January marked two years since we moved into our house! I can’t believe it’s already been that long. We had a lot of work done before we moved in, and one of the areas that we focused on was our back yard. The yard was fine, but felt very compact without a lot of open space. We gutted the yard apart from three trees and started from scratch. One of our goals is to finish the patio area so it’s fully functional by this summer.
Looking into the yard from the kitchen door, you can see how little open grass there was. The retaining walls were a good 7-8 feet from the fence line and even more in some places. This raised wooden deck had seen better days. Although the tree with the circular bench was pretty, with two young kids, our priority was to have an open space where we can run and play.
This is the best picture I could find that looks from the yard back to the house. We liked the large patio area, but both the wooden deck and concrete had a lot of wear and tear. Fortunately we had a friend who helped us get a good deal on pavers and stone. We ripped all of this out and pushed the retaining walls way back to allow for more open grassy space.
We replaced the chain link fence along the back with a wooden fence since we face a dog park. The wooden fence provides a lot more privacy. It’s crazy to look at these photos and see how much our little ficus trees have grown, and how much the ground cover has filled in above the retaining wall.
The retaining wall follows a slope towards this side of the yard and bows out so we could keep the tree in the corner, the only one that actually changes color! You can see how much more open everything is now that we cleared out a lot of the overgrown beds and foliage.
The only picture I could find facing the house is from when it was being painted, but you can see the way we leveled out the patio and added stairs to accommodate the entrance to the kitchen. The door on the right opens into our den, which you can see here.
So what’s next?? We feel pretty good about the landscaping as it stands now. We added a little seating area in front of the door on the right with a love seat, two club chairs, and a coffee table. I’d love to show you, but we have all our outdoor furniture covered to protect it from the monsoon season we’ve been having here in southern California the past couple months. I’d like to replace our dining set with a slightly larger arrangement that can fit at least six people. We’re also looking into building some sort of pergola over the seating area.
I would love a scaled-down version of Rachel’s covered seating area at Maison de Pax. We would do wooden posts instead of stone columns, and a smaller size overall.
I’ll be posting more as we move forward on this project. I’m excited to finish up this space so we can do a lot more outdoor entertaining this summer!