So the backyard saga continues... but here is a final look! It's finished! (well, as finished as it's getting at this point).
((( Part I here )))
((( Part II here )))
So, when we left off last time, we had put down landscape fabric, Tony dug in lots of stone edgers, and we laid mulch and planted plants.
This time I got some pictures of the plantings around the play area side of the yard. Still so excited to have hydrangeas!
It's a hosta party and you're invited.
Grow, babies, grow!
Now it was time for the biggest chunk of square footage - the rock. We decided to go with rock because it would hold up a little better than if we just mulched or pine strawed it all. As I've mentioned, water flows right through here when it rains, so we needed something that wouldn't wash away. I also wanted it to look planned and substantial... like it was always meant to be that way and not covering up years of neglect and failed grasses. :)
We debated different types of rock - pea gravel would have been nice, but it was too small and we worried about erosion. Regular gravel would have been fine, but we wanted a more polished look. So we decided on smaller river rock. It was more expensive, but I love the look. The stones are mostly rounded and they are a nice natural color. They are big enough to not wash away, but not so big to make walking through there impossible.
Harper was so excited to see it delivered! Lots of WOWs!
Oh, just enjoying a nice juice among the stones.
She looks skeptical.
We ended up needing 8 total yards of it. We estimated 5, but soon realized we were short. So, for the grand total, that's 2 yards of gravel, 8 yards of various mulches, and 8 yards of rock - 18 yards of materials that my dear husband shoveled and wheelbarrowed in. He definitely got his exercise! (oh, and shout-out to Mikey and Kacy who stopped by and put their Crossfit-honed muscles to good use and helped lay a lot of it in like 15 minutes!)
It was a long, slow process, but it was so fun to see the results!
My growing bump even helped chronicle the process!
And now for more final shots! I have to say, the minute the last load of rock was laid, I grabbed the camera and took these. The sun was too shiny and I didn't stage anything, but it's an accurate look at real life. :)
You might notice too the ridiculous amount of leaves all over our beautiful new surfaces --- stupid heavy rain from the night before left quite a mess! I started to pick up some leaves before realizing in 7 seconds that my pregnant belly just was not having it.
What was great, however, was to see the new drainage system at work - and it performed flawlessly!! No flooding anywhere! (Go Tony!)
I have to add too that there are many smaller things I plan to do, all of which I'm calling Phase II. Things like paint the shed trim, add more color, bring in bright pots for annuals, fill in the hanging baskets, pressure wash the patio, make some fun outdoor art, get a new porch light... all things we totally will do in time. They just didn't fall under the "bring heavy stuff in" phase. I should add too that my awesome parents are giving us their 6-seater outdoor dining table with chairs that will really fill in the patio nicely. All of that to come soon enough!
Oh look, a tree.
I love this view now!
The play area:
I'm begging Tony to let us invest in the pocket hose... anyone have one and can vouch for it's durability?? Ha I know it's an infomercial product... but I just hate lugging that heavy hose around to water our new plants!
Fun for toddlers of all ages!
Ok, technically these pavers aren't dug in yet... but they will be! We are hoping too to put some large square stones leading up to the shed.
Our patio looking a bit forlorn right now, but it will get jazzed up soon!
We are so proud of our hard work! Mostly because we finally did something we've been wanting to do for years, something that might not be an "investment" in our house, but something that will make us enjoy it so much more. I want to go outside now, and that means so much. And wouldn't you know it? The mosquitoes decided to roar to life the very weekend we got it done... if only there were a magical cure for that..
Thanks for all of your kind comments along the way and for enduring all of these posts!