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baby steps in the backyard

Comment ♥ 898 days ago

The backyard is coming along nicely. Slowly, but nicely. Over last weekend, we stained the fence and started building the small patio outside of the living room. We cleared the ground, removed the little concrete slab, and then filled the area with 4-5” of gravel and 2” of sand. Then we spent a day figuring out how to arrange all the paving stones in the correct ‘random’ pattern.

We still have to rent a masonry saw to trim the end pieces, and then brush sand between the stones. And then comes the planting. There’s about a foot-and-a-half of space where I want to…do something? I know nothing about plants and gardening. I want the area to fill up with lots of lush greenery but I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m afraid that whatever I end up planting there is going to be looking pretty tragic in a few months.

Our yard isn’t quite as small as it seems in the picture, but our house is at a weird angle on the lot, so there is only about 8’ of space between the back of the house and the back fence. The rest of the yard is off the side and we still have to plan what we’re doing with that. We will probably just lay down sod for this year and deal with making it fancy next spring. You know, after we come into a million dollar inheritance or something.

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backyard dreamin'

Comment ♥ 915 days ago

Summer is getting painfully close and we’re finally starting to begin to consider possibly starting work in our backyard. I don’t step outside at all if I can avoid it during the summer days here, but the evenings are perfect and I need a place to enjoy them and all the delicious food I’m going to make Cris grill. Also, the crazy toddler I’ve got running around here somewhere? He’d love to be running outside in something other than weed-filled dirt.

please ignore the dirt…and everything except the cute kid in monkey boots

I’ve got lots of big ideas for the backyard, of course. I want a lawn, a swing set and a playhouse for Ezra, a hanging bed underneath a vine-covered pergola, twinkle lights everywhere , a veggie garden that magically takes care of itself, an outdoor ceiling fan and, yes, one of those mister things somewhere because holy crap it gets hot. While we’re at it, I’d also love if we could somehow transform it into ocean-front property with private beach access. Is there a tutorial on pinterest for that yet?

Our yard is small and odd-shaped and we have a budget of about zero dollars and I am the worst person ever at keeping plants alive, so whatever. Screw you, big dreams!

For now, we’re going to start with a small patio along the back of the house. A ton (maybe even a literal ton!) of gravel and sand and paving stones were unceremoniously dumped on our driveway yesterday, so now we get to put this whole thing together. You know, because we’re totally professional patio builders and we have so much free time and such a passion for manual labor. It’s going to great.

earning his keep around here

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hello march

Comment ♥ 964 days ago

February was hard. Too many late nights, too many projects going on, never enough time. Never enough coffee. After this weekend, I think things will settle down and I’ll be able to breathe a little bit. I’m saying that very quietly so I don’t jinx it. Shhh.

This month, I really really need to finish (and, uh, start) turning the spare room into my home office because slouching on the couch with a laptop all day is killing my back. And at the end of the month, we’re both taking a week off of work to turn the weed-filled patch of dirt behind the house into a real live backyard, with a patio and a garden and trees and all that crap. I’m sure there will be no problem with completing that in a week by two people who have no idea what they’re doing and a very limited budget, right? Right. It’s going to be awesome.

(Please send help.)

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