Back Yard Overhaul

One of the main reasons we bought this house, stupidly, was because the landscaping was so gorgeous. We were just young, dumb kids excited to buy our first home and overlooked all types of issues because it looked pretty. Not realizing that landscaping is a constant battle to keep up. We have lived here about 3 years and since most of that time we were both working full time, we never spent much time on the outside of the house. We never really got to sit outside to enjoy it, and when we did go outside we were in the backyard where we have an 8ft privacy fence.

Now that I am staying home, I have been attempting to bump up our curb appeal. We may want to sell the house in the next year or so, and we need to fool some dumb kids into buying it make it look really pretty. I ordered an American flag and an Engineer flag for out front to show our patriotism and support for Wonderful Husbands branch of the military. I bought some hanging baskets for both the front and the back to give a splash of color, I even dug up the edge of the flower beds and laid down some paving stones.

I took on whole day and ripped all the porch furniture into the back yard to scrub it down. I mixed up a batch of homemade porch cushion cleaner and scrubbed the cushions and pillows too (total waste of time, I resorted to a strong hose spray and scrub brush, the cleaner was useless). I washed down the porch, cleaned the windows, and ordered a wreath for the front door.

I was feeling really proud of myself for the front of the house, it looks incredibly better, and I have actually been spending some time sitting out there now. As for the back yard, there was a lot more work to be done.

We used to have two dogs. Unfortunately, we had to re-home our Pitbull not long after we moved in because our neighbors were causing too many problems for us. We still have our German Shep mix. When we moved in, our back yard was beautiful, it had big pretty trees and shrubs. There were rose bushes, flowers, mulch, lava rocks. It was like a little oasis. Within a week the dogs had destroyed it. The roses were trampled, the mulch was everywhere. The trees had nibble marks all over them. Worst of all, grass all along the privacy fence that borders the road was gone. There was a mud pit where our beautiful yard used to be. I searched for a photo to post, but, understandably, I don’t have any good pictures of what it looked like. All I found were these :

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And these are incredibly old, probably close to two years old, so imagine being much, much worse.

For the most part, we have just dealt with it. Not really knowing what to do, or how do it. I finally dug out all the sad little dead bushes that were still there, and trimmed up the ones that had survived. Then I decided that we should just throw down a border, and put stone where the dog runs. That way it would till look presentable, rock is very “in” right now, and the dog would still have a place to run without kill all my grass. Wonderful Husband was right on board with me and went out immediately to start digging up the yard. We decided we would dig it up, build a little wall, and then put rock along the fence.

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Here is a pretty picture of the process of building the wall and digging up the ground. I took it from inside, so please ignore my screen.

Once we dug it up, and I got my hands in the dirt, my longing for a real garden came on again. I have wanted a real, in the ground, garden for years. But, our lot is so small we were never sure how to go about it. I have been gardening in containers (and failing miserably) and it just doesn’t give the same thrill.

When I mentioned it, Wonderful Husband agreed and built me a garden box for one corner

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I have 14 varieties of plants in there! Everybody is doing really well and my zucchinni is blooming!

Of course, once we saw how nice the wall looked, and how nice the black fabric looked, we decided we wanted to mulch it instead. So, now we are in the process of shopping for good mulch prices and arguing about good mulch colors. WH wants black mulch, I want anything but black mulch.

I am so happy with it and so excited to have a real garden this year! Hopefully we get a better crop than my container gardens gave!

Now we have a really neat little space in the back yard to sit and enjoy our time (and our fire pit!) without having to stare at mud and dead grass.

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