Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Backyard Dreams

We have a lovely big backyard. Size-wise, it's great. But right now the entire thing is just one big rectangle of grass. No landscaping, nothing interesting. Just grass.



More grass.

We like to think of ourselves as fairly interesting people (ha!), so living with the world's most boring backyard just isn't going to work. We wanted to tackle it right away when we moved in, but landscaping during the summer of the Great Texas Drought of 2011 wouldn't have been the smartest idea.

Now that Fall is coming, we're ready to get going on our backyard makeover! Jeff brought home some fabulously huge graph paper from work, and we measured out a to-scale drawing of our backyard, then added in our landscaping plans (which I colored in with colored pencils, because who doesn't love an excuse to pull out the colored pencils?). Here's the plan:

(click to enlarge)

We want to extend the current patio (the grey part) so it goes out as far as the house (the new patio is shaded in brown). Along the house (by the windows to our bedroom), we're going to install a flower bed and plant red and white azaleas.

On the far fence, we're going to install a second flower bed with some crotons, some sort of large tree (maybe a Magnolia? Or just whatever's on sale... haha), a baby tree from Jeff's dad (who happens to be an avid gardner), some sort of shrubs (oleander? sage?), and some little swamp irises (also from Jeff's parents). In the corner, we want to make a compost pile (so eco-friendly!!). 

Along the other corner of the backyard, we want to do a big corner bed with a crape myrtle in the corner, more shrubs (indian hawthornes? buford holly?), and some pretty flowers. 

Even though we want to do everything ourselves rather than pay someone to do it, it's still going to be fairly expensive. So, we've divided the plan into phases:

Phase 1 (Fall 2011): Install three flower beds. Plant shrubs and trees.

Phase 2 (Spring 2012): Add stones as borders to the flower beds. Plant flowers. Build an extension to the patio. Add some potted plants to the patio.

Phase 3 (Later?): Buy new patio furniture. Install landscape lighting. Install compost pile.

Let's envision the future... first the view from the back of the backyard:

Right Now


Here's the right corner:


Here's the far side of the backyard:



And someday this patio will be extended to line up with the house:

We're pretty excited about this whole thing! Phase 1 will get going pretty soon, and I can't wait to share the progress with y'all! Bye bye, boring backyard!!


  1. the backyard is going to look amazing when you guys are done with all this! especially the extended patio - that will be fantastic, i'm sure.

    i have to say, i'm super impressed that your grass is as green as it is, with the whole drought thing and all!

  2. I vote for Sage shrubs!;) The backyard will look amazing though! Cant wait to see pictures!

  3. Hey now, be thankful you have grass at this point. Our backyard is currently 100% dirt and we are tackling sod on Saturday. I can't wait until we are to the point that you are and can think about landscaping as opposed to mud!

    Good luck, can't wait to see what you come up with!

  4. oh my gosh- these plans look amazing! can not wait to see how it turns out!