Sep 7, 2014

Backyard Before & After

I'm the world's worst blogger these days.  My backyard has been done for weeks now, and I am just getting around to blogging the before & after pics now.  It has just been a mad house around here.  This summer, we tackled a new deck, new landscaping, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen reno.... all the while, juggling the kids at home and our regular, every day madness.  But thankfully, it's all coming to an end, and I can see the light.

We weren't even planning on doing anything to the yard this year.  It certainly wasn't part of this year's reno budget...whoops.  But after the world's longest winter, I begged and pleaded (whined) to the hubby, and he caved.  

Here are some 'Before" pics of our yard.  It was a completely unusable space.  We had these massive, hideous pine trees and that gave the grass a full layer of prickly needles and nasty pine cones.  The yard was so sloped, that really we couldn't do anything with it.  No garden, no swing set, no fire pit.. natta.  The one piece of the yard that was flat was covered in gravel and weeds.  I believe some previous owners may have had an above ground pool??  I dunno.  All I know is that you had to have shoes on back there, and there was no way to sod it even if we wanted to.  

(I just spent an hour looking for my 'before' pics, and can't find anything, so I'm jumping right to the "during" pics)

Trees are gone and deck footings are going in!

This pic really shows that horrible gravel/weed/must-wear-shoes section

This pic doesn't do the sloped yard justice.  It really was a horrible slope that ruined the space

2 big ass pine trees GONE!

Here are the "after" pics.  I'm very happy with the outcome!

My goodness, my picture taking skills are sucking lately... you get the idea.

We leveled the yard off into 2 separate sections with a whopper retaining wall. I'm inlove with my deck.  Originally, I was going to do something fancy with a built in fire pit and different sections, but at the end of the day, we decided to go with something simple, and functional.  I'm so happy we did, because it's a great, usable space now.

We have a ton of room to do whatever we want now.  We are planning on plating a few gardens, and adding more cedars for privacy next year.  

I also plan on removing that hideous chunk, block thing in the corner some people refer to as a "water feature".  I was adamant against such feature, I am still adamant that such feature needs to be sledgehammered.  So, we will see next year.... honestly, it's embarrassing and needs to go.  Whatever.

Worst part of the whole experience was that it was a 3 week job, that turned into a 3 month job.  My fault for not laying down the law with our landscapers.  Lesson learned through this whole process, is to get EVERYTHING in writing.  Including a reasonable timeline. I still don't understand why people think it's okay to work on several jobs at a time.  Here's my job - finish it - then move on to the next.  SO frustrating.  

At the end of the day, I'm so glad that we forked out the dough to complete our yard this year.  It's been a a great space for us to enjoy this summer, and I SO look forward to adding lots of personal touches next year.  It's a great foundation.  The retaining wall has lent hours of fun for the kids to play on.  They run circles in the yard while I lay in the sunny hammock and drink beer.. Me happy :) (Thanks Hunny!!) So, so, so happy.