Little back yard of horrors…

I know, I know, I fail at updating. Still. It’s one of my resolutions for next year. But for now, I wanted to post an update on my yard. When we made the offer on the house, the yard looked like this –> 

Before we moved in, the city made them regrade the yard and add a culvert. Since it was a foreclosure, they did it on the cheap and our front yard is now sort of a giant ditch.

Only classier.

Sort of.

Regardless, we started on time and everything went really well. I was amazed that it looked better torn apart than it had when we started. We ran out of warm enough weather to finish everything completely this year, but the difference is staggering. 

Our house is built on a hill, which is awesome because it gives us a beautiful walk out basement into our wooded backyard. It sucks because it leaves us with these awkward hills on either side.

In the front we stripped all the weeds, extended the retaining wall beside the porch and trimmed the driveway and sidewalk in red brick trim and river rock.

We still need to trim out the porch with white lattice to match the trim on the house. Then we need to add the woodchips and shrubs. 


The ground was too frozen for the sod to lay flat, so in the spring the landscaper has to come back out and re-roll it with the weighted drum – anyone know if that thing has a name? Either way, lumpy sod still looks better than four -foot-tall weeds. I don’t have to worry about losing my son in the front yard anymore ;) We also had a sprinkler system installed – that’s what the little blue flags are for.

On the far side of the house is the garage and driveway, and beyond that is another boulder retaining wall. This one wasn’t collapsing, but it was completely overgrown with raspberry bushes. At the head of the driveway (is that even a term?) was just a steep dirt and weeds hill with a few boulders at the bottom on one side and a partial black retaining wall on the other. It was like two different people had built walls and couldn’t agree on materials…

We added three levels of boulders, tore out the block wall completely and added cut stone steps. Along the whole driveway and on the back retaining walls, we still need to lay landscape fabric, bring in woodchips and plant some shrubs. I also want to plant climbing, vine-y, creeping plants in the gaps between the boulders to get some green growing.

The cut stone steps are probably my favorite feature in the whole redo. They’re beautiful 10 inch thick slabs of raw granite. The steps lead down to our lovely now-sodded back patio. The red brick and river rock trim continues around the back of the house. I love the way the red bricks look against the red siding. :)


And I realized – after our eight inches of snow today – that I didn’t get a good shot of the firepit in back. We had ‘leftover’ boulders when the landscapers were done so they stripped the brush from a 1000 square foot area giving us a view of our small pond! In the middle of that, they put an awesome boulder fire pit. We have a ton of bonfires – year round – so it’s a perfect fit for our family.

I also didn’t get a pic of the rebuilt boulder wall in back – you know, the one that’s the cause of the whole re do to begin with – but, I already have to do another post in the spring, so we’ll have to include those there :)


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