Backyard Project – One step nearer to completion

9 Jan

This project is 8 years in the making and we took a big step closer to being done in the last two weeks.  When we moved into our house in 2001, it was bare dirt and weeds in the back.  There was the deck off the house and the deck over the creek and that was it.  We immediately fenced the yard in — aside from the dogs (2 labradors at that point) we had 2 small children (3 and 18 mos at that point).  A fence was a necessity.  So, we fenced, put in dog runs, and that was it for a long while.  The next phase was cleaning off and re-staining the deck.  At a later date, we got an amazing iron arbor for over the rose garden.  We planted roses in stages.  I added a low stone wall to the back fence area.  And, a couple years ago, we started on the hardscape.  We put in a large circle planting area.  We put a circle around the rose garden.  We put in several curving paths.  And, then, nothing. 

Last weekend, Greg and his mom prepped our paths to be filled with decomposed granite fill (DG).  They raked the paths clean again and put down weed barrier cloth.  Then they did the same thing to the area that will eventually be covered by a second deck.  It looked good but not as good as it does now. Greg hired a guy to come in and wheelbarrow the DG into the backyard and lay down the path.  He did a great job.  Given our redwood forest site, we went with a golden colored path.  I wasn’t sure about it but am thrilled now, it looks great. 

Today, we got 3 cubic yards of bark to cover the plastic weed cloth, the rose bed, and other areas in the yard.  We did it as a family project.  It took us most of the day and it was a day well spent.  The yard looks fantastic and we’re all thrilled with the results. 

Another view

Some but not all of the hardscape is in.  You can see the paths and the circles that make up the yard taking shape.


In  2007, we did the hardscape.  Look how little Gage looks!


Paths are in — we may do another load in the future after these compact nicely — black plastic weed cloth down.  The tree on the right hand side is a very young Japanese Maple.


Paths in but no bark anywhere yet.   Oh and I know that grass looks lush and green but it is pure weeds and will be going by Springtime.


Greg taking a break and coming to the realization that 2 cubic yards just wasn’t enough.


Gage, taking a break, wishes that we’d just say, “Oh, go ahead and play the Wii – we’ll work without you!”


Look at the difference some bark makes.  I love the way the arbor stands out so much nicer when it’s base doesn’t disappear into the ground.


Looks lovely doesn’t it?  Nothing like bark to hide a wealth of sins.  I love the way the yard looks so finished. 

We still have a ton of work to do on the yard but it looks so much better now.  The big project left for this year is the big circle.  I have to get the weeds out, plant it and bark it.  Oh boy.   Still, all the hard work is worth it when it looks this good.



Posted via web from Liza Lee Miller


10 Responses to “Backyard Project – One step nearer to completion”

  1. Jody 10 January, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    Wow, that looks wonderful. Nice job! Lovelovelove the arbor.

    • Liza Lee Miller 10 January, 2010 at 8:07 am #

      Thanks, Sis! It was a lot of work yesterday – which I’m paying for today – but I love the way it looks! Now on to planning what we’re doing for the big circle.

  2. Wren 10 January, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    That’s quite a change, from bare dirt to the beginnings of a lovely garden. I think it’s actually more satisfying to manage these transitions over time, instead of all at once.

    Looking forward to seeing the next stage in its development.

    • Liza Lee Miller 10 January, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

      Thanks, Wren. It’s really cool, too, to see the design that Greg and I came up with coming to life.

  3. Wende 10 January, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Color me jealous! No seriously, it’s gorgeous. Yay for *almost* finishing a long term project. (are yards ever done? Yeah, no) 😀 The arbor is amazing. Take pictures this spring/summer, m’kay? When it’s all in bloom. So I can “virtually” smell it. 😀

    • Liza Lee Miller 10 January, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

      Will do, Wende. I’m actually excited about using the backyard now. And, I can’t wait to start planting in the circle and getting some ground cover in the ground. It’s been awhile since I was excited about gardening!

  4. Pam 10 January, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    It’s looking beautiful, Liza!!!!

    • Liza Lee Miller 11 January, 2010 at 7:01 am #

      Thanks, Pam! It makes me happy to look out there and see it.

  5. KGMom 10 January, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    Impressive. I like all the effects–the arbor, the golden paths, the bark.
    As someone who has moved many many cubic yards of bark in the spring, I can sympathize.
    This past year, for the first time, we hired people to spread our bark. We figure since we are approaching Medicare age (really) we deserve the extra help.
    Keep those pictures coming, what with new planting and such.

    • Liza Lee Miller 11 January, 2010 at 6:59 am #

      We have started hiring some work as well. We had someone come in and wheelbarrow and spread the paths. In years past, I have kept up with Greg spreading gravel, bark, moving, lifting, whatever. With the threat of RA in my future, those days are numbered. I paid a much bigger price for wheelbarrowing and spreading the bark than I expected. Still, I was able to do it and the price wasn’t even remotely too high.

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