Backyard Makeover

I love to garden and really didn’t know I had somewhat of a green thumb. Except for those dang tomatoes!! Oh well… This house has a huge yard, more so than I expected frankly. In my niavety, I thought “Gosh how fun this will be!!!”. In reality, it took a lot of sweat to get the yard to its current state. The upside? — I never have to go to the gym!! 😎

Here’s what I started with. I wish I had taken more ‘before’ pics. When you look at this picture and then see the final pictures imagine the the whole yard looking like this. There was literally N-O-T-H-I-N-G in the backyard. The previous owners didn’t like to garden and that’s cool. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have bought the house if it was already ‘done’ and had no projects for me.

Did I say there was NOTHING in the yard?

Soooo much potential. When you see the final pics you will see just how large this yard really is but imagine nothing but scrappy grass and NO curb appeal.

TASK #1 Steps

First task, add a staircase to go from the terrace level to the deck. I’d never done this before so there was a little trial and error. But in the end super happy with the result.

Fortunately we get regular rain so I never have to water these beds. I plant them in the spring and that’s about it for the season. Short of weeding and laying moth balls to fend off the deer, pretty hassle-free.

Task #2 Flagstone Patio

Next task, lay a flagstone patio and build a planter box. Again, never laid flagstone but lots of videos online so off we went…. Thanks to my sweet daughter who gave up her Saturday to lug flagstone pieces from the other side of the yard. I used polymeric sand as the ‘glue’.

My goodness things have grown haven’t they??

Task #3 Drainage Resolution

Next task, deal with the drainage issue in the path from the side yard to the back yard. My sweet Steve and I took pick axes and any other tool that might work to dig a drain path and hook into the existing drainage system. LOTS of tree roots. Then I laid stepping stones and pea gravel. Fixed!

Task #4 Garden Gate

Yep there’s more…. I love garden gates! They just seem so romantic and inviting. I built the arbor and gates next.

The blue matches the Adirondack chairs, front door and kitchen window shutters.

Task #5 Screen Porch and Deck Expansion

The deck was existing but I’m craving a screened porch so I can have a dutch door. How great would it be to just open up the top part of the door in the Spring and Fall and listen to the birdies sing?? But for now, that’s on the list of ‘how can I make this happen??’

Flowers are super fun to work with and again, short of watering and lots of Miracle-Gro, pretty hassle free.

I love using plants of different heights to give visual interest. Yep I wish that hose wasn’t there either πŸ˜‰

Enjoy your yard — get your exercise and vitamin D at the same time! A fun fact, 95% of the rocks and boulders in the pictures were dug up by me in the process of the backyard project. The very large ones were there already, thank goodness. I think my yard was a rock quarry in its past life! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Take care and stay tuned for the next project!! (Never a shortage!)


Follow meeee on Instagram at eastofwaco

Author: Jennifer Stambek-Stephens

I am one of those people that has spent their adult life saying "How hard can it be????". If you combine that with a frugalness, that is exceeded only by my younger daughter, you have a combination that is often very successful but not without its 'ooops' moments. ;-) I've never wanted to spend the money to hire a professional so I learned how to do things myself. I wanted crown molding, too expensive, so I learned how to do it. Same thing with building, landscaping, painting, lighting, sewing, yada yada -- you get where I'm going with this I'm sure. :-) I have the tools and the experience for so many projects. Through this site I am sharing my skills and lessons learned to help others develop that "How hard can it be??" spirit in your home. If you want it, have been dreaming about, lusting after your friends version, posted a million posts of it to your Pinterest board --let's make it happen and within your budget. I'm a decorator AND the creator -- no middleman markup. I'm running out of projects in my house, (short of building an addition!) so lets get to work on yours! Whether it's slipcovers, new window treatments, making that dining room table look like it DID come from RH or helping you develop your own style I would be thrilled and honored to assist!

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