The backyard did not seem to be in terrible shape when we moved in. As you'll see in the next few pictures it looked green and lush. We figured that we'd just have to remove all the weird landscaping debris from the backyard and we'd be good to go.
Of course that's not even close to how it went.
Our sliding glass door opens up onto a good sized deck. It was recently installed when we moved in and unfortunately, it was not installed well. It's not even close to code and the cheap wood (that the previous owners never sealed and we only going around to doing last year) was already in bad shape.
In this picture the yard actually looks pretty passable. My old Pomeranian Steve (a sad, sad story for a different post) was happy to have it.
And now I'd like to introduce you to our tree. Oh our tree. This behemoth is a 30 year old cottonwood that started growing shortly after the first owners moved in. The owners were so excited about the tree growing that they told the next door neighbors that they had been blessed by god. My neighbor later told me she didn't know god hated them. The poor thing is a hot mess of dead branches in this picture. We will never be able to afford to cut it down (not that I particularly want to) but we did get it trimmed later on.
This is the view of the backyard from our master bedroom window. You can clearly see the MASSIVE roots that have taken over the yard. Unfortunately there's nothing we could do about those without killing the three and needing to take out a second mortgage to pay for the mess.
Two years passed, the neighbors behind us put up a new fence, and any living vegetation in the yard died. This picture was taken in the winter, but by the time spring rolled around nothing was growing. Why it died so suddenly I'm not sure. Maybe the last owners had hand watered it for a few hours every day (year right), or maybe it just decided to blast off this rock. Either way, we knew we'd be looking at a pricey sod bill.
If my drying cloth diapers aren't the epitome of beauty and class then I have no idea what is.
The first thing we did was remove all the weird landscaping debris from the backyard. There was a lot of it, and it was weird. We also cleared out all the remaining vegetation aside from the tree. The little blue spruce that's visible in the pictures up above also died a dry, fire hazard-y death.
Since we had very little space in our garage we knew that we were going to need a shed. But sheds are really expensive and we didn't have the money for anything fancy. We ended up getting this thing on clearance online. At first we thought we were going to paint in the same color as the house, but then we were like screw it. It's not so bad.
Here is a panoramic view of what the backyard looked like after N trenched it for sprinklers. Click to enlarge.
And here is another panoramic view of what the right side of the yard looked like. The poor fence had given up on life. Click to enlarge.
This was the deck pre-staining.
And here you can sort of see the color we stained it after. (Disregard N's lounging feet.)
With my mother-in-laws help we got the backyard sodded after MANY hours by me removing weeds, debris and trying to level/ gently slope the yard. Our neighbors moved out (sadly) and so we took down the fence so N could put up a new one. This shot is taken from their yard.
And the new fence!
The tree and I have a love/ hate relationship. It does this all year round.
The tree looks amazing trimmed though!
This summer we put in a garden but we weren't able to plant anything yet. Next year I hope to have a very full garden full of juiceable produce