Our Urban Oasis of Serenity (aka our gross backyard)

9:18 AM

So recently Matt and I decided that we wanted to start working on out back yard, and since it's going to take some time I thought this would be a perfect time to take a good look at what we have to start with (and you probably don't want 20 pictures of us just digging and digging).  This decision was inspired by our leaking gas pipe that we dug up 2 weeks ago.  So get ready, I know you're going to be soooo jealous.

So here is how the yard was when we moved in.  We have 2 lovely rotting whiskey barrel planters, a ton of red mulch, and random pavers and edging blocks.  Not much but it's somewhere to start.  The size is 12' x 22'  which equals out to 264sf, with most of that being taken up by a concrete patio. 

Here's an aerial view that I took while hanging out one of our windows last summer.

So let's take a look at what it looks like today!  This is the view you get when you walk out the back door.  Straight ahead is the back of the garage, and to the left you have all the rich clay soil that entombed our gas pipe.  Lovely!

This is the patio and door to the kitchen (painted eggplant purple why?), and there are rocks and dirt in the large tubs that we are trying to separate and get the rocks out of the back yard.  Those rocks were a little surprise that we found under 3 different layers of mulch.  We had red mulch on top, yellow mulch in the middle, and bark mulch on the bottom.  It seems like the wood decomposed over the years and turned into something that resembles dirt.  So we are saving the dirt to mix in with the moisture retaining clay soil to lighten it up a little.

The ground slopes quite a bit down to the gate, that is how we get to our garage.  We will probably move the grill over a little to the right and create a little more even elevation with some baby retaining walls. 

The largest ground space is between the garage and the patio, right under the large grill.  We'd love to add some grass there.  The fence in the back might be replaced soon.  Our neighbor offered to pay for the fence if we install it.  She also wanted to plant ivy on her side and we liked that idea so it might be completely covered in ivy someday.  We also are thinking of putting a bunch of moon flower vines (a type of morning glory that is white and blooms in the evening) along the garage to climb up the wall.  Ideally we would like to have 3 walls covered in foliage (both fences and the garage.)

This little corner is shaped very oddly, but if we can screen off the AC unit and build up the sloap, we would like to put a little raised garden in here.  Last year we grew grape tomatoes in containers and they did really well.  We need to go seed shopping and decided what to grow very soon.  Maybe we'll do that this weekend as a much needed break for our backs.

It's not much now, obviously, but I can see it all in my ever active little mind and hopefully soon some of that will begin to become a reality.  I hope I haven't evoked mass amounts of jealousy from deep within you soul, if so my deepest apologies.  And stay tuned, you can see we have a lot ahead of us but I'll be posting the process.

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  1. I am impressed with all that you have done already! Do you have a plan for screening off your AC unit. I think we will eventually want to do that to and make a little patio in the area it is. I would love to hear what you are thinking and then I can steal your idea. The napping kittie planter is CUTE!

  2. The kitty planter has catnip growing in it!!! Hopefully it didn't die over the winter, but it dod come back last summer. And the a/c unit will either get camouflaged with ornamental grasses or some sort of screen. This one's busted but when we get a new one I'll be sure to ask the a.c man if having wispy long grass around it is a good idea or not.


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