May 9, 2006

The Backyard Renovation Project- Phase I

"Make no little plans. They have no Magic to stir Men's blood."*

So we’re completely redoing our backyard. It started with the thought that really, we don’t need grass. There’s a park a half mile away that has awesome grass… that we don’t have to cut…. And we use our backyard mainly for grilling out or drinking outside w/ friends. Neither of which requires grass. And I have been all excited about the possibility of growing my own salsa…. And there are a few areas of our back yard that are … well… weed-ridden landscape trash heaps. And if we’re gonna have a nice new patio we don’t want to be looking out at a trash heap.

So we boiled our plans down to three grand but hopefully attainable goals:

  1. general yard landscaping/niceness
  2. veggie garden
  3. Patio

Here’s a before pic – this was taken a few months ago so they are before the weeds took over but you get the idea:

The geeks that we are we spent the weekend before last measuring and then Acad documenting our backyard. No seriously. I have a scaled cad drawing of my back yard. We’re not OCD at all. We decided on a simple 12’ x 10’ brick patio, to clean up the garbage pile and possibly add some plants there**, and to build a 4’ x 8’ raised garden bed for the veggies. A big plan but not ridiculous.

So this weekend…First up a trip to the ‘depot to see where we stood as far as how expensive this "little" patio would be…. 2 hours later we decided that in addition to everything else clearly we need a stone retaining wall, a new planting bed along the fence, landscape fabric to suppress the weed population, and a built-in irrigation system for the entire garden.


So here’s where we’re at so far….

building the stone wall

Canine help

Securing the raised veggie bed

wall and veggie bed built!

wall and new fence planter built!

Neither the veggie garden nor the retaining wall bed are filled yet… there is no point to buying that much dirt when we’re about to dig a 12’ x 10’ x 8" hole for the patio. The irrigation system is bought and designed but is not hooked up yet – we’re waiting for the patio dirt to install that. So yeah… the next two weekends we have to go out of town for various major-life-events of relatives and friends…. But Memorial Day weekend? It’s on.

Phase II plans include:

  • Build patio (like how vague I am about that one?)
  • Install landscape fabric, backfill beds, install irrigation system, add garden soil
  • Buy plants, and actually plant plants in all of these new beds
  • Mulch the crap out of everything
  • Make front yard presentable- move some existing plants, add flower pots to front steps, and mulch.

No little plans happening in our yard!

*bonus points to anyone who can name who said this

Burnham was right! Bonus points to Holly44109 for knowing her early 20th century architects! (i know i'm a geek. i'm fine with it)

**I had dreams of planting the sunflower seeds that I already have along the fence – but it only gets partial sun… will they still grow here or should I find some other tall, easy-care plant? Any suggestions?


  1. Holy landscaping! Can you come to my house and work your CAD magic on our backyard? I can pay you in beer... :)

  2. Cheri9:25 AM

    This is going to look amazing! Let me know if/when you are ready for plants--though I'm sure your Grandma has an abundant array to choose from.

    Matt never did get that mower running, did he? haha

    See you this weekend. The convocation is at noon and I THINK there is a reception afterwards. If not we will have lunch somewhere. If possible I want to go to on a winery tour, maybe Sat late afternoon/evening, though you guys may be heading for home by then. We'll have to see how it goes...see ya!

  3. looks sweet already--- patio (vague plans) better be done by the 4th.........

  4. It's looking good. I'm worn out just looking at your pictures and thinking about all the work you still have to do. Good Luck!!!

  5. holy big project!!! ur yard's gonna be so sweet when it's done!

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog about my garden.

    It looks like you have a great start on your back yard. The retaining wall looks really good!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...