Monday, June 14

Evolution of our backyard...

This a metamorphosis in progress.... We're still not done but wanted to share :).

This is our house six years ago (April 2004). New house, new fence, pretty grass.... ahh!

When we purchased our house we had a plan for our backyard. The list of projects included a stone retaining wall, leveling the ground (it sloped badly), replacing Bermuda grass with Zoysia and adding flagstone patio... All were really DH's ideas. The list goes on and on but those were the big projects.

Here's a picture of the stone wall in progress, not very pretty.... Each stone was hand carried into our back yard. It was tons and tons of rocks! Troy did this pretty much all by himself-- I was inside taking care of the baby the whole time-- No credit for me here!

The wall was finished in late 2008, thank goodness! **notice the dinky tree...

Then in the winter last year, we added soil to fill in and level the ground. It was a total of eight truck loads of soil and compost. Not pick up loads, big truck loads! The soil & compost was dumped on our driveway out front and we'd wheel it to the backyard in a wheel borrow a little at a time. This took weeks! Troy did most of it, I helped very little. Here's the backyard when it was level-- It was a cold wintery day (Feb 2009).
Next was the pallet of Zoysia. Here it is the day it was laid down. Holy cow was that a lot of hard work! We did this together. He was wheeling it to the back and I was laying it down. Oh my was that rough. It was a really wet day and we had 3-4 inches of mud on our shoes. Notice un-edged flowerbed in the middle of the picture and flagstone patio in foreground.
We really did not plan the flower bed along the wall well-- my fault. I wanted the bed to go around our single (dinky 'Charlie Brown') backyard tree and we just did not do it right. After laying new sod, we simply added rocks to the edge but never got to really plant anything besides a couple of small shrubs.

It did not look good at all but we ran out of time before the fall rolled around and we got busy with other projects so we just left it as is. Look beyond the stuff in the background and notice the pretty Zoysia grass :). Then we totally neglected the flowerbed over the winter and it got really ugly. This is about a week after the March snow-- everything was dormant or dead. Yuck!When Spring rolled around, this was the first project on the list. I wanted the bed reshaped and expanded to incorporate the tree. As soon as the surprise mid March snow melted, I came up with a plan. I drew the new shape with spray paint and we went to work removing the grass and digging a trench for the stone. Here is the bed ready for stone.Here is the finished bed with a few new Burford Hollies and Nandina shrubs. The grass is dormant but at least the new shrubs are green-- much better! So here it is 10 weeks later... Now, since the big projects are done, the new project on the to do list is replacing the fence. Troy is doing 'board on board' cedar. You can see the new fence is in progress in the background of this picture.

Here is a close up of the flowers around the tree.So that is my Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch and Outdoor Wednesday party at Southern Daydreamer. Be sure to visit the blog parties to see what others are doing. I've been wanting to post this for weeks. I hope my post inspires other do it your-selfers out there. This is proof that you can eat an elephant one bite at a time-- as they say! More pictures of the other projects will follow in the coming weeks. Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Flag Day

Here's a quick snapshot of our front yard. I forgot to put our flag out last night and did it first thing this morning. Hope you are having a wonderful Flag Day!

Sunday, June 6

Summer Dessert #1

This was dessert tonight, Fruit Pizza. I had not made this in well over ten years. I decided the other day that I am going to try to make a fun, semi fancy, easy- dessert at least once a week. So here is the dessert for week #1.

Nothing to this. The crust is Sugar Cookie dough. I used Betty Crocker mix that comes in a pouch, added the stick (gulp) of butter and egg. After baking it on a pizza stone, I spread on strawberry flavored cream cheese and added sliced strawberries, bananas, kiwi and dotted with a few blue berries.. Very fun, quick and impressive for my five year old.

ps: There are many variations to this just do a search on Pillsbury or Betty Crocker website. You can do frosting for the spread and add candy like M & M's or marshmellows too, I was trying to be sorta healthy so I went with fresh fruit. If you make one, add a comment and include the link to your blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Garden Visitor

It was extra rewarding to get up early this morning to water the back yard. I was surprised by a visitor in our bird bath. I ran to get the camera and took this picture from inside the house through the glass. He looks like he's having a good time splashing around. We've not had many birds around since the treeline behind our house was cleared for new development (don't get me started-- I am still upset after two years), so it was a nice surprise to see this little guy visiting. We'll be keeping the birdbath full of water from now on! Hope you are having a great Sunday.