Posts filed under ‘landcscape’
So last year I posted about our backyard “situation.”
See what I mean? It’s a hot mess. This shot is from last summer (before we seeded the lawn) so at least there’s more grass now, but I didn’t even bother taking a new photo b/c it basically looks the exact same otherwise. When we first bought the house there was a huge rotten wood deck that filled the entire backyard space. We had a deck demolition party to tear it out, but after that our progress has sort of sputtered. We couldn’t figure out what to do with it that maximized space while keeping to a budget we could afford.
However, a neighbor gave me this sage advice, “Sit down and doodle. You’ll figure it out.” And you know what? We did! Here’s our plan.
We decided to dress up the old porch slab with a combination of wood and recycled brick. The top and hand rails will be wood, and the sides and front will be cement block covered with recycled brick. Then we’ll put little hedges into the new planters to give some privacy to the deck. I’m so excited to begin that I can’t stand it.
Here are some inspiration images I found to help get us there.
We’re hoping to get started on it soon so that we can actually begin to enjoy the space rather than HATE going back there. But of course, I still have to finish dealing with the mess I made in the powder room and laundry. hah! The joys of homeownership…
There’s just something wonderful about coming home and having flowers growing. I love it. This weekend we spent a little bit of time working in the front yard to trim the grass, pull a few weeds and replace the dead margiolds in the planter on the steps (at left). N decided to try spraying beer on the lawn as a type of fertilizer because he’d heard this worked. (I’m not sure where he heard it, or if it works. I’ll have to report back on that.)
Anyways…the flowers in the planter and the neatly trimmed lawn make me smile every night when I get home and see them there.
Now if I could just get the backyard looking nice. I went anti-organic and did some sort of Scott’s Weed-n-Seed to try and get rid of all the horrible weeds back there. I would have gone a more organic route, but we have poison ivy growing in the yard, and I heard that stuff is supposed to kill it. Meanwhile, I’m also trying to grow grass seed. Hopefully I’ll have something nice to show on that soon. Keep your fingers crossed.
Let it NOT be said of me that I cannot admit my weaknesses… because I fully admit to you now that I am landscape challenged. It hurts me to say that I’m not good at visualizing something to do with my home, and yet for some reason I have a mental block when it comes to the yard. What’s making it especially hard is that I have an extremely low budget for any upgrades.
One of the big reasons for wanting to purchase this house was that my dogs would have a great place to play outdoors, and I’d be able to have people over as well. However, it turns out that what seemed to be rather simple has now turned into something much larger. (Isn’t that ALWAYS the way it happens?) So anyways…here are the issues to contend with:
- Extremely large mulberry tree in the back right corner. Presumably with a large root system as well.
- My yard slopes TOWARDS the house. Definitely need to fix that in some way.
- I have a basement window at ground level to where the yard is now…so a window well would need to be installed if I’m to fill in with more dirt.
- I need at least some some type of retaining wall in the lower left side of the lawn because of the sloping.
- I have an existing cement landing that can either be ripped down or built around, but obviously keeping it would save money.
So those are the big things to remember. I’d definitely like to have more (rather than less) space to entertain and enjoy outdoors. Currently the way that it is definitely doesn’t fit my aesthetic…nor does it make me want to have guests over. In fact, I’d be worried that someone would get hurt back there if I had more than 2 people over.
So here’s the original landscape design (Plan 1.0) drawn up by a local landscaper. Note that I LOVE it…it’s just that he said it would cost $20K to do it. (My reaction was to almost break down in tears when he told me the price. He got a little flustered when he saw that I started to tear up. It’s SOO far above my price range that I was speechless for about 5 minutes. Who knew landscaping was so damn expensive?)
This plan includes ripping down the existing landing, installing a curved retaining wall, brick patio, and steps up to a terraced lawn. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE this plan. However, my pockets don’t run that deep. And me and N are all up for tackling some (or almost all) of the backyard ourselves, but we have no idea how to even get started! This was one of those moments when I seriously looked into calling a home makeover show. This was the first time in my life I would have EVER considered that by the way. However, as it turns out there’s no landscape related reality home makeover shows happening in Philly.
Yesterday I invited a few friends over to help demolish the deck…so our friends Audrey and Michael came over to lend a hand, and it was actually a huge amount of fun. The demolition only took about 45 minutes with the four of us. That was one seriously rotten deck!! The posts weren’t even secured into the ground with concrete. It’s amazing it had lasted that long! Anyways…here are some pics.
Post destruction. Then began the bbq-ing!