The look is pretty much what I anticipated. I painted the Hardi-backer with Thorocoat, a textured coating that I had hoped would make the hard-backer look like stucco. If you look really close, you can see some of the "patter" from the Hardi-backer telegraph through but I don't think I am going to worry about it all that much.
I got the Thorocoat from Jay over at Humphrey House. I like the color and think it looks good. I may even use the rest on my front columns, once I get around to fixing them up.
In other garden news, the pergola looks great with all of the hops on it. They really went crazy this year and it is getting time to harvest them. I hope to give them to friends that will use them in some homebrew.
Everything has survived the storms and heat we have had over the past few weeks. It may be the best the garden has ever looked at this time of year. I am sort of regretting not putting in a vegetable garden.