Backyard Landscaping – Part 1

Hey everyone! Did you get tons of new ideas from the Pinterest Challenge links yesterday? I pinned a bunch of new stuff and was impressed by so many projects people tackled. There are a lot of creative people and a lot of blogs out there – wowzers!

Since we’re getting a bunch more snow, it’s the perfect day to think about warmer weather and to talk about the huge landscaping project that went down in our backyard last August. This one was a doozy, so we had to call in the big guns. AKA, men with Bobcats and heavy equipment. You’ll see why.

When we moved into our house, we didn’t have a yard. The final grade was yet to be done, so we had hills of dirt waiting to be leveled and spread. It was such a mess. The final grade got done and then we had a sprinkler system installed. This was a step (expense) we didn’t plan on doing, but once I started having landscaping companies come out for quotes, it was clear we needed to do it. Every single person that came out and heard that the builders would be laying sod in the front yard said, “So you’re having an irrigation system put in, right?” After the third person said it, we just said, “Yes, yes we are.” I actually shudder to think what it would have been like to keep the sod alive in the heat of last summer. It wouldn’t have survived. I wouldn’t have survived lugging hoses and sprinklers around. Anywho…

The sprinker system and sod were installed and the front yard looked great.


Don’t you love the patchwork-ness of freshly laid sod? It was torture for our girls to stay off of it!

So, the backyard was left up to us. I don’t have a good photo of what it looked like on sod day, but, imagine a bare, brown, dirt covered area. That was in May.  Then, after rain and areas getting watered where the sprinkler lines overlapped the bare area, this is what we were left with August 1st. I present our backyard jungle.

Backyard Mess

Ok, so not a jungle. This is Michigan after all and we live in a wooded area, but you catch my drift. If you look really closely, you can see the spot that we tried to clear ourselves with a small rototiller, a shovel, rake and our two hands. It took over 2 hours.


We crack up thinking back to when we thought the two of us would be able to actually do something with this mess. If you wanted a lesson in botany on the various types of plants and weeds that grow naturally in Michigan, our backyard was THE place. We were standing out there, amidst weeds almost as tall as me in some places, covered in sweat and not making a dent when we looked at each other and my wise hubby says, “We need to hire someone. Now.” So we did. (whew)

I had been brainstorming what we could do with this space for months. We wanted some type of wall to separate the lower, flat yard (which would be grass) from the upper, wooded area. I also needed areas for flower beds so I could get my gardening on. I had an idea in my head and found the best way to convey my thoughts was to sketch it out. I am no artist, but I grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil and went for it. And, it’s what the Landscape Architect and her crew used to shape our backyard.

Backyard Sketch

Yes, it was embarrassing to show them my pitiful sketch, but it got the job done!

I’ll be back to explain my sketch and our plans and show you how it all went down!

3 thoughts on “Backyard Landscaping – Part 1

  1. Pingback: A bit of nothing… | The Things That Bring Me Joy

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