme. Creeping thyme would also work but wolly thyme is better.. If you didn't water consistently over the seed it probably will not come up. If you must have grass you need to seed in the fall and then again in the spring - much earlier than you did this year, while it is still cooler outside Typically you should spread seed when the lilacs bloom. You will have to be careful to keep that area free from weeds - while the grass appears reluctant to come up, the weeds will not be. iBut once again - a steppable cover like wolly thyme would be wonderful here. You could put it out right away and wouldn't have to mow it! Your vision for the mini green house is perfect! Thanks for the party. I was late, but I finally made it! Karen

  45. Image for Maury @ Life on Mars Maury @ Life on Mars

    Oh no! Don't feel too bad. We're have massive patches of our yard that refuse to grow grass (we've seeded it 3 times already). We're not giving up though. Plus, I still think the pavers and the adirondack chairs look pretty awesome even if the grass is being a little snooty and decided not to join the party.

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