Here’s an overview of the yard as it is now, so you can get an understanding of where each one of these things is happening. If you need to catch up, check out these posts: 2009, 2010 (part 1) and (part 2).
So other than my legal woes with my neighbor, we got a lot accomplished in 2011. We had the abandoned asphalt road removed and a few months later a new driveway installed. But don’t be fooled for a minute that we hired out the rest of the work. Nope. But we did buy an Amish built shed and have it delivered. They came after the asphalt was removed, which was interesting. Hubby and I started building the split-rail fence as soon as the shed was in. The shed went right here.This is the only picture of the in-between phase I have. Sorry, it’s from a pre-iPhone camera phone. I wish I had more pictures. I used to drive my car right up to the shed and let the 2 and 3-year-old watch movies in there while I worked. With the windows down, of course! And really try to wrap your head around the idea that everything in this area from this point happened with shovel and wheel barrow. There was a freaking ton of dirt moving and gravel laying. And yes, I was a lot more fit back then. Ha!I lined it with chicken wire to keep the kids in and everyone else out. And I built these raised planter beds for us to grow vegetables. As you can see above, the weeds were NASTY. I used gravel for the walkway and my ubiquitous free rocks between the beds. Look above a few pics to see where I got them from.These double-wide Belgian blocks were a hand-me-down from my friend Cindy. The same person who gave me my prized photinia. Thanks Cindy! This is one of the areas that floods like crazy because of water rushing in from my neighbor’s property.I had left an ugly hole between two retaining walls because I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do. Well it’s a damn good thing, because I ended up building a ramp instead! I mean, duh! It’s one of those, why didn’t I think of that all along?! How else was I going to get stuff back and forth to the shed, not up stairs. So the area went from this…To this… And let me remind you that the giant bulldozer (or whatever it’s called) did not clear out the path. Shovel and wheelbarrow.I did add stairs, but they were off the ramp up to our sun garden. The sun garden area was a real pain. We were getting water coming over the retaining wall, so I added one more layer of retaining wall blocks and made a terrace with more of my ubiquitous rocks. Then I basically had to chisel away the compacted soil to make it level, adding a planter bed around the border. I recall hubby was away for about two weeks, but that area had to be addressed immediately. We have a light on the side of the house over there, so I’d put the kids to bed and come outside to work. Then get up early and work. It was like living on a farm. At least for this city girl! See here you see it without the terrace level.And here you can see the additional row of wall block as well as the rock wall creating a terrace.Speaking of, here’s the lattice enclosure for our garbage cans and air conditioning that I built that spring. I didn’t build the arbor and gate until the fall, but as you can see, I was pretty busy. How to build the arbor can be found HERE and how to build the gate is HERE.Moving over to the other side of the house, I left another hole in the retaining walls I built in 2010, but this one was more intentional. Complete post coming soon! Always being smart, as I am, I stuck this pirate ship in the void until I got around to building the stairs. It worked well enough because nobody fell off the cliff. Yay.Looks a lot better with the stairs, huh? Then it was matter of filling in the gravel patio. We broke a wheel barrow at one point, but kept it and bought another one. We still use both of them. I planted vinca around a tree on the right there, OMG that stuff filled in like crazy by the next summer. Crazy! And now it cascades over the wall. Yay. I did kill the grass though. I planted it the year before and killed it this summer, I think I over fertilized it. No worries, we put down wood chips in 2012. We should have just done that from the start. Oops.I added a gate to the fence I installed over on this side of yard. It was awesome because it kept the kids corralled in that area and I could get more work done without worrying they would run up to the front of the house and into the street. This is what it looks like from the other side. I added the latch to the outside so the kids couldn’t reach it. Genius! Here is the first bed I planted. I felt all professional when I was spotting the plants. Not so much when I had to dig a third of them out the next year because they spread so much and didn’t all fit. Oops. I just moved them elsewhere in the yard.This is what it looked like two years later. Check out the area in 2013 here. I built this makeshift fire pit area, but it served us well. I put in a permanent one by the retaining wall the next year, but I kind of miss this one.Which reminds me of one of my favorite ideas. I have to write a full post, but let me just tell you that I hated the beat up lattice at the bottom of my screened porch. It was UGLY. I wripped it out and added faux foundation walls instead. It’s just Hardibacker that I stuccoed. I tore off these ridiculous back stairsAnd built this instead.Um, don’t worry, I stained everything the next year. 🙂 I was too busy landscaping this summer.
The sad truth about this picture is that I pulled all that landscape fabric out in 2013. It was strangling the bamboo. Plus I added a bunch more plants. See what it looked like in 2013 here.Of course I had to mulch this area. So I had 12 yards of mulch delivered and spread it all by myself. Ugh! My husband is always on travel when it comes time to spread mulch. Hmm.But he was around to help me installed new window wells before the fall hurricane season hit. And I planted a boat load of plants. I get a great deal at Lowe’s. After buying 11 pallets of retaining wall blocks, a couple pallets at a time, they know me pretty well there.OMG. I think that’s it. Probably not, but you’re probably half asleep, so I’ll leave it at that. Don’t forget to read 2009, 2010 (part 1) and (part 2).