The Beginnings of Backyard Bliss

One of the prior owners spent some time and money on landscaping, resulting in some lovely blooms from spring until fall at our house. However, much like our home, we have really just maintained our yard these past four years. Mainly, premature mulching or mulching way late in the season, and that’s about it. My green thumb is limited, but COVID has helped me learn to pay more attention to my plants. With the memes that have been circling around in 2020, I’m not sure I am alone in becoming more of a plant person.

After jumpstarting home projects with the kitchen overhaul, we started thinking about the yard as well. Around the time of the commencement of the kitchen project, the weather was starting to get a bit warmer and we were dying to get outside. The first thing we did was make a little fire pit. We enjoyed it so much, that we purchased a ton of wood for the season.

With some fresh confidence in our back pockets from how the kitchen was turning out, we started searching again for inspiration on how to make the most of our backyard. I felt like our yard was small, but I realized that, in fact, we just didn’t use all of it.

I came upon Jenna Sue’s design blog and fell in love with her backyard makeover. I talked with Brent and we both were inspired to see if we could do something similar in our backyard around the little fire pit we made.

Inspiration care of Jenna Sue Design

Here’s where we were dumb — we did this in the dead heat of July. However, both Brent and I, with some help from Brent’s brother, whipped the fire pit area into shape. First, Brent made a privacy wall with cedar planks along the fence line abutting our neighbor’s property.

Then came the fun part. I admittedly didn’t help with the first portion as I was away visiting with my sister and her family (#sorrynotsorry). Brent rented a sod cutter to cut up the grass and placed pavers around the perimeter of the pit area. Brent’s brother helped with this and also dug a deeper fire pit. We then spread a layer of gravel and on top of that, pea gravel. I helped with that. It helped me to finally get some definition back in my arms — which I have since lost due to holiday snacking.

The blank canvas vs. The idea (i.e., horrible iPhone mockup)

We added some natural wood Adirondack chairs to the area and broke it in during our son’s 4th birthday celebration with close family.

Although I am cognizant of the fact that everyone can have a personal opinion, for me, if this doesn’t scream “welcome”, I don’t know what does. The pandemic helped us create a backyard oasis, again without incurring any debt, and it really has created a useable space in our backyard that was once ignored. It’s been hard to keep our son from using the pea gravel as his own personal construction site, but fortunately we had enough leftover rocks that we placed them elsewhere for his enjoyment….thankfully.

It is now winter, but we definitely have dreams of adding to the backyard this year, including a tree house/fort for our son, raised vegetable and/or flower garden, and adding some additional lighting to the fit pit area. We will let you know how it goes.

For now,

xx, M

Sources //

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