Backyard Makeover

This post has been a long time coming – when we moved into our house a year ago, the backyard was one of the areas that totally overwhelmed me. I had spent my last 7+ years in apartments or condos without any outdoor space, so I had no idea how to tackle the yard. It was a mess – like an totally embarrassing mess. Don’t believe me? Look at the photos below.

Yardbefore2 YardBefore1

There were so many dandelions that Joey actually harvested them and tried to make dandelion wine! I’m not kidding you. He also made a salad from them. So I suppose there were some perks to having a dandelion garden in your backyard, but it was still wildly embarrassing. Like when our neighbors had a party, and I saw some guests peering over their wall into our backyard with looks of shock. I knew we had to do something about the yard. So Joey did some research and found an absolutely amazing landscape architect, Sarah Jones, aka Botanical Jones. She came over, drafted up some beautiful plans, connected us with a few landscape contractors, and tada!!


The actual process was a lot more complicated than that. Mostly because it took a very long time to complete the job. But it’s almost done, bar the installation of our rain cistern and drip system, and it feels amazing.


My favorite part is the brick patio. I thought I hated brick hardscaping, but Joey convinced me that I actually just hated “new” bricks – you know, the bright red ones that come from Home Depot. As usual, he was right. I actually do like bricks, but they have to have some character. So he ended up sourcing all our bricks from neighbors and architectural salvage yards. About 80% of these bricks were 100% free. AMAZING! And they looks so good.


Because we hadn’t originally intended to lay a full brick patio, it wasn’t part of our quote so we had to do a lot of the work ourselves. There were some very long nights, but it was worth it.



Even though the bricks were essentially free, the rest of the yard was not. Haha, it was the most expensive project that we have undertaken, but I am so, so, so happy with the transformation.  We’ve been spending every evening outside. It’s wonderful.


I can’t stress enough that some jobs require a professional. If Joey and I had tried designing our backyard without the help of Sarah, it would have been a disaster. She knew what plants would work in what areas and had a great eye for design. And hiring out the installation to Clearwater Gardens, was the right choice as well, because it would have taken us ages to complete it on our own.

Sources: Tables (there are two): Ikea Falhomen Table; Dining Chairs: Target Project 62 Windsor Stacking Chair; Chair Cushions: Target Room Essentials; Patio Set: All Modern Morley 4 Piece Sofa Set With Cushions; Corten Steel Planters: Veradek Corton Steel Planters; Black Planters (with Bamboo): Lywnood Pottery Outlet

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