Sunday, April 11, 2010

Backyard Beautification

Well, if you know anything about me, you know I can't resist a "project".  We have basically babied our house one project at a time since we bought it three years ago.  The backyard has always been a bit of an eyesore to us, so I decided that with the beautiful weather this weekend we would take on Project Backyard Beautification.  My husband (luckily) agreed to tackle it.  We are exhausted after a weekend of work, but very happy with the result.  We still have some things we want to do back there...but landscaping costs a pretty penny so we had to agree to wait on a few things until we have a little more moolah saved up!

Here's a good "before" picture.  The backyard looked cluttered and blah.  We were having trouble getting grass to grow close to the house because it is so shady, and the dogs walk that path day in and day out.  The patio was a little small for our table/chairs and the grill, so it had been sitting off to the side.  Also, notice the collection of hoses and hose racks and the ugly air conditioning unit.  Overall, it needed some TLC!

Here was the plan:  a bed with low maintenance shrubs and plants on either side of the patio...something to put the grill on...a solution to hide the A/C unit...decluttering...overall just going for a more "polished" look.  So, we got to work.  After a little sweat, blood, and a few's the finished look!

Here's a few close ups.  This is the right side of the patio before.  Yuck! 

Ta-da!  Mark built this cool lattice screen to camouflage the ugly A/C unit.  We decided to just cover the two sides that were most visible, in case we would need service on the unit.  Also, the unit is 25+ years old, and will probably have to be replaced soon.  I am hoping to plant something near the lattice that will climb and cover it a little better...maybe some kind of vine.

Left side of patio before:

And after!  We used some paver stones to build a little platform to put the grill on.  By rotating the grill around, it really opens up the patio (which isn't really very big to begin with).
P.S.  That's Harley in the background behind his chicken wire. :)  That naughty pup has an affinity for digging up newly planted we sectioned off an area for the backyard for him for now...until those baby plants have a chance to get established.  He'll be behind the chicken wire during the day while we're at work and he's unsupervised...then we'll let him out in the evenings for exercise and fetch. 

Mark seeded all of the bare areas in the yard, so hopefully those brown spots will be filling in soon with new baby grass.

Now, what is it about home improvement projects that makes husbands and wives want to kill each other?  We lived through it, but it definitely not without our share of disagreements.  We just have such different opinions about the way things should be done...and both think we are right every time!  It happens every time we take on a new project around the house, yet we do it time and time again!  We are both happy with the final result, so I guess that makes it all worth it in the end.

We both about killed the dog this weekend.  We were out in the backyard all weekend, which I guess he thinks is his "turf".  I think he was just trying to get our attention by being naughty.  He kept running through the new mulch, or peeing on a new bush.  Anytime we wanted to put him in the garage so we could pull the truck in or out of the backyard, he would run like wild -- thinking we were taking a break from all of our hard work to play a game of chase with him!  At one point, Mark and I were both on our stomachs, one on either side of the truck, trying to grab him out from he darted back and forth, just outside of our grasps.  Needless to say, one of us did not keep his cool, and Harley ended up in the kennel for the rest of the afternoon. 

After a LONG weekend, and lots of hard work, we decided to tackle other parts later.  Still wanting some big pots with flowers to add a bit of color, need a new back door, and I'd like to make some new colorful cushions for the patio chairs.  There's time for all of that though....and I don't think I'll be talking my husband into any more yardwork for awhile. :)


  1. Nice Job!! You are well on your way to a beautiful backyard. Now get some rest this week. Being with children all day takes a lot out of you. In a good way, but still tiring. Love you. A. Karen

  2. Looks great - do you hire out?
    Love, Mom