Tuesday, September 7, 2010

June 28th - From the Outside In

Oh, the horror.

This is the yard BEFORE. We moved in early Winter - so the construction debris etc. was quickly covered up by nice fluffy snow. Then the dog did what dogs do all winter ... add the odd bit of garbage blown in by the wind etc. and it was a sorry situation this spring.

And as anyone who has built a home will know ... spring was about the time the budget ran out. We were done. So, the husband decided to take matters into his own hands.

With some helpful input and encouragement from me (ok, perhaps a lot of "suggestions", the looking out the window with gardening magazines in my lap, the sighing, the shuddering and cringing ..) he hatched his plan. But let's let's appreciate the full horror of what spring revealed:

This is all so very depressing that I think we must jump immediately to the "afters". It's really for the best, to keep our spirits up. The vision, fully realized, and completed below. I'll get to the "hows" in a minute.

Here is the view from the upper balcony.

And then the view back up to the hot tub balcony.

Note: Olive the dog who inserts herself in many photos. She is a very vain dog.

The last shot is the walkway from the side of the house that brings us to the back patio.

A note on the patio furniture. When we saw this square modern table last Fall, we loved it and wanted to incorporate it into our landscaping plan. It seats eight and we felt it suited the vibe of the rest of the house. What you can't possibly know, from this picture, is how very comfortable these seats are. I say this for all the furniture. It's all very, very comfy. I will say, as I write this near the end of the summer, that I have even managed to have a nap or two on the love seat.

It's from The Fireplace Centre http://www.fireplacecentre.com/ and the manufacturer is Actwin http://www.actiwin.com/

They have a great selection of contemporary - and more traditional - pieces. It's all Sumbrella fabric and great quality.

But this is not where this story begins, friends. Sadly it begins here with a lowly two by six, a huge bag of stones and a wheel barrow.

Our yard is narrow. Now that the house is built, the only way back there is via these side stairs. We have absolutely no access from the rear or from the other side. So, this is it.

Navigating this flimsy ramp is how the husband spent the better part of several weeks. Going up one side and down the other. He estimates he went up and down this board several hundred times.

First it was this gravel, used for the base for the patio stones (they dropped two HUGE bags of stones in the front driveway):

These patio stones (which were carried one at at time) and which probably weighed 45 lbs each.

Which eventually became this walk way ....

And this patio:

Then, there was the sod. We are not above using child labour, when the circumstances demand it .... Here is Miss Daughter, and some friends, helping out with the hauling.

There were trees that were planted to screen a few areas. Here is the entrance to the in-law suite (down the stairs, below):

There was this pile of cedar, which became the skirting for the deck.

So, the happy ending is a fantastic backyard that we have grown to love. The kids play areas blended with the entertaining areas, which blended with the relaxing zones. We sit in our "outdoor" room extensively, even when it's a big chillier. We can throw on a blanket or two and sit out. When we do, we can gaze over a nicely green, yard, framed with those huge Glebe trees we love.
We likely saved thousands in landscaping fees, which was great, too. Big thanks to the husband for his vision, his hard work and his amazing execution. He really got it done and we are so glad.

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