And now, the backyard

Once upon a time, we had an acceptable backyard—I might even say a good backyard. It had grass and trees, sunshine and shade.

But then our backyard was sacrificed in the name of home renovation, and we were left with this:

I have no words (well, I do have words, but I won’t write them here).

Now we have a mud pit the size of a soccer field, four kids, and a puppy, and we’re in the middle of the wettest spring in recent history. To say my kitchen floors are dirty and dusty would be an understatement. Not to mention that one area near the house has been filling up with water, and we had a flood in our basement.

We’ve got to get the backyard in tiptop shape in quick order. I guess we are embarking on Stage Two of the remodel: Fix the yard.

I mocked up this rendering in a free app called Home Outside. Try it out!

Here’s the checklist:

  • Paint the exterior trim (that couldn’t be done in the fall because temps were too cold by the time we were ready for paint)
  • Add some gutters (cute ones if at all possible)
  • Install a few sprinkler heads (but our sprinkler guy is booked out for almost a month—ugh)
  • Build a deck (we’ve already found our guy and are waiting to get a bid back on lumber)
  • Lay a section of flagstone (that’s where we’ll have a table for eating al fresco)
  • Plant sod and flowers to fill in the blanks
  • Cry over our depleted bank account

That’s a pretty solid order of tasks to be completed, and we hope to make progress by mid-May. We’ve already brought in three truckloads of dirt to level things out and hopefully direct precipitation away from the house.

I indulged and bought seven Manhattan euonymus bushes to get landscaping started outside. These babies are supposed to grow ridiculously fast and reach five feet or so.


Our dream is to have a backyard that looks like this. Quaint and cozy, just like the house. I’ll keep you up to date on the progress.

Tell me, are you tackling big outdoor projects this year? If so, do share. •

7 thoughts

  1. What a fun backyard project! We recently moved into a five-acre lot and are now attempting to plant 250+ trees and bushes around the property. Yikes! This spring will definitely be an exciting one! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to see the finished product!


      1. I’ll keep you posted via my blog. We’re actually picking the trees up right now!


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