09 August 2013

Oasis in Progress: Backyard Project

I love working out in the yard. Unfortunately with so many inside projects monopolizing our time, we haven’t been able to put a lot of energy into outdoor projects (minus cutting grass that grows about 4 inches a day. Okay that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I’m talking about!) Most of our yard is a very, very blank slate and is going to take some serious work. I can’t wait until I have the time to really sink my teeth into it. But we were able to focus on a little corner of our backyard in a high-traffic area.

When we bought the house there was an area that you walk through from the driveway to get to the back door that was previously just dirt and a few pavers that they had put out. It was ugly, barren, and un-welcoming. Not ideal. Luckily for us the previous owners left a lot of materials behind including a huge stack of bricks, river rocks, and some very poorly placed plant material.

BEFORE: Okay this is not a true “before” because we already started doing work before I remembered to take a pic, but it gives you kind of an idea what it had looked like. (Trust me you aren't missing much. It was very sad.)

 With the help of my mom (and fluff), we outlined two new flowerbeds with some of the left-behind bricks (dig out a small trench, put the bricks in, make sure they are level, and fill dirt in around them.) We also moved lilies that had been in the front yard to one of the new beds we had just made. The lilies are gorgeous, but their height just made them awkward in the front flowerbed where they had been in (positioned in the front of the bed they were blocking and overcrowding the other plant materials.)


 We added a few more pavers that the other owners had left behind to fill in and make things more symmetric. Using the river rocks, we made where water drains from the gutter more attractive and a nice break between the flowerbed and the gravel under the deck.

We really tried to re-use a lot of material we already had. The biggest expense of the project is the pea gravel we filled in around the pavers with (we decided to fill in with the gravel because it just seemed like it was going to be too difficult to get grass to grow there) and the mulch. I feel like with both materials you always have to buy more than you think – or is that just me?! We haven’t finished putting mulch in the big bed we created because we want to add more planting material, but it is not an ideal time to plant things. We will finish it in the fall.


One of my favorite things I did buy for the area was the blue pot I am going to plant a small tree in. It was such a bargain….$30 on sale from Homegoods (that store is a dangerous, dangerous place and I LOVE it!!) ANDDDD bonus…..remember that porch furniture I fixed up for Kevin for Easter? Well it is all set up and we have thoroughly enjoyed grilling out and relaxing on the back deck this summer. I did add an umbrella from Target I got on sale for $20 (score!) Ideally I would love to screen the deck in and do the grilling on the patio, but that is NOT going to happen anytime soon!

Do you guys have any good sprucing up your yard tips? Send them our way! And as always, happy DIYing all!!!

Xoxo, Christie

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