Backyard Update

We have passed the halfway point of our backyard redo! We still have a few more weekends of work, but it’s coming along nicely (although over budget…)!

It took Chris and I a few days to clear the front (the main part of the yard) and the back dirt area. We had decided that the front section ::cough, cough the larger area ;):: was my part, and the back area where the shed would go was Chris’ part.

I raked up all the leaves and leveled out the dirt. I seriously do not know where all this dirt came from, it’s ridiculous. I have never been involved in such manual labor before, my hands were cracked and blistered even with wearing gloves. I knew I wanted to make a raised garden area along the right side of the yard where we had a few trees removed months ago. So I shoveled a lot of dirt over to that section and then I debated on what to use as a retaining wall. First I was going to use bricks I saw at Home Depot, but those can add up quickly. And tbh, I didn’t really want to haul the bricks in from the car. I’m super lazy. Then I had my a-ha moment. In the back corner of the yard we have a humongous pile of wood from the chopped down trees. I could take some stumps to make a border around my garden! Of course I had this idea in my head, but I needed to see it on Pinterest to see if this was an actual “thing.” 😛

The humble beginnings of my garden. To be continued…

I had Chris help with picking up the logs and placing them, and now I’ve got a pretty good layout. You may have figured this out about me (if you don’t already know me), but when I want to get something done, I get it done. Now. So we went off to Home Depot and Green Thumb Nursery to determine what to plant. So far we have rosemary, a basil plant that has already died, some grassy looking bushes, some marigolds (one has died), and my pride and joy: two tomato plants. They have just begun to –what word am I looking for here– blossom/produce/sprout tomatoes and I can’t wait to eat them!

I’m waiting for some pink muhly to be in season (shortly) so I can buy a couple and put them along the wall (where there are currently weeds…). And I’d like to fill in the area with larger plants.

pink muhly
Image c/o Pinterest

Next I was on the hunt for planks to make a pathway from the patio to the back section. I searched Craigslist and other websites until my friend Shannon told me that her boyfriend could get me all the wood I wanted! They dropped off a TON of wood, they are my wood angels! So I dug a small sized trench maybe an inch deep and got going on sanding the wood. I didn’t treat the wood, which is a mistake, but for this go around I really just wanted to make a quick path for better access to the back while Chris made the shed.

The pathway today. It needs some TLC!

At first it worked pretty well. After I laid the path, I hosed it down to get it muddy, then I walked all over it to really get the wood down in the dirt. After a couple of weekends the planks started to become loose and move around 😦 I think I am going to replace this pathway with mulch, I am sad to report.

Speaking of mulch, I dug up the hidden pavers that led to the back patio with the table and chairs. They had been covered with dirt, so I lifted them up, placed edging along the path and filled in the spaces with a brown mulch. I need to buy a few more bags because I am going to do the same with the back patio!

Looking back toward the house

Originally I hadn’t planned on putting down sod. But now it is a for sure. I’m going to place it from the side of the wooden planks all the way over to the garden. I’m still debating whether to hire someone to do this for me or not ($$$).

Backyard circa 1992

So while I was working on this, Chris and his dad, Joe, were getting to work on the shed! Chris found some plans online and he calculated out how much wood and materials they would need. With the help of Joe they came up with a solid plan. The first weekend was spent making the foundation. You can’t just put a shed on the dirt floor!

Joe creating a level base

Then they took a weekend off and then started the framing.

The first wall is up!
Oliver was a good apprentice!
I’m the supervisor, Joe is the contractor, and Oliver is the worker bee 😉
Framing is done!

It just took one more long weekend for Joe and Chris to put up the roof, siding, and door! My dad will install a window at a later time, we just wanted to get this shed up so we could get our stuff out of the storage unit and move it in!

Our no frills shed!

There’s still some work to be done on the shed! We finally unloaded out storage pod last weekend and moved everything in the shed (P.S. There is going to be a HUGE neighborhood garage sale next weekend. I have 15+ bags of clothes among other items for sale!). I still need to paint —my mom wants it to be green so it kind of blends in with the trees and I’m going to make the door a bright color. And we need to zhoosh it up! We’ve got a ton of wood left over, so I’d like to make a trellis like feature for over the door. I also need to make a ramp or step up the the structure. We also need some major beautification in the very back (yikes!!).

Home Depot has this neat thing in store where you can scan the paint samples and see how they’d look on various walls, etc.
Image c/o Pinterest
Image c/o Pinterest

We still have a ways to go, but it is definitely coming along!! I can’t wait to have grass in the backyard again!

xx, Christine


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