Major yard update - lots of photos

I have been so busy and have not been able to blog much except for phone entries. For all those looking for a yard update, here you go. These are various photos from the last 4 days (after the weather cleared).

You made it through all of the photos. Whew!

The progress is as follows:
1. liner laid down in garden box area and inside of the trampoline
2. gravel laid onto liner in garden box area
3. Garden boxes filled with top soil
4. finish grade
5. sprinklers continued
6. sod delivered
6. grass edging and defined flower beds
7. trees and shrubs planting begins
8. transplanted shrubs from yard replanted
9. trampoline assembled and tested by kiddos and lawn guys. It works great!

All those plants in the white trash bags are the perennials I am trying to save. Once everything else has been planted I'll go through the yard and decide where to plant the perennials. I tried to save the day lilies, yarrow and other random plants.

landscaping the backyard - phase 1

It's funny the things you think about (or don't) when you buy a new house. When we bought this home we thought very little about the yard. We knew we wanted to plant a few trees and create a space for gardening. After living here almost two years it has become more and more apparent that our backyard was not very functional. In fact, we have spent most of our yard time hanging out in the front yard. Our two major backyard problems are concrete jungle and sloped yard. You can see the mass of concrete in these photos. The yard does not look as slopped as it actually is.

Last summer we hired a landscape architect to work up some drawings for our ideal yard. He provided us with a plan (and a quote) for the dream yard. Well, it turns out landscaping, especially hardscaping can get rather pricey, fast. We held off starting the project last year so we could plan how to tackle, or until I meet the Yard Crashers guy at home depot. We've decided to break it into financially feasible phases.

You can see in this amazing plan that we are eliminating a lot of the concrete (we will leave enough to park a trailer, boat or other gear if needed). We will be sinking the trampoline into the ground, and attempt flatten the yard a bit with a stepped retaining wall. We have a beautiful spot laid out for raised gardens (which Chris will build) and 3 fruit trees. There will be plenty of flower beds adding much needed personality to the yard.

Chris has spent the last three weeks gathering many bids from various contractors to see if we could cut down costs from the original bid. We landed with a great company who has agreed to help us in phases.

Today we started Phase 1 = hardscaping. This phase involves the tear out of all the concrete and grass. Sinking the tramp, leveling the yard and building the retaining wall. Once the groundwork is laid we will plant new grass, build the garden boxes and plant trees. This entire phase should be complete in 2-3 weeks.

In the fall or next spring we will start phase 2. This phase includes changing the deck stair orientation, refinishing the deck and changing out the railing. Planting perennials and shrubs (plants are $$$). The plan calls for over 60 shrubs.

Phase 3 = covered deck, & yard lighting & ornamental trees.

Phase 4 = paver patio & water feature, if we make it this far...

We are excited to tackle this project and hope to enjoy a summer with a nice new backyard. Bear with us for the next few weeks as I post pictures of the progress.

Today's progress. No turning back now...

Somewhere on the horizon is a swing set... KSL here I come.

Decorating the house

We have been in our new house for over a year. We really love our house but it is lacking in showcasing our personality. Bit by bit we are tackling it.

Over the Christmas break Chris took on finishing painting over the yellow with the color CABO (we started the huge project in October). The previous owners apparently loved pastels, so much so that every room in the house is painted different candy color. Great colors for candy and sherbets, not such great colors for our house. The main house color was banana yellow. I do like yellow, but after a year the bright yellow became really obnoxious. You all know it must of been pretty bad if Chris initiated finishing the painting. While I worked over Christmas, he painted. I was able to help in the evenings after Nicholas went to bed. With the two of us it took almost 4 full days (Chris full time) to paint the dining/office, living room, 25 foot entry way, staircase heading upstairs and the entire upstairs hallways. We had to rent an extension ladder to get the entry way and it was pretty sketchy area to paint. It turned out beautiful and it's amazing to me how much difference color can make. I love it, thank you Chris!

We hung all of pictures and mirrors up again, our art and photos looks so much better with this color behind them. This shot is of the body length mirror at the end of our entry way hall. I added a few chocolate wall decor flowers available from Stampin' Up!, if you are interested.

Next project is updating light fixtures. The Dining table light is tackled. Now I am on the look out for an entry way light.