Welcome to a day in my life. I can't guarantee that this will be an exciting read for anyone. My life is filled with all the mundane activities of a stay-at-home-mom just trying to raise her three sons to be the best men they can be.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Project Backyard

Back in the Spring, John and I were trying to decided on what we wanted to do with our backyard. For the past few years we've had a gazebo in the corner, which we both enjoyed, but lost it last August during a huge storm. We started throwing around different ideas - including putting in an in ground pool (which John has wanted for a few years.) The idea of putting in a pool didn't appeal to me because the boys are older now and it wouldn't get a lot of use, so the expense of it wouldn't be worth it. I also knew that it would be just another big job for me to keep it clean - because I know that no one else would do it.

We finally decided that we should put in a more permanent structure where the gazebo was such as a pergola.

We called in some landscapers to give us some quotes and in the end, what was going to be a fairly easy and relatively inexpensive project ballooned.

Since we have a corner lot, the backyard had a bit of a slope starting from about mid way, down to the sidewalk beside the house. This has always irritated John. They (he and the landscaping company) decided that they could correct that with the addition of some steps and armour stone. The side fence needed replacing, the sod was in very bad shape so it needed replacing, the gardens needed some work, and John wanted river rock added between the houses were nothing can ever seem to grow. With all this landscaping work and re sodding being done, I insisted on getting a sprinkler system done at the same time as well. (With me being gone most of the summer, the grass and gardens never get watered and so everything just dies.)

So ... what started off as a fairly small, lower-cost project, ended up being a major project in both labour and expense.  However, with it all done, it's amazing and we love it!

So do you want to see some before and after pictures? I know you do.

Looking into the backyard from our patio door

before

After

The other corner

before
after
(and yes, that's our cat on a leash. Our town has a bylaw that cats must be tethered)

The side of the house

before

 
after
 
 

Coming into the backyard from the side walkway

before

after

From one side to the other

before
after
 

and the other way

before
 
after

 

The Pergola

One problem we had once the pergola was up was the lack of shade. That corner of the yard is very  sunny and it doesn't end up in the shade of the house until the evening time. I looked online for different ideas. We wanted something that would still keep the beauty of the pergola, but give us the shade we needed. So, what we came up with was to use matchstick blinds for both the roof and the sides (that we can raise and lower as needed. It works great.
 
You can see the lack of shade before
 
and now we still get some beautiful defused light.
 


 We added an outdoor fireplace (which we've already used) so we will be able to sit out long into the fall.

 

23 comments:

  1. WOW>WOW>WOW>>>> What a transformation Barb. Love the stone and your idea to get some shade under the pergola. With that backyard I wouldn't want summer to end either. You can have S'mores in the city now!

    We can't wait for next summer we have been eyeballing an outdoor fire place for quite sometime.

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    1. I know! Smores in the city! Very cool.

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  2. Wow, it looks great!

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    1. Thanks Lyndon. We're so happy with it.

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  3. Looks amazing Barb. A gerat place to have tea with a friend. ~hint hint~

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    1. Let's do that ... what about next week?

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  4. Art cameron2:59 PM

    Just a fantastic job Barb and John. I am sure the boys also kicked in some time. It looks great. Just wondering how you also had time to practice your flugelhorn?

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    1. fortunately all we had to do was keep the landscaping guys hydrated.
      I'm now back on horn - my first love.

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  5. What a lovely space! :)

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    1. It's so nice to sit out there in the evenings now.
      Thanks Mary Jo.

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  6. Paulette Miller3:11 PM

    WOW!!! that is SO amazing, Barb...what a transformation. I think you will have to sell your trailer...you will NEVER want to leave home now.

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    1. Well ... I wouldn't go that far Paulette. LOL! Fortunatly there's still plenty of good weather left to be able to enjoy it.

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  7. Wow Wow Wow! Absolutely amazing. We are doing a patio/fireplace too. It's been all summer (2 1/2 months so far). We are finally nearing the end, and have enjoyed it even though we haven't added the stone dust yet lol.

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    1. Thanks Laura.
      It really does make enjoying the backyard that muuch better doesn't it? It sounds like you've been doing a lot of work. It will be so sweet when it's done.

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  8. This looks just beautiful, Barbara! So inspirational. Maybe someday we will try to do something similar.

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    1. Thanks Joyce. Now my family has no reason to stay inside all the time ... although they still do.

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  9. Oh Barb! You lucky lady! You have your own piece of heaven right there in your yard. All the hard work and $$ was well worth it!!

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    1. yes it was Bronwyn. Thanks.

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  10. Wow, you've been busy! What great before and after photos. I especially love the outdoor grill and pergola. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Sue. The bulk of the work took just three weeks but we're still doing finishing touches.

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  11. Anonymous6:45 PM

    I love that shade idea.....we also need something for morning and mid day so that idea would really help. What a lovely transformation.
    Our kids were 19 & 18 when our pool went in and there were times when the pool was kind of unused....not any more........3 granddaughters keep the water churning!!
    Brenda in Kit

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  12. Wow wow wow, this looks amazing! Where did you get the fireplace! I would love one for our yard!

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  13. Your back and side garden redo is fabulous. Love those stone "boulders".

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