I wrote a couple weeks back about our back yard and the progress we’ve made since we moved in 4 years ago. The other day it was overcast and rainy, so I grabbed my camera and took some snaps of what it looks like back there these days. *Here’s a tip I picked up: An overcast day is actually one of the best times to photograph landscapes. In full sun, plants lose dimension and photos will turn out flat and washed out. Aim for overcast or partly cloudy days and choose early morning or twilight hours if you can. 

Lil' Spot Backyard

That big river birch is our favorite tree ever; it screens the 3-flat behind us for 3 seasons and provides some much needed shade to our full-sun yard. Can you believe it’s only 3 years old this year and already popping out of my frame?

Lil' Spot Backyard - hemlock and fire pit.

We’re also pretty proud of this eastern hemlock we planted the same year. It kinda looks like The Sorting Hat. But it’s hosted 2 robins’ nests in a row so I would say it’s WINNING!

I know you’re wondering WTF that piece of wood is about. It’s just a piece of weathered wood. I like to keep things a little trish-trash around here.

And don’t judge me because our fire pit needs a bikini wax. I have to pull up all of those rocks one by one and put down a proper weed barrier. Because it’s pretty much all weeds back here.

We’re not planning any major projects in the yard this season, after a couple years of some hardcore home improvement back there we are ready to just enjoy it. Wait, enjoy it? I mean let out a loud ass groan as we realize that it needs mowing…again.

This is us: Did you water the new grass this morning? Something dug up the seedling I planted yesterday and left a swath of dirt spread all over the deck. Nice. Is that fuckin’ raccoon back again? No? Maybe it was the skunk I saw the other night. Yeah, or the ground hog? IDK. Did you check for ticks in the shower? I think we should put a container of beer out to drown the slugs. I heard that shit works. Oh look, time to mow again.

Lil' Spot Backyard

We tried to plant fresh grass seed where our monstrous driveway once lived. It looks like a Chia pet on Day 3 or a botched Rogaine application. Think we need to reseed.

Lil' Spot Backyard

Now you see why we call it Lil’ Spot, right?! Our little suburban cabin. On a more serious design note, I would eventually like to get 2 big planters for either corner of the deck instead of a bunch of little pots. I think it will look cleaner and help anchor the asymmetric layout (lattice on one side, trees on the other). But did you know those shits are like $200 a piece? I feel a DIY comin’ on!

Lil' Spot Backyard

In the meantime, I planted some of my mom’s vintage pails and pots with herbs so I can grab them in the middle of cooking dinner. Working towards always having fresh herbs on hand…remember?

After I’m done griping about weeding and run-ins with nocturnal rodents or these bad boys, I try to remember that the payoff is major: a sunny semi-private place to sit and have coffee and read the paper iPad in the morning. It’s great to wake up to birds chirping in the trees that I planted. And it’s the best ever to have friends over to make pizzas on the grill and laugh so loud it wakes up our neighbors’ kids.

Lil' Spot Backyard

Our friends in the city always say the only reason they would move to the ‘burbs is so they can have a back yard. I get that. The only reason I would move to the city is so I can have a shorter commute and decent thai food.

If I had any sage advice for soon-to-be-suburbanites it’s this: this shit doesn’t just pop up like a blow-up castle. It takes a lot of sweaty, slimy, put-your-back-into-it work. At least for any homeowner who refuses to hire a landscaper, like me. It builds character. It ruins your shoes. It takes time out of your weekend. It’s a losing battle against weeds and pests. But yeah, it’s so totally worth it.

Lil's Spot Backyard

Here is the promised Before + After Porn:

before-and-after-backyard-facing-east

 

Before + After - Backyard Redo

before-and-after-basement-door-deck

Loveyoubye! Maggie

 

2 Comments on Backyard Work /// Before + After Porn

  1. dede
    05/29/2014 at 5:24 PM (3 years ago)

    Can I come live in your cute little garage?
    KTANXBI, xox d

    Reply

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