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.