The Backyard

This is the first year since we have lived here (actually since… ever) that I have been interested in doing yard work. I have just never really been a fan of digging around in the dirt or of being out in the heat. But for some crazy reason, I’m actually wanting to make changes to our yard. Sure, I have always wished it looked different, I just never felt the urge to do something about it. I’m hoping this new desire is a lasting one. Maybe it means I’m finally growing up :)

I have all sorts of ideas for what it could look like but I’m just taking things a day at a time. Mostly because that is all that our budget allows for and because I don’t want to start stuff and end up with a bunch of half finished projects outside. With the exception of the addition of my little garden, I just feel like I’m supposed to work with what I have. Start actually taking care of the stuff that is already going on and add to it slowly. Just taking care of what I’ve got is going to be an improvement! Jason has always handled things like mowing, raking, and trimming bushes but I want to do my part and start working on flower beds and stuff like that. Who knows, this could get interesting :)

Yesterday I went outside and took some pictures of how things look now. Jason had just mowed the lawn the day before so this is as good as it gets. Here is a little tour of our yard with a little bit of commentary…

We live on a little hill, not quite at the top but really close. This pictures shows what the house looks like when you drive up to it. I wish the telephone post wasn’t there :) I also would take out that large magnolia tree in the front yard if money were no object. It’s not that I don’t like magnolias. It’s that I don’t like that one. First of all, it’s huge and it blocks the whole house. Secondly, it doesn’t even do its part by producing lots of blooms. If you look closely, you can see a few blooms on it. That is all it will ever get and it’s not enough for me :) I do love the weeping cherry tree next to it though and I am definitely keeping it! I also want to do something with that blasted mailbox, what an eyesore!

When you pull into the driveway, this is what you will see. Our property lines stops right about at the bushes on the right.

Here is our front yard view if you are standing in the driveway. Yep, that big tree has got to go. Look at all the leaves! That thing produces leaves year round and they are always everywhere no matter how much we rake.

Here is the little weeping willow that we have in the backyard. You can see it from the driveway when you pull in. I love this little tree.

Here is the main part of our backyard. The stump in the middle was from a really pretty tree that died. So sad… When we moved here we were apparently in a drought but we didn’t know it because we had never experienced a summer here before. Because of that, the tree didn’t get enough water and died. Then last year, it fell during a storm and we cut it down but still haven’t removed the stump. Add that to my list of things to do :)

Here is the view if you are standing at the very edge of our yard. You can see the little weeping willow and you can get a sense of how far the yard goes. In our neighborhood no one really has fences. You just go from one yard to the next. For the most part, I really like it because everything feels very open. But sometimes, I wouldn’t mind a bit of privacy. I have some plans for that too :)

Alrighty, here is the back of the house. From the left, the first top window is the guest room, next the guest bath, then the new studio. On the bottom from the left, the first window is the garage, the next two smaller windows are the laundry room and the half bath. The door and the window next to it are the family room. The bay window and door next to it is the kitchen and the far window on the right is the dining room. I really should do a video tour sometime…

A bit closer. You can see we have access to our little patio from the kitchen and family room. I would really love to have a pergola over the patio. That is definitely a future project. I also want outdoor furniture really bad because I think we would actually use this space if we had something to sit on :)

Now I am standing at the opposite corner of the yard looking to the back. Because we are on a hill, there are neighbors behind us but they are down the hill so we actually can’t see them from our yard. Plus there is a row of bushes that block them from view and create some privacy. I’m very thankful for that row of bushes!

Are you still hanging in there with me? Sheesh, this is a long tour! This gives you another view of the back of the house from the other side. I’m thinking I might relocate the bush next to the dining room window and plant a little garden there next year. I would be able to come down the steps from the kitchen and tend to it plus pick the produce when it comes time. I would also love to have a rain barrel attached to the down spout there for ease of watering the garden. I told you I have a lot of plans!

Here is the side of the house by the dining room looking towards the front yard. Our yard goes to where the ivy starts. In this space I would really like to start a compost pile but I want it to be pretty which means I will need to hide it somehow. Oh believe me, I have ideas for that as well! This space is virtually hidden from most views except from the neighbor next door so it would make a good spot for it.

Another view from the corner of the house looking toward the backyard. The large bush in the middle desperately needs to be trimmed back, it grows like a weed! Right now it is hiding the birdhouse that is there.

See, would it be lovely to have a pergola over the patio?! And, I would also love to have french doors coming from the family room instead of the single door that is there now. I also really need to do something with the area by the steps. It is horrendous! I have to be careful what I do there though because under the bay window is the basement window that is in Jason’s office. I really don’t want to put a bush there because it would block all the light. I’m still thinking on what to do with that one.

And one last shot of the patio. Lots of clean up needs to be done here. I will probably never be caught up on all of my yard work but at least I’m starting to do something about it. Eventually, I hope it will be an oasis for us. A place where we can have parties and enjoy the outdoors. Someday :)

Whew! That completes our tour. If you made it the whole way through I am really impressed. If anyone likes to work in the yard and wants to come help, let me know :) Or if you have any suggestions on how to make this space better, I’m all ears.