Backyard Transformation

So when we moved in our backyard was not cute.  We had a huge bougainvillea which attracted birds (and their poop) from miles around and dead grass in the shape of an "8" surrounded by a brick border.  The gravel was full of weeds and just boring.  We do have a patio but it is such an odd shape it really left no place for a table and chairs... it was bad.  We have completely revamped our backyard but we did it in a few different stages due to weather and money.  I do apologize, we started this project in 2008 WAY before I started this blog so I don't have great before and afters but the transformation to me is so much better than where we started and I wanted to share it.

Transformation #1

The first big, easy-ish change was to mow and chop down the bougainvillea.  Killing the bush took a few trys and eventually Jason buying an axe and going to town.  Next up was to remove the brick border which we found out was held in place by buried cement...awesome.  We broke a shovel or two trying to pry it all up.

That is the evil bougainvillea at the bottom right (still alive), before the axe incident but after chopping it to pieces twice.

No more bougainvillea...

Yes, our dog always likes to be "involved" in our projects

View from the small patio looking out into the yard, brick border is gone!

We got married in a friends backyard under that gazebo and thought it would be great to add to our yard.  Our next plan is to put in a paver patio over there for a place for an outdoor sitting area.  (Looks a little trashy in this stage but it was the only patio furniture we had)

Our sad little backyard... minus one brick border.  (I added the vines along the back wall and by the patio posts.  The ones along the back wall are still alive and kickin' but the post ones did not survive.*)

*Fun Fact*
 Lowes and Home Depot take back dead plants up to a year after you buy them!  You must save your receipt and it can't be your $1.98 annuals but vines, bushes, trees, etc. have a 1 year warranty.  How great is that for those of us not great at gardening?!?! (I take back at least 5 failed plants a year...oops)

Transformation #2

Up next was to push back all of the rock to the wall, getting rid of the "dog bone" grass shape and start on the paver patio. 

It is kind of hard to see in this picture but we (Jason) pushed the gravel back closer to the wall and we will install a small border around that.  We will eventually bring the grass up to the border for just a big rectangle of grass instead of our figure 8.

We marked out where we wanted to patio to go.  Jason then dug the 12' x 12' pit for our paver patio and as you can see the dog is "helping" again.

Lots of pavers, lots of moving pavers... from the store to the truck, the truck to the backyard, and finally the backyard to their final resting place as our new patio.  I also bought three plastic trellises and used them to hide the a/c unit, didn't work as well as I was hoping but it is better than nothing?!?

Jason put down 6" of sand as a base for the pavers.  We then bought two different sized pavers and per the advice of the paver salesman, installed them in a random pattern.  (We did do the entire border in the larger sized paver though)

We then brushed sand over the top to lock the pavers in place and put the gazebo centered on the patio.  The yard stayed in this stage for a little while, sad patio chairs and all.

Backyard Transformation #3

We added grass and finally got a "grown up" patio set.  (Well, my mom gave us her old one when they moved)  We had to install a new sprinkler system for the grass and had to wait for the right time of year to plant the new grass seed which is what caused the delay from stage 2 - 3.

Pretty "new" table and chairs.  The center on the table can be changed into a cooler for drinks or a fire pit, we usually leave in like this though.

I don't have any pictures of Jason installing the new sprinklers but it was a lot of digging and laying PVC pipe, installing sprinkler heads, etc.  We put down the grass seed and covered with a topper since this was our first winter lawn.  Please note my husbands excitement with our success and our wonderful puppy pouncing all over our newly sprouting grass!

Thanks sweet puppy, I am sure that is great for the growing grass :)

So here is the best before and after I can come up with:



I will keep rifling through my pictures to see if I have any better shots.  I will also update the "After" soon, we just planted our second year of winter grass and are in ugly transition state right now.

Also, I would love any tips or ideas for the backyard.  Landscaping/gardening is not my niche so I certainly welcome any and all help!

1 comment:

jeremy said...

Those sprinklers were a lot of work for the 2 hours I was there, I am still dealing with the blisters. :) I also remember Jason laughing alot while we were doing this, I think the heavy duty glue was getting to him....

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