Since we moved in to our home about 5-6 years ago, the focus has been on fixing up the inside of the house. This year we figured we would go ahead and start on the outside!
This is our house when we moved in. The front yard landscaping was never finished. The thing about this picture that makes me laugh is how small the bushes were back then! They definitely have grown since we took that picture.
This is our house now, in preparation for landscaping. The bushes and shrubs are gone. We are going to pour concrete and replace the entire front porch because it sank just a little! Check out the front step in this photo - not only is it very un-level, but it amazes me because you can see the line where the porch used to be.
Our porch railing is cheap and if the wind blows too hard, it falls out of socket. We are going to try an open wooden porch with a step all the way around.
This is a trouble spot. It's under a tree (YAY!) that produces a lot of acorns (BOO!) One year we collected 32 gallons of acorns off the ground from this tree! So landscaping with rock or mulch is out of the question because both would require a LOT of maintenance each year at acorn-time. So we decided that right here we would try a half-patio that is loosely based off of this photo here:
The wall will likely extend all the way to the corner of the house, and possibly even in front of the house to hide where the mud used to be. This kind of patio can just be swept off each year, making acorn maintenance easy-peasy. Also I am going to experiment with potted shade plants on the patio - something that I can move when necessary. We are also going to put a few chairs here. All in all, it should turn out really nice and very practical.
Now, the backyard plans! Our back yard is large, sloped, fenced-in, and has a very sunny and unused porch that we throw all sorts of junk under.
It also has lots of weeds under it, and very little grass. I have always thought it looked pretty bad, but I was unsure what to do about it.
We have decided to take off the back porch. We will create a landing and stairs coming down from the back door to a small 10x 10 concrete patio - possibly with posts for some sort of shade plan (a trellis, sun shade, or any other idea that we come up with). We will then fix the grass around the patio.
This weekend we will be changing this corner of the backyard. We purchased a used shed for a steal-of-a-deal, and Cory will be setting that up right here.
The final phase of the plan is a swing set. We are getting Nora a swing set for her birthday this year, and it will go somewhere around here, or likely closer to the shed. I am in the process of narrowing down the one we will purchase.