Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Work in Progress (part 1)

I think it must be five years that we have been wanting to renovate our yard behind the house. That area was an eyesore (at least to me) with never ending Forget-me -nots, weeds galore, poor grass or really almost non existent grass (see weeds galore), and big dips in the ground where some old poplar stumps were left to rot. There was also some issue with drainage which caused erosion along one side of the property. 
But I had a vision.
In mid September, a wonderful work crew of two plus one, and a husband, turned the backyard into a mud field and a reality.

I have come to realize that I do not have many 'before' photos of the yard. So I am presenting some photos with bits left out. 
Below:  First a side view of the house looking back. Not much to see but it may help with perspective later. To the right of the window will be a new shed. A flagstone path will link the shed to the door and window on the side. Notice the stone below the tree, it is part of the steps to the side door. You are on the south side facing east.

 A decent if not chaotic look at the yard. Hubby was removing a dead apricot tree at the time. Along the north side of the garden are some rhododendrons. You are on the south side facing due north.

A winter picture to fill it in a bit. You can see the left over stump of the apricot to the left of the photo. Again, you are on the south side facing north.

A view you may remember, and the most important one for me; the large green bush is a forsythia that sits on the crest of the slope to the next yard. The slope was muddy in spring and not much grew around it.  I wanted a true grade change between the two yards. This photo is facing east.

Now for the fun part.
Below: remember the side window of the house ? that corner square area on the right is where the shed will be. The oval is going to be the patio. The grading has been completed at this point. Notice the forsythia is gone. You can still see part of a cedar trellis hubby made for me on the very left side. It is also in the previous photo behind the golden mock orange (also now gone).

This is the left side of the yard. Gone is the apricot stump, but the rhodos at the back are kind of still visible. The outline of the patio is just beginning to take place in this picture.

Facing west and the back of the house. The grade is dramatic now between the two yards. No more sloping yard. The stone at the fore of the photo is left over Credit Valley limestone that made up the original front porch, now long gone. It includes 4 large steps treds which will be used in this project. We have been hoarding this stone for years. Now hubby will turn what we have into wall and stairs. More stone is on the way as what we have is only a fraction of what is needed.

Here is hubby at the start of the wall creation. We are on the south side looking northeast, the house in behind us and to the left. He has made the corner of the wall here.

And then before you know it the wall is complete!

What a piece of work is a man. Thank you hubby!

Yes, other stuff happened in between, but I wanted to give us all a sense of satisfaction for making it to the end of the post.  Next time you will see the finished sod work, what the garden will be like and a glimpse of the patio in progress. I am not sure how much more will get finished this year. The paths to the house and shed may wait until next spring, and the shed too perhaps. Hubby starts a new work contract very soon and the timing of this job worked out perfectly when he was in between contracts. He is working on the patio as I write - I am not allowed near it. Not allowed to move a stone or open my mouth. 
Until next.


  1. Hi Patty, Man-o-man have you guys been busy! That is quite the undertaking. Compliments to you and your hard working hubby. It looks great so far!
    Remember that gardens happen in little steps. Whatever you don't finish this year will be waiting for you next year. That is how I am thinking of my unfinished garden projects anyway.

  2. That looks good! You have a very handy hubby.

  3. Che bellezza, quelli sono i lavori che danno più soddisfazione!

    Complimenti per il lavoro.

  4. Jennifer - Little steps. Yes I think that is the way to go. With available time now only on weekends and colder temps coming this burst of energy will slow down soon.

    Denise - He seems to really enjoy working with stone. The wall is dry stacked (no concrete) and is the second one has has made.

    pontos - grazie per i complementi. Io li trasmettono.

  5. Great job... and I think that anyone who has created with stone, quickly understands that it is amazingly rewarding and fulfilling. Thanks for visiting my site... I always appreciate and enjoy your comments! Larry

  6. Oooh! That wall is beautiful! You've got the lawn growing already. Congratulations for completing some of the projects. It's feel good, doesn't it?

  7. Larry: Thanks! The stonework is definitely challenging, and the patio is like a big jigsaw puzzle. I am sure it will be both fulfilling and rewarding as you say.

    One: The grass was put down as sod, as it would take too long to seed and we would still be in a mess of mud. Yes it is a good feeling and it frees up space in my head for other projects ;)

  8. It look amazing! Good job. It is totally different from before.

  9. Thanks Malay - Yes there is a difference. Next spring we'll add some plants and a couple of small trees.

  10. Oh you lucky girl!! Your already charming garden is going to be over the top beautiful! What a wonderful hubby you have ;)