Back Yard Makeover…One Year Later


Back Yard Makeover, One Year Later

Hello my beautiful friends!

After many many days of rainy,  gloomy weather, I was finally able to get outside this week and take some pictures of my back yard in the sunshine!

We completed our back yard makeover in July of last year. I shared it this Spring and got a ton of positive feedback, which was awesome after all our hard work!  I think that’s probably due in part, to the hideous before comparison. What a difference!!

Today I’m going to show you the “before”, then the “after” from last year, and finally, the now, so you can compare and see how much change has taken place back there.

Here we go!

This is the before view standing at the gate looking in (Doesn’t it make you want to kick  off your flip flops and frolic about? Um, I don’t think so.) :


We inherited a back yard covered in rocks from corner to corner. (That picture was taken after several wheelbarrows full had already been removed.)

This is the after from last year:


And this is how it looks today:

Small Back Yard Makeover

Not too different from this view except you can see  I didn’t kill anything (yay!). I  love how big my Hostas and Coral Bells have gotten and I love these Lace Cap Hydrangeas!


View from the other side before (there will be no impulsive frolicking here either):


Last summer after:


And one year later:


I  love  the shade this tree gives. Glad we kept it! (We had thirteen trees removed.) As you can see, I didn’t kill much out here either. Everything has come back quite nicely.

Especially these beautiful purple Astilbe. They pretty much dried up and kicked the bucket the first month they were in the ground, but they came back more lovely and luscious than ever:


Here are the steps up to the deck before, flanked by two prickly holly bushes:


I don’t have a good shot of this view from last year, but here it is now:


I replaced the landing area with leftover pavers from our front /side pathway and framed it out with granite blocks that we inherited in our old landscape.  You can see the circular patio I built in our side yard using the rest of them here.

Last summer:




(At least when Jack photos bombs, he’s polite enough to pose nicely!)

Looking towards the gate before:


Last summer after:




To see how this girl built that gate, click here.

To the right of the gate is a glossy abelia. I love it’s delicate bell-shaped flowers.


I often see it used as  a hedge and shaped more formally, but I hope I can keep it’s form free flowing.

And a view of my favorite spot in the back yard ( last summer):




So lush and full, it really came in nicely this year.

Hey! Look whose in my spot! There’s my big middle schooler again. Isn’t he a cutie??! (Of course I think so!)




This is the view of the opposite corner last summer:

Back yard makeover, one year later

And now:

Back yard makeover, one year later

To learn more about creating a landscape from scratch, click here.


I love watching everything unfold.  There are three beautiful purple azalias back here, two of which are along this back fence, that I wish I’d gotten a picture of this Spring.

I hope you enjoyed this little look back.

Our back yard is officially ready for frolicking! You can come by anytime! 🙂





P.S. Want more? You won’t believe how much my front yard has filled in! You can check it out here. 🙂


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  1. I love, love, LOVE your backyard!!! And it came back SO beautifully this year! I love to see everything mature. You did a fantastic job, and don’t think for one second that I won’t be perusing your tutorials when it comes time to put my new yard together. I’m so clueless…

    -andi 🙂

  2. It is amazing what a year can do!! It looks beautiful!! Enjoy 🙂

  3. I love your yard. I really like the plants you chose, and I like the rock drainage that you added instead of a long downspout.

    • Thanks, Jennifer! The rock idea was really just one way to reuse some of the thousands of rocks that were there, but they work well and break up the landscape. 🙂

  4. Rita Williams says

    You did a fantastic job. Removing the trees had to of been a huge job but it sure was worth it. I have had my back yard for over 5 years and I’m in the process of CHANGING things. Mostly the plantings and hard scape under my free standing pergola. I am into flowers I can pick for bouquets. For me and to give to friends. My “base” flowers are hydrangeas, 5 different variates and peonies. Now if I just had a 9 day week.

    • I’m with you in the 9 day week! Why are there never enough hours in the day?? I’m a huge fan of hydrangeas myself…I have four more on the side of my house. I love to keep fresh hydrangeas in the house all summer! Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  5. It is gorgeous!!! I love the daylilies!

  6. Gorgeous Yard! I liked all the special touches like the art on the gate and the perfect garden bench!

    Jen =)

  7. Your yard is beautiful! I didn’t realize how hard a job was like that was until I actually had to do it myself, but you are proof that hard work pays off. Nice job! And that gate…swoon.

    • Thanks, Brittany! I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my life as I did in our yard during our redo! I lost ten pounds, my arms were so buff.(Note I said, “were” ha!) We did our front and back one right after the other, about six months total, but it was totally worth it! Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  8. So beautiful!!

  9. Ok, I’m even more impressed! Fabulous before and after photos, wow.
    Gorgeous yard!


  10. What a n amazing transformation, Christy! Your yard looks fabulous!! Thanks for joining ON THE MENU MONDAY and sharing your lush yard!

  11. I’ve chosen your fabulous yard as one of my favorites (no surprise, right?!) from last week’s Project Inspired party!
    Thanks for sharing it~!

    • Woohoo! Thanks, Nancy!! It’s been so hot lately, we haven’t spent much time out there! Have a great week and thanks again for the feature!! 🙂

  12. Absolutely beautiful – you did a wonderful job! It looks so enticing now.

  13. Looks incredible! Question, what are the 2 small trees up against the fence in the last photo? Thx!

  14. I love what you have done, it is absolutely beautiful.
    Can you tell what garden tools you use and how many hours per day did you put in the working of this masterpiece. Landscapers are so jelly I’m sure!! lol

    • Thanks so much, Diane! We really enjoy our outdoor space now. It took a couple of months to come together after clearing out all the rocks. As far as tools, I think a wheelbarrow and a shovel were our best friends for hauling fresh soil, compost, and mulch. No special tools needed. I appreciate the positive feedback…Happy Holidays! 🙂

  15. Your yard is uber cute, I want to take a stroll in it! I’m curious, how much did the tree removal cost?

  16. Nicole FALCE says

    Bravo for your job!! I’m fan of your creatives ideas… Hello from south-west of France.. Nicole


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