Friday, October 8, 2010

Backyard Renovations

This summer we decided to do something - finally - about our backyard. We had had crumbling landscape timbers for far too long.  Our uneven sidewalk held two or three inches of water every time it rained - not fun to walk through in church shoes or with arms full of groceries.  There was no defined place to sit outside and enjoy the yard, so we often sat in the driveway.

You can see there is lots of shade, but there is a small patch of sun (at the left of top photo) which needed to be a plant bed, I thought.  My husband just wanted somewhere to put a fire pit.

We know our limitations, so we decided to get some help from a landscape designer.  Working with someone who could hear our garden issues and ideas, come up with a workable design to address them, and see to the implementation of all of it, seemed like a great idea.

It was fun, but we should have been clearer in our own minds about what we wanted to begin with. And we should have done our homework. Then we might have done a better job communicating our needs and avoiding some of the issues that arose.

We did not know what we signed on for! The project was bigger than we had thought. It changed direction several times, went over-budget, and took the entire summer.  Family and neighbors would drop by and shake their heads, raise their eyebrows, "How long was this supposed to take?"

One person  - who shall remain unnamed - critically surveyed the scene and said, "I sure hope you'll think it's worth it!"

Especially after that comment, I would like to be jumping up and down with enthusiasm over the finished product, but right now I'm just really grateful it's done!

We do have somewhere to sit outside.  The drainage problem has been fixed.  There is beautiful grass for my husband and lots of new planting space for me.

The stone work is my favorite part.  It is grounding and peaceful to sit on the wall or walk barefoot on the steps  - even just looking out at it from my kitchen window feels good.

Next spring daffodils and species tulips will bloom and later hydrangeas and gardenias, along with whatever else we decide to put in before then. I expect it will be beautiful.

For now, the nights are cooling enough for a date at the fire pit with my husband. We will hang out on the new patio together while he pokes at the fire and I muse aloud about what we've done and what we'll do next. I will keep you informed.

August 2010


  1. It looks beautiful, congratulations--take care, Gina

  2. Oh, it is lovely! Such a welcoming and beautiful space. Definitely worth all the hard work. Enjoy!

  3. It looks fantastic! And fall is the perfect season to enjoy it.

  4. A beautiful improvement! There is a lot of space to enjoy now. I love the stone pavers and retaining wall. I can see that it will become even more lovely as time passes and new plants grow and mature.