The back yard was the first priority. Partially because we really wanted grass, and partially for our dog, Cassie, who was our only dog at the time. So the first summer/fall we were in the house we had the back yard area leveled, put in an irrigation system and had the area hydro-seeded. It turned out lovely, but there is still much we want to do in this area (I know, it's hard to imagine me having a to-do list). We have very sandy soil (I know, imagine that living by a river/lake) so last summer we spent lots of time fertilizing and working to build up good sod base in the yard as our grass tends to be thin.
|The shed and back yard at move-in with our temporary green fence|
|The back yard at move-in(note the old grey fence)|
|Grass in, it is much thicker now.|
|Future boat/truck parking|
|Future drive to back yard|
|Retaining wall done and drive to the back|
|Gravel in, boat in|
From doing these projects, we accumulated a massive amount of river rocks in various sizes. And yes, we moved them all by hand, what a project! My husband used to laugh and say we would never find a way to use all the rocks; but we have!
|Our rock pile in the front yard, it grew bigger before it got smaller|
|Before on the left side of the walk|
|After on the left side, we added two rock walls, one by the house and one to divide the upper and lower beds.|
|Before on the right side of the walk|
|After on the right side, one wall and tulips in.|
|Stained shed, and fenced in the back left. More fence pics later in post.|
|The new wall and parking space|
|View from the top; much less steep now.|
|By the mailbox so far|
When we moved in, the front hill and front yard area were weed patches, much like the back yard and on the side of the house. We didn't want to run irrigation to the front of the house as we don't want to mow the area (and it's a pain to dig irrigation lines with all the rocks) so we decided the front yard area will be a patio with a fire pit. We will plant a tree in the corner. The patio hasn't been created yet, but we are on the way as this area is much more level than when we began. And the front hill is almost done. All that river rock was put to good use! My folks were a huge help with this project and they worked hard to help us get it finished up this fall. Next spring we will plant some desert grass in the fake "river" that we created and this project is finished.
|The front hill at move-in|
|Mapping out the "river"|
|Completed front hill. Plants to come in the spring.|
|Remember the giant rock pile that was the front yard? No more, it's also on its way to being level. Someday this will be patio. Aria is being a big helper in the picture, as usual.|
|Side of the house at move-in. Note the falling apart fence.|
|The new dog run and fence(with the dogs of course!) Some updates still to come.|
We still have many projects to go outside including edging the lawn, the front patio, planting the driveway hill, laying pavers by the shed for the sailboat, and at some point the shed will need re-built. Every winter it survives we breathe a sigh of relief! Writing this post has me excited for spring so we can get to work on some of the next projects outside.
On a separate note, electric fan switches are in! These make life so much easier. We used to have fans on all day in our house because we would forget about them, or we would turn them off when we left and really they needed to run a bit longer. No more, these solve all those problems. I highly recommend them.
|Auto fan switches. Still some leveling of the switch to happen.|