New year, new yard…

Sorry for the long absence again folks- I have no excuse except that I’m a blog slacker lately!  I’m trying to work on that!

So when we bought our house (almost 2 years ago now!), the back yard was kind of a hot mess.  There was no fence, save for a small fenced in area off to one side where the prior owners kept their dogs.  The deck was in desparate need of staining.  There was a lot of buried junk- bottle caps, tools, assorted baby toys (the old owners had a young child).  Little by little, we’ve tried to remedy that.  We put in a fence as soon as we moved in:

Looking at the back yard from the deck- we did three sides 6′ wood privacy and one side 6′ chain link.  You can see the fenced in spot that’s now my garden.  This was taken on the day the fence was finished and the dogs are LOVING the freedom!

 We stained the deck last fall (more on that here, here and here– it’s holding up great by the way!).  We’ve added some plants- currently there are 2 tiny fig trees, a blackberry and 4 blueberry bushes.  We’ve mulched around as many trees as possible and taken out some of the spindle-y ones.  We’ve been slowly working on a rock border (using rocks from the yard- of which there are a TON) to delineate the mulched area from the one day grassy area (as you can see from the photo above, we are severely lacking in grass due to prior owner neglect and all the shade our yard gets in the summer).  We even have a little firepit off to one side, made with rocks from the yard.

Needless to say, the backyard has been a very slow work in progress- and it always gets put on the back burner to other (usually indoor) projects around the house.  Hopefully this year all that will change!!  My very handy husband has been cooking up a scheme to get the backyard looking nice- and very recently has put that plan into motion!  Here’s what he did this weekend (I gave some input on placement, but he did the rest):

See the landscape timbers on the ground?  He stained those with leftover deck stain and then drilled holes in them so he could pound pieces of re-bar through them to secure them in place.  We are planning on putting gravel underneath the deck all the way to the timbers.  The timbers will keep the gravel from going all over the yard- and the gravel will *hopefully* keep the dogs from tracking so much dirt in the house.  Our septic tank lid is also right in front of the deck- so all we should have to do is move the gravel to access it.  To the right and left of the deck will be flower beds (one side already has blueberry bushes planted in it)- you can see one already marked out with landscape timbers.  You can also see part of the rock wall we’ve worked on- there’s a tree to the right, and we’ve mulched with all the leaves that fall off the trees every year (seriously, a perfect free way to keep your trees healthy).  We’re working on a similar rock wall on the other side of the deck.  You can even see some grass growing- hopefully it’ll keep filling itself in over time.  We’re thinking about putting in some moss or other low maintenance ground cover- something shade and drought tolerant.  I’m not a fan of fertilizing and watering, and this area gets a lot of dog traffic, so it needs to be something low maintenance.

Not much to see right now, but it’s still pretty exciting that work is being done, however slowly.  I put in the call today for gravel- 14 yards of it to be exact!!  That should be more than enough to gravel under the deck, and maybe leave us some excess for other parts of the yard. 

This wasn’t the only project we worked on this weekend- stay tuned for an indoor project!!  I promise I’ll post that soon- these week long silences aren’t going to become a habit!

What do you think?

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