Our backyard… Holy Moly (inagoodway).

I am a lucky woman.

First, I get to stare at this all the time…

Relaxing on the sofa (I was sick that day) while a hot man performs manual labor in plain sight is pretty much living the dream (especially if you’re married to pictured hot man).  Am I right, ladies??  Answer: Yes. Yes, I’m right.   😉

And now, thanks to all that manual labor, I also get to stare at our newly beautiful back yard as well.   Before and after pics are totally my favorite things.  Guilty pleasures, if you will.   So, that’s what this post is gonna be.   Before and afters of our yard.  Now, keep in mind that “after” isn’t really a legit term since nothing is completely done yet. So, consider them “current”.  And then give Joey a virtual pat on the back because he did this all himself.   I had very little to do with it aside from taking pictures of him working.  I’m nothing if not helpful.

First, let’s take a look at our covered patio shortly after moving in…


It was dirty, with spots of mold on the ceiling, and a decrepit railroad tie retaining wall which did nothing more than collect moisture and insects.   We started by cleaning up the porch, and I sealed and enriched the terracotta floor, Joey replaced the moldy boards overhead, we had the exterior of the house painted, and Joey installed a new stone retaining wall (along with better drainage and many plants).  He also built a stained wood surround for our HVAC unit (the inspiration for which I found on Pinterest).

Now, our patio looks like this….


And here’s the other view…


And now…


Detail shot!!



Isn’t the new retaining wall swell??   All the heart eyes.  Right.  Here.   It’s so cozy out there now.   We love just chilling out here with a glass of wine (or coffee  — I remain convinced that coffee and wine can solve the world’s problems) while Lucas plays on this…


Oh, no.  This is no swing set.   We jokingly refer to this giant child-haven as the “Clarington Resort” (insert hoighty-toity accent and French-sounding “huh-huh!“).   That’s the actual name of the playset, which we found at Costco. This monstrosity should have it’s own zip code if you ask me, thus the term “playset” does not suffice.   The “Clarington Resort” (Huh-huh!) was purchased with our tax refund, and despite it’s massive size (it’s nearly 22-feet long including the slide), it’s actually quite charming with all the trees, all nestled up into the corner of our yard.   When we saw it initially, set up on this high platform at Costco, I was all “No way.  That thing is huge.” and Joey was all “Yes way.  That thing is awesome.”.   It took some serious convincing on Joey’s part to get me to agree to it.  He measured it out for me and showed me how it would work in the yard, and then he gave me that look.  You know the one.  The you’re-totally-raining-on-my-parade-and-killing-all-of-my-dreams look, which is sometimes confused with the stop-being-bossy-and-just-trust-me-for-the-love-of-Pete look.   And I caved.  And now that all’s said and done, I’m kind of enamored of this little area.   Like I said before…. it’s charming. And Lucas really seems to love it.  Having our friends over just got way more fun for the kiddos, that’s for sure.

Joey boxed in the playground with landscaping timbers and used rebar to secure it to the ground (he drilled the holes for the rebar a size smaller and then pounded them in for a nice, tight fit).  Then, he filled it with pea gravel which he found most inexpensively at a local place called Living Earth.   It was $25 for an entire truckload (and this area took 4 truckloads or about 2 yards).   He used concrete pavers for the walkway, and dug them in, surrounding them with decomposed granite (also found at Living Earth).   He bordered the walkway with metal border and river rock.  Then, he added sod (we needed a total of 1 palette which equaled about 150 squares for all areas of the yard).

Here’s a before shot of that area….


And Now:


And the other direction…


And now:


You can see that the HVAC screen is “L” shaped to still allow access to the unit, while making it more attractive from the porch.   Here’s another view of it…


He also added a plant bed beneath our bedroom window for both drainage purposes and aesthetics…


Ignore that satellite dish… it’ll be gone soon.   On the other side of the porch we have this area, which looked like this before…


And now looks like this…


One of my favorite new additions was Beyonce…


This lovely metal chicken was a housewarming gift from one of my best friends and is a total reference to this hysterical blog post.   Beyonce makes our yard happy.  And me.  And I love her.

Here’s another seating area on the other side of the pool (I still owe y’all a completed pool post so ignore the pool for the time being)…


We still need to replace the fence.   All in good time.  This area around the pool mainly just needed some love.  Joey pulled out all the weeds, trimmed the trees, added mulch, river rocks and liriope plants.  We plan to also add more lighting around the pool eventually.

And finally, our view of the porch from the dining area inside.   Here’s the before…


And now…



Seriously though, did Joey kick bootie out there or what?

I can’t wait to get out there and really enjoy it.   Things still on the agenda include updating the decking around the pool, removing and replacing the remaining railroad ties along the perimeter of the yard, Making the fence look better, attacking the part of the yard on the side of our house next to the “Clarington Resort” (huh-huh!), painting the ugly brick surround for the pool filter (which I’ve tactfully cropped out of these pictures. You’re welcome.), boxing in the columns on the covered porch to give them a wood look, plus more.    But seriously, I never thought that our backyard would look like this just 6 months after moving in.   I’m fully in awe.

So, that’s where our back yard is currently.  And we couldn’t be happier with it.   Anybody else have yard projects going on right now?

TDC Before and After

13 thoughts on “Our backyard… Holy Moly (inagoodway).

  1. Oh my goodness this transformation is AMAZING! I know you said you aren’t done yet, but man, everything looks so incredible right now. I’m definitely a big fan of your space! Tell Joey he did a fantastic job! 🙂

    • Will do! Thanks so much, Erica! It’s funny because I’ve seen the transformation as it happened, but when I went back an looked at the befores, even I was shocked at how different the yard looked. He’s a pretty talented guy. 🙂

  2. Everything looks great! I love how clean and fresh it is. I looked at that Clarington Resort at Cosco for the grandkids. 🙂 The mr. nixed it. I think I’ll show him your pics!

  3. WOW! That transformation is incredibly Christina! What a dreamy space!!! And the Clarington Resort looks almost as fun as Disneyland! LOVE it all Christina! Great job Joey!

    • Thanks! Oh, we have been. We hung out out there the other evening just marveling at the fact that we finally have a backyard that we love spending time in (we rarely ever hung out in the yards at our other houses). It’s so refreshing! 🙂

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