Backyard Revival

We are on a roll! With our patio knocked out, we are itching to get the rest of our yard into better shape. And I mean it when I say we have big plans for this yard. To get started, I made a list. Obviously. I have a list obsession. The act of checking things off is just so satisfying!

And this project comes at a perfect time! It’s time for the One Room Challenge again sponsored by Calling It Home. I’m not sure we will actually finish within 6 weeks, but I figure it is looking pretty close, so we might as well try. At the very least, we will make a lot of progress! For those of you who are new to the challenge, it is basically a fun excuse to get a project done that you have been wanting to do, see a ton of other exciting projects, and maybe make a few new friends along the way. I can’t wait to see what everyone is doing this time around!

Here is our list for getting the backyard done:

  • Plan out our yard layout
  • Demo and clear the entire yard
  • Level the yard
  • Install completely new irrigation
  • Build the planter boxes
  • Pour a new mow strip around the yard
  • Prep the future bar area
  • Plant a fruit tree
  • Lay new lawn
  • Pour the concrete patio
  • Plant decorative plants
  • Decorate

So no, we have not checked off decorating on our patio checklist. But don’t worry, we have a good reason.

Let me rewind a little bit. Towards the end of August (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long), I came across a post from Chris Loves Julia. Love their blog by the way. Anyways, they redid their entire side yard and decided to hire someone to tackle it for them. I have never been more inspired to let someone else take over. Complete demo in one day? Are you kidding?! I immediately started looking around for a demo company in our area. Like, if we could get someone to clear out our yard in a day, that would be amazing.

But then we kept thinking and dreaming. And also remembering how hard it was to carry all of the pavers in for the upper patio. See, I had originally imagined having European-styled cobblestone for our lower patio. How cool would that be? But then we thought, how much cooler would it be to not have to do any work for the lower patio? Very. Very cool. But since pavers and stone are super expensive on their own, and even more to have put in, we started looking at other options. And that is what led us to stamped concrete! Our two stamped options are below, and to be honest I can’t tell much of a difference. It still isn’t cheap, especially compared to DIY, but the time and (lack of) effort that we would need to do is way too tempting. So, for that reason, we are holding off really decorating our upper patio. Gotta get our priorities straight!

Roman Slate vs. Old Granite
And now, back to the grand plan. Basically, we want the right half of our yard to be a patio area with a bar (!) and maybe a couple of tables. The left half of the yard will be all grass. That little half fence in the left back corner of the yard is finally gone! It has been a huge help in hiding all of the weeds and messiness back there, but it is time for it to go. In the end, we will have about 1700 square feet of lawn and about that same amount of lower patio. Yes, our yard is huge. Especially considering we don’t live out in the country anywhere. It is one of the main reasons we fell in love with our house.


Let’s travel back in time to when we first bought the house. This yard was glorious. Perfectly manicured and fully functional. The craft room had seen better days, and the patio/sunroom combo wasn’t the greatest, but the landscaping was amazing.



The owners had an above-ground pool in the back corner, so it sat a little lower than the rest of the yard. We learned just how much lower once we got our first real rain. And the ivy had grown so much that all it took was a little wind to knock this fence over. Thank goodness the neighbors had already put up a new fence.


Once we got the pups, we quickly realized that exposed sprinklers could never work. Loki made it his ultimate goal to rip off each sprinkler head he could find. We replaced them a couple of times, but after a few weeks we gave up and let him win. And so, our grass slowly started dying.


And now it is dead. Maybe it would come back a little after some rain? Who knows! We never will if all goes to plan. We have already ripped out the half fence, torn up the decking around the tree, and the hubby has jack-hammered most of the concrete. Over the next couple weeks we need to haul out the concrete, run irrigation that will be under the patio, and take down the covering attached to the craft room. Concrete should get poured by early November!



7 thoughts on “Backyard Revival

  1. Sorry to admit but when you mentioned your dog making it his mission to remove the sprinklers in your yard I had a chuckle… One of ours is making it her mission to dig THROUGH a tree in our back yard- I just dont understand it. Good Luck!


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