Backyard update

    July 11, 2016

    It’s been pretty quiet here in blogland, but the next few posts should help explain why. The hubby and I have been hard at working doing a crazy amount of home projects the last few months! Some were planned, some were more spontaneous, but they are all getting the finishing touches and I thought I’d share them with you. We’ll start with the backyard.

    Scroll through the photos to see what the yard looked like in April:

    We didn’t do too much with the yard when we moved in last year, mostly because we wanted to get the lay of the land, see what we were working with. Turns out we had a few distinct areas: 1. The deck. Definitely a great bonus to the house, very well-used but in need of paint and some deck furniture. 2. The sandbox, garden and general lawn. Loved the vegetable beds, but the sandbox is just strange space and the lawn could use some new grass seed. 3. The playground hole. There was a massive playground on the mulch when we moved in but, since we’re not planning on kids for a few years at least, we sold it last year so we could better utilize the space, though we were lacking vision.

    Fast forward two months, and this is what we’ve accomplished!

    The deck


    After minor deliberation, we decided to hire out restaining the deck (there was no way I was going to tackle all those spindles!). And boy am I glad we did. We hired TJ’s Painting and they were incredible! They powerwashed the deck, drilled in loose screws (and there were many) and gave the deck two coats of a beautiful brown stain. No more weird red deck, it actually complements the house color!


    We put the deck lights back up because they add such a great ambiance, and they look great with the deck furniture we got from Target. We had a bit of a delivery fiasco (over 3 weeks to get the furniture) but in the end the wait was totally worth it. We’ve already used the table and chairs many times. We finished the deck off with some plants and herbs for color.


    The garden


    Having a wildflower garden is something I’ve always wanted and I’ve slowly been adding to the hostas and lilies that already inhabited the back yard. My dad’s wife grabbed a ton of plants on sale and brought them down as a surprise one day and established this great wildflower garden surrounding the raised vegetable bed! It’s been wonderful having them and I’m excited to have wildflower bouquets all summer long.


    The sandbox is still a work in progress. We were going to take all the sand out, add some dirt and seed the whole area, but there’s a lot more sand in there than we anticipated because the land is sloped downward at the corner. Instead, we’ve started filling it with planters and will slowly start moving the mulch from the playground hole to cover the sand.

    The playground hole

    This area had us completely stumped. There were three areas here: mulch, rock and the wood slats/concrete area. We thought through a few different iterations but nothing really panned out until we got…a hot tub! Long story, but it fit perfectly on the wood area, so we went for it. But it was leaking and had to be taken back for repairs for a week or so, and Dad decided he and I should build a new deck for it. Why not?

    I took a day off work and, after 5 hours of some intense manual labor, he and I had built a new composite deck! I’m so proud of it, this is probably the favorite thing I’ve made so far this year, just because I got to spend some quality time building with my dad. He built houses for many years, and I remember going to job sites with him as a kid, so having these memories as an adult too is pretty special.


    So as you can see, the hot tub sits wonderfully on the new deck. It’s all fixed and has been used for many hours already.


    Whew, that was a crazy long post. Bet you can’t wait to see what projects we’ve tackled inside, huh?

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