Last time I shared with y’all I was fresh into redoing the backyard, so excited about the possibilities. It’s been a month and a half and until this weekend the project hadn’t gone any further.
Luckily the stars aligned and I had the energy AND the time. I told Sr. that all I wanted for my birthday was the materials to bring my vision to life (and his truck to haul it all 🤣).
We’re in the middle of football and softball season so Saturdays are just about the only day we have free so this past Saturday we got to work. Brian and Ella even HELPED!
Two loads of topsoil later and we’ve got a pretty good, level base for the pea gravel. The two railroad ties from the existing garden bed, of which we removed 4-5 feet in July ended up being great borders for the two sides. These are only temporary –Sr. thinks the ties are yellow jacket magnets and wants to get rid of all of them down the road. I used rock from a pathway I removed in the front gardens to round out the corner between the two ties. This matches the layered rock corners found elsewhere around the house gardens.
We also decided to move the azalea, opening up the space even more–another 3-4 feet. This was my brother Josh’s brilliant idea! We moved it to the little outside corner of the space and added some rocks. The larger space now has me thinking we could open the stairs up more on the corner to further connect the space!
Next up, I’ll dig a trench to fix a standing water issue at the patio and divert it downhill, add landscape fabric, and then pea gravel and done! I’m hoping I can get to it all by this weekend. 🤞🏻🤞🏻
Last summer, despite Sr.’s disapproval, I put a pool up. He was against the idea for two reasons
1. He’s not a fan of pools(unless there’s a slide going into the pool, he doesn’t see the point) and thinks they attract mosquitos. 🙄
2. He thought I’d ruin the grass.
While it didn’t attack mosquitos, the pool was more trouble than it was worth, and, given all the sand I put down to level the spot for the pool, I ruined the grass. 😬
But with failure comes opportunity!
So now I’m working on a renovation of the “old” pool area by opening the space up and adding a dining and firepit area. Before I get into the details of my vision and progress so far, here are a few other reasons why I’m making a change:
It’s significantly cooler it was under the shade of that big oak tree than in the shade of our gazebo on the other side of the porch.
During our mothers day cookout, I became frustrated with how segregated the two dining areas were–with the sunroom between the two spaces it can be hard to monitor the kids (if they are on the other side) or have a conversation with the rest of the party.
I never really liked the table that came with the sectional under the gazebo–I prefer that sectional to be a sitting space.
The walkout patio has always been too small to be functional for us but I’d prefer to use that door more for coming in and out, especially after sledding in the winter when we need to head straight to the laundry room to remove our wet clothes and set them to dry (the laundry room is directly to the right of the walkout). Currently, we use the sunroom or garage entrance and then have to walk through the main floor and down to the living room to access the laundry.
The brickwork at the end of the patio also collected water after rains, which needs to be addressed. It’s not causing damage, it just annoys me.
I needed another project to fill the time that I don’t have this summer 🤣
Alright, so what’s the plan? So glad you asked!
Cue vision board!
Okay, so the plan is to remove a portion of the existing border gardens to open the space for an easier flow to the new conversation/firepit area and add a dining space behind it. Oh, and those wagon wheel chandeliers, hoping to get some old wheels from the family ranch back in Texas. We almost came home with a few in June but they were much heavier than I anticipated.
All this new space will be filled with pea gravel… primarily because it’s inexpensive and I’m too half-assy to do anything more legit.
I’ll also be fixing the pooling water at the edge of the walkout patio.
And since there is a bit of a grade to the lawn (the area under the tree and where the bench swing is higher than the lawn space in front of the patio), I’ll build up the new space to the height of the railroad ties using a layered rock border so it can taper off as it goes uphill.
We’ve already begun working on the space–removing portions of the existing garden beds and moving some of the river rock to expand/define the pathway.
Heat and a busy schedule (and a baby) have kept me from making much more progress in the last month but I’m hoping to complete the space before the end of fall so we can make some good nights by the fire happen before winter!