I know many of you come to my blog for exciting and inspiring ideas. I love showing you beautiful spaces and makeovers. Sadly, today I have to show you the ugly side of our house. Our backyard is quite a sight. It’s been on our “want to do” list for years. The landscape timbers that were previously a pathway have deteriorated more and more until the spikes that hold them in place are exposed and all the pea gravel has spilled out. We are in need of some major backyard landscape plans.
You can’t tell from this picture, but by the end of summer this pathway (if you can even call it a pathway) is a mini forest of weeds. It’s been an eyesore for so long. It’s best to avert your eyes.
There are more rotted steps leading down to the backyard. It’s a disgrace back there.
Beside the house there was a similar pathway, but the landscape timbers have long since rotted and disappeared. I usually add a few bags of pea gravel every year to give us a mud-free path to walk on when taking out the trash. This has been a band-aid solution, but not a permanent solution.
I am wincing at these photos because it shows how bad our yard really is. (The uncoiled hose adds to the “I could care less.” look.) It’s a wonder our neighbors haven’t notified the homeowner’s association about the situation.
This explains why we only invite close friends over for s’mores and hot dogs at our fire pit. We feel safe knowing they probably wouldn’t sue us if someone tripped on that uneven fire pit circle.
Plus, our friends are usually more forgiving when we tell them to tread carefully over the rocks and roots leading up to the fire pit.
The other side of the fence was previously a dumping ground for all the sticks and limbs that fall in our yard. A few years ago we had to take out two big trees. That gave us one thing our yard truly lacked: a big sunny spot!
The thought of being able to finally have a place to grow fresh vegetables has me giddy and excited to get started soon! You can see some of the ideas I have for this garden space on my Landscaping Pinterest Board.
Behind the raised vegetable planters will be a shed that I have big storage plans for. Space in our garage is at a premium, with the boys’ bikes and sport stuff. Pretty Handsome Guy has slowly begun storing a plethora of lawn and yard equipment in the garage. I want to reclaim my garage workshop and be able to use the woodworking equipment inside the garage (currently I pull my table saw and a rolling table into the driveway to work.) I look at these photos of when the garage was a useable space and long for it to be that clean again! These are my shed inspiration photos on Pinterest if you want to view some of the styles I like.
Help from a Professional:
We finally met with a local landscape designer this past Spring. Cat Valand came highly recommended from one of our neighbors. She spent a lot of time with us and walked our property and sat down in the kitchen with us to discuss our wants and needs. She also got a feel for my decorating style inside the house while we talked.
When she came back with the plans, I was blown away! She had addressed every want and every need. AND, it was a beautiful organic plan with curves and lots of visual interest. Exactly what I wanted!
She even presented us with a binder full of color photos of the plants and plans for an arbor to hide the trash cans. Her binder also held several recommendations for landscapers and other yard service people. We were so excited to have a plan and couldn’t wait to start on our new yard.
Then life got in the way. I spent the better part of the Summer dealing with doctor appointments and ultimately heading to Houston, TX to have sinus surgery. When I came home, it was catch up time. The holidays hit and I got sucked into studying for my general contractor exam. Anyway, you get the point. Life…it’s great but sometimes it has other plans for your time.
In the meantime, I want to go ahead and share our plans with you. Hopefully, I’ll be able to show you the finished product in the Spring!
We knew we wanted to incorporate a patio off the deck. We also knew we needed a more permanent solution for our walkways. We have a front walkway and circular patio using Belgard pavers that we love. It was installed in our front yard over 6 years ago. We’ve been very impressed with the quality of the pavers and they still look as good as the day they were installed.
When Belgard reached out to me about working with them, it was uncanny how good the timing was. I was more than thrilled to work with them since I already loved their products. I immediately hopped onto their website to see all the amazing options.
The Inspiration page was the perfect spot to get ideas. I love the cottage feel of these mosaic pavers.
And this patio has me dreaming about sitting outside after dark with a glass of wine in hand by the fire.
Belgard also has a 3-D Visualizer that can help you visualize your own space with the new hardscapes. You can upload your own photo or work with a Belgard authorized contractor and have them give you a look at your new space before you even break ground!
Here are my initial sketches of our backyard. Let me know what you think.
In place of the rotted timbers, I want to have a nice entertaining size patio put in.
I’m leaning toward the Mega Arbel mosaic pavers with a similar edging:
I also like the idea of a stone retaining wall that double as a seating wall. This wall is so pretty, but a little too high. If the vertical stones are removed I think it would be a perfect height for a seating wall.
Something like this curved wall at seating height is more my style.
The Keystone Stonegate wall blocks in this wall are tumbled and smooth. They are also a smaller scale since our space isn’t huge.
We need several steps coming down from the patio. We have quite the rise and run, so our steps need to be deep.
I have always loved the look of giant granite steps. This photo of the Belgard Granika steps made me fall in love with their natural look. It’s hard to believe they aren’t real granite!
On the garage side of the house, we would like to continue the Belgard Dublin Cobble pavers from our front walkway.
The pavers are also tumbled and have a old world look, but not the high rounded cobble stones that would be difficult to walk on.
The pavers will extend to the front driveway and this is where that cool arbor is.
On the other side of the house, we are looking for a more informal treatment for the walkway to the fire pit.
I know we’ll use more Granika steps here to help navigate the slope. But, I’m thinking about something bigger and chunkier for the walkway. I’ll have to do some more searching on the Belgard site.
I have to admit these Turfstone permeable pavers really look dreamy, but I couldn’t find anywhere to incorporate them.
To get a feel for the exact colors of the Belgard products, I headed to our local distributor to look at some of the samples. I visited Site One in Apex, NC that has a big Belgard outdoor showroom. This is a nationwide chain, so check to see if there is one near you or search for other Belgard dealers.)
The nice thing about viewing the products in the outdoors is that you can really see how they look after years of weathering and when they get wet.
Suffice it to say, this is a major project and I won’t be DIYing all of it. I will be calling in one of the landscapers that were recommended to help with the installation of the Belgard materials. Especially the Granika steps (they weigh 275 lbs. each.)
Stay tuned! I hope to have some beautiful photos for you soon.
Update: The patio is complete and looks amazing. You can view the patio reveal here.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Belgard. I receive complimentary products in exchange for writing a post about Belgard. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. As usual, I am very particular about the brands I work with and will always tell you if you are reading a sponsored post.