I’m not sure if this is a faux pas or not, but I’m doing my backyard for the spring One Room Challenge 🙂 I really wanted to participate as a guest participant again because I love the extra motivation and camaraderie, but I really just don’t have a space that needs works in the house AND that I want to work on right now. We’ve had a lot of plans for our backyard for a while now, though, so the timing is right.
We’ve been here for about a year and a half now, so we’ve been through one summer. Unfortunately, though, last spring/summer I was trudging through a rough pregnancy and hugging a toilet most days, so we didn’t touch the backyard. In fact, everything I had planted or bought died. Quickly. I told Mike that I was only committed to keeping a fetus alive.
I’m not working with any sponsors this go-round because I didn’t want to be beholden to any deadlines or requirements. Basically I am setting the stage here for me to maybe miss a week because I am too overwhelmed or busy 🙂 Sorry in advance! This is the first major project I’m taking on since Ramona came, so I’m not sure how it’s gonna pan out!
So here’s what our backyard looks like. It’s small but has lots of potential.
My dad put up the second-story deck, which is what those three pieces of wood are holding up. Most of these homes come with decks, but we bought a spec home without a deck, so that was one of the first orders of business right when we moved in in 2016. (He is a licensed contractor, and we are very lucky he was able to work on it for us between his real jobs!)
The space underneath the deck, however, leaves a lot to be desired. One of the grossest areas is the area around the air conditioning unit. It’s a mess of dirt and grass that never gets cut and wires and that random planter I threw there when I let everything in it die last year. And a piece of tile and the grill cover. OMG. So, of course this is exactly where the cats run to when we take them out back for a little play.
It’s also right next to our neighbor, which might bother a lot of people, but it doesn’t bother us. Our neighbor is really cool and has a darling little girl that I just wish were a little closer in age to Ramona! But the cats also like to hide under her air conditioner, too.
One of the first orders of business was putting up the fence. Mike wanted a fence from the beginning. I wasn’t sold on it. Then a lot of fences started popping up and I warmed up to the idea. It was also a lot more affordable than I’d expected it to be.
So I caved. And I am so glad I did! Here are all of the pictures of the yard with the fence in.
Some of you might be looking at this and thinking, wow, that is a tiny backyard. But we think the opposite 🙂 It’s the first yard we’ve ever had, and we actually think the fence makes it look bigger than it looked before. We actually gained several feet of space that we thought was common space, too, so that was a nice bonus. I think it will be good not only for us, but for resale.
Now that the fence is up, here’s what we want to do.
- Build a platform deck (not DIY—having a licensed contractor do it to make sure it’s done right)
- Add additional lighting—hanging? string? No idea.
- Clean up area around the AC unit and the gas meter/gutter using rocks
- Build table and benches for deck (already working on these)
- Build screen for AC unit and all of those wires and boxes back there
- Hang plants
- Build veggie beds and lattice for climbing veggies
- Hang bucket swing for Ramona
- General landscaping around the fence perimeter (flowers, bushes, etc)
- Maybe: Privacy screening for the deck area (depending on the cost, and I don’t think I want to DIY this)
- Maybe: Add a rain barrel, DIY or store bought, we’ll see on budget and options
- Major maybe: Let myself do a little shopping for some fun items like a large outdoor vase planter—budget depending
Next week—the deck! It’s a major anchor project, so we don’t really want to do much until that’s done. Until then.