This is where our entire landscape transformation began. My husband came home one frosty January day and said, “I hear if you want trees removed, this is the time to do it.” I think he barely got the words out of his mouth before I was on the phone setting up estimates. We had thirteen trees removed from our itty bitty back yard. Most of them were gumballs.
We had always dreamed of having a yard where our kids could run and play in the grass; laughing as they hurdled the sprinkler. However, there were a few minor obstacles. I mentioned the trees, but there was also the fact that we inherited a back yard covered in rocks.
Not much frolicking in the sunshine back here!
We removed every last rock aside from a few we used in the landscape. We carted them out wheelbarrow by wheelbarrowful. Back breaking, but so worth it!!
Do you want to see the after right away? Or scroll through all of the before first? I always wonder what readers prefer. I’m going to give you many befores and afters back to back. How’s that?
Here is the back yard after tree removal and about a hundred wheelbarrows of rocks, from standing at the gate looking in:
We laid sod first. Laying it in July requires a LOT of water. These photos were taken in August. You can see a few bare patches that didn’t take, but overall the difference is still pretty huge.
The view along the fence:
From the other side before:
A new swingset was a must for the kids.
We built half of it in the rain.
Did I say, “we?” Really, I did help…just not in the rain!
What a good daddy! The kids absolutely love it!
We also replaced the fence ourselves.
This is looking towards the gate, I sure don’t miss those trees!
These rocks lead to our water hose. This is one of the ways we were able to reuse some of the rocks.
Peeking out through the gate:
This is the fist picture I showed you:
And the after of this view:
Prickly holly bushes were replaced by soft limelight hydrangeas on either side of the steps. I can’t wait to see how these come back.
Behind the swing set:
I love the soft lamb’s ear in the foreground. It has a really nice form like a hosta, but can tolerate the sun much better.
This is what’s on the other side of the gate:
This is our side yard with a flagstone path that leads to the front. This is often an overlooked area but our outdoor space is so limited, we wanted to take advantage of every inch. You can read more about this area, including how I recycled granite blocks to create a little patio seating area here.
If you missed my front yard makeover, you can see it here.
These photos were all taken last summer without sharing them to the world in mind. My grass looks so much more lush and green now than it ever did last year. My evergreens are so much bigger now, but my perennials haven’t all made their appearance yet. I wanted to share this early enough to possibly offer ideas to anyone planning a backyard makeover, or to anyone looking to make a few changes.
I will update with fresh lush photos when everything comes in full swing. This is going to be a really exciting season for me watching everything come back (fingers crossed) and fill in. I hope you stick around to see it unfold, too!
Poof! Like magic! Here’s my back yard one year later!
P.S. It was an amazing feeling the day we pulled out the sprinklers for the first time. The kids loved every. minute. of. it. (Honestly, I think we enjoyed it even more:)