The Backyard, Part II

A spell of nice warm weather inspired Ben to start tackling the backyard project (see Backyard Part I). So as of right now, we can officially cross off item #1: remove chain link and build cedar fence. This is what it looked like after the chain link was ripped out:

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and now:

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Great job Ben! The only thing we didn’t rip out in the back was the Cherry tree. I wanted to, but am so glad we didn’t, because look how pretty it is without 4 million feet of blackberry bushes behind it. I bet you didn’t even notice it before…go ahead scroll up…yeah, me neither. But now it pops!

Total cost of fence: $680…man wood is EXPENSIVE.

The cold, crappy weather stalled us (along with lack of funds), but Ben just finished the “brooding box”…so I think #2 is right around the corner…chirp chirp.


The Backyard, Part I

Oh the backyard. Really though…oh the whole yard (but for time, I’m just going to focus on the back). In June, Ben and I will have officially lived in our house for two years (again, where does the time go?). For the past two years we have been basically tearing stuff out of the yard to make it slightly more manageable. The lady who owned the house before us had planted every flower/plant/shrub imaginable. Granted, they were all beautiful, but it’s hard to see the lilies (or insert any other flower/plant/shrub), when they are growing under a hydrangea bush. My neighbor said it best as she was gladly accepting hydrangeas and rose bushes pulled out of our yard: “I saw her constantly working out here and thought…gurllll…she doesn’t know what she’s doing.” Last year we pulled up a bunch of sod, a tree, and a bush behind our garage and planted the garden. We also ripped out some flower boxes and put in raised beds for tomatoes, Ben tore out the dead shrubs acting as a pseudo fence or blackberry blocker, and also took out the floating dance floor party deck (and the large amount of unexpected concrete underneath it).


Backyard circa Summer 2011: new tomato beds on left; old sod/tree area that is now garden space; dying shrubs; random floating dance floor deck (models Ben & Abby)

Yet, now the time for actually changing the backyard is upon us, and as I’ve told Ben, I want it to be an “oasis.” This drew a lot of laughter and jokes about parrots and palm trees, but growing up, I spent a lot of time sitting on decks and spending time in the yard. I would really like to spend all year-round out there, have coffee in the morning on the deck, pick stuff to eat for dinner, and watch our boys run around (when that day comes). I also love having people over for bbq’s or dinner in general and listening to music or the Cardinal’s baseball games on the radio (Ben has turned me–but what a fun team to root for!). So the plan right now is to:

  1. Rip out chainlink fence and replace with new cedar fence
  2. Build chicken coop
  3. Build new deck and cover it
  4. Rebuild garage (probably not this year)
  5. Plant more grass
  6. Rip out side raised beds
  7. Take out tomato beds (b/c rats dig underneath and get into the garage…gross)¬†and build new beds along new cedar fence
  8. Replant garden
  9. Buy comfy patio furniture
  10. Create mason jar lighting system

Not only is this list a little long…it’s also expensive. I never knew wood cost so much! So the backyard redo 2013 might take a little longer–but it has begun. This is where we are right now.



Chain link and shrubs out, posts for fence in.


Shadow of old party deck

Start of coop

Start of coop





These french doors lead to our bedroom, which is another reason I would like to both cover the deck, and also have an “oasis” of a backyard…if you will.


Deck with sad, leaky garage

To start, we are focusing on the fence. I will show our’s (or Ben’s) progress soon. As you can tell from the pictures, some of the chain link is gone, Ben pulled out a bunch of railroad ties, and has laid the posts. Total cost so far: $150.