Well it’s been raining all day which has thwarted my plans to work in my backyard garden. So, to pass some time I thought I would post a little showing how far we have come with this house in the last few years. Moving into a new construction home really is alot of work. We had absolutely NOTHING in the backyard when we moved in (other than dirt). Our first project was having a stamped concrete patio installed.
Many of the concrete patios I’ve seen are only a few inches off of the ground. I told them I wanted it raised up so that from our doorwall we only had one step down to get to the patio (which makes it about 2 feet or so off of the ground.) It was also important to me that it extended from one side of our house all the way over to our egress window (which is as large as we could have made it). We have a huge backyard for the city we live in and having a small patio would have just looked dinky in comparison and wouldn’t have fit the space. I also wanted the two octagon mini patios coming off of the main patio. I really had to convince my husband to do that as it definitely raised the price of the patio. We were always supposed to have the one for the fire pit and I called the extra one “my tanning pad” lol. I still can hear him saying, “Are you serious?! You really need a tanning pad? Can’t you just tan on the main patio? Well, of course I could tan on the main patio, it was more for asthetics than anything. Plus I wanted as big of a patio as possible for entertaining. I don’t have any pictures of the patio after they put the sealer on for some reason but it really darkened it up and put a glossy shine on it. I’m so happy with the completed project and I personally think we have the nicest stamped concrete patio I’ve seen.
After the patio was installed it was time for sod and sprinklers. We got the builder to throw those in with the price of the house so, sometimes you get what you pay for. He waited until the middle of July, the hottest time of the year and as you’ll notice from the pictures it was basically dead from sitting on the truck all day in the heat. I also think they underestimated the amount of sod they would need for the job because they didn’t put the pieces of sod right up against one another. They left inches of gap space around many of the pieces which unfortunately left room for weeds to make their way in and the first two years we had the lawn it was a battle to get the sod to fill in and get rid of the weeds that grew in between the patches of grass.
After our grass and patio had been in for a year we decided to take on a backyard landscaping project in the summer of 2013. See the before pics here.
Here are the pictures taken while the workers started on the project and put in our 7 foot tall gorgeous Arbor Vitae trees, boxwood bushes, pink Rose of Sharon Bushes, Ewe bushes, the black trellis we bought from Weigand’s Nursery and the flagstone pavers underneath the trellis.
We came up with the design because Mike’s parents have some really tall Arbor Vitae surrounding their backyard and theirs is grown in and forms a beautiful green wall of privacy to seperate them from their neighbors. I wanted the Rose of Sharon bushes because my parents have a wall of them in their backyard which is probably a good 12-15 feet tall or so and is covered in pretty pink flowers in late summer. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the Rose of Sharon any larger than what you see planted here but we were assured that they grow pretty fast and should actually outgrow the Arbor Vitae in a few years. We will see!
Looking back I probably would have put some Arbor Vitae going across the back of the lot and had a few Rose of Sharon mixed in so that we had some evergreens in the back and more instant privacy from the neighbors behind us but it will be beautiful when it grows in. I also wanted planting space in front of the “natural walls” we planted so they left me some room to put in my own plants over time. The Ewes were put inside of the planting wall of our patio and they get red berries on them when it’s cold which is pretty and they are evergreen.
Overall, it was exactly what I wanted. Hope you like it!