May 27, 2014

Backyard Dreaming

by Shelly

The weather has been absolutely lovely here in So Cal. Warm, but not too warm during the day and a nice cool breeze come evening. But the lack of a real place to hang out outside has been bothering us all. And we really, REALLY miss having a pool.

The last two homes we owned both had pools. Our first place had a 1960s classic, kidney shape pool with nothing but concrete and small flowers beds. And our ugly pool equipment was smack dab in the middle of everything. We remodeled the entire backyard eventually and it was really what we loved about that home the most.  We still talk about how much we miss that backyard. Below is a little sneak peek of the changes we did to that yard. We didn’t use a landscape designer, my husband and I designed out the whole thing ourselves.

 

Our last place, had an amazing backyard, but to be honest…it wasn’t quite us. A bit too formal and the layout didn’t really work. The covered patio area was far enough from the main house that it was a pain to entertain. And the previous owners who had remodeled the backyard had put an outdoor fireplace in the WORST area! It was next to the outdoor kitchen, but there was no room to put chairs by  it because it would block the bbq area. Poor design!

 

Our current home was a DISASTER…which you may already know if you have been reading the blog for a while now. There was not one inch that was good. Not the interior of the home, not the exterior, not the front yard, and not the backyard. NOT. ONE. INCH.  We still would like to redo the entire exterior of our home and possibly add onto it a bit, but our first priority has been getting the backyard a bit more visually appealing. Seriously, it was a WRECK when we moved in.

What did I tell ya? Yuck.

Umm…the patio, I guess.

The side of the house looking into the backyard. Hey, at least there were nice fruit trees!

Little by little we have made some changes. We removed the ugly DIY awnings over the windows that the previous owners had made.  They blocked out a ton of natural sunlight into the bedrooms and made them dark and sad. So those termite infested things came off quickly! We also demolished the somewhat “paved” patio area with the metal pergola which was missing it’s cover and the chainlink dog run fence.

Last year after a bit of coaxing, the husband finally agreed to have our lawn resodded. And when I saw lawn, what I really mean is green weeds and crabgrass that from afar APPEAR to be a lawn. It was not grass really. So, we had our gardener put in sprinklers, flower beds, new sod and a row of privots to create a hedge wall for privacy. My inspirations are very East coast classic, Hamptons feeling.

With this home I want a formal meets cottage garden design.  Just enough boxwood for symmetry, but enough pea gravel, white roses, hydrangea, and jasmine to feel cottage.  Although we’ve put in sprinklers, sod and all that, we do plan on putting in a pool and hot tub sometime in the next year or so. We plan to keep the beds we’ve already created and just move the sod and sprinklers to the front of our home when the time comes. I’m crossing my fingers that this all happens by next summer. Eek!

For now the pups are enjoying the backyard the most, chasing squirrels and birds and rolling around in the grass. The humans enjoy it mostly for it’s slip and slide capabilities!

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