Backyard Finished!

Hubby & I have been working our asses off since March.  We have spent most weekends & evenings tearing down, rebuilding & moving things around our yard in big circles.  With some occasional help from the kids & one very kind neighbour with a bulldozer we did it all ourselves! I am SO happy to be done – now more planning….   we will have to do the same thing to the front yard next year (:

So, here is a before picture.  We hated the wood privacy fence.  It cut the yard in half & there was nowhere to sunbathe by the pool.  The only spot to sit was taken up by our massive table.  You couldn’t see any of the side yard & the pool shed deck ended up a dumping ground for tarps, hoses & any other outdoor equipment that didn’t fit in the shed.

So… the kids tore down the fence. Hubby and I built a deck from wood salvaged from my parents old deck by the chicken coop for the old pool shed.  Some friends came over & moved the shed with beer’s help.  We took apart the old deck & used it for my veggie garden raised beds (: 

Next we built a 50′ long, 3′ high retaining wall from the end of our house to the end of the fence line.  The old fence had been put up about 1/2 way across our garage, so we moved the  fence line back about 12 feet giving us an area in the sunniest part of the yard for some recliners.  I found a brand new hexagon gazebo on Kijiji (I love Kijiji), so we build the retaining wall with a jut out for 3 sides of the gazebo.  The crappiest part was moving the railroad ties.  They weighed around 300lbs each and were not fun to drag from the driveway to the back of the house. 

 Hubby & our son built the fence.  I only helped a little.  I was busy bringing wheelbarrows of compost to create a perennial bed along the length of the retaining wall. I found the fence on Kijiji (LOVE kijiji).  It is much nicer than the chain-link that we had originally planned.  Hubby ran the electrical and pool plumbing to the back of the yard to the small deck box.  The 3×4′ box holds all of the pool equipment.  Much nicer looking than the 12×12 shed!  The next part of the construction sucked.  We had 15 yards of soil delivered to the driveway.  An incredibly kind neighbour brought his bulldozer with a bucket on the front & brought the soil to the jut out for the gazebo.  Every time he would dump a yard hubby & I frantically shovelled it away from the spot that he dumped it, so there was room for the next yard.  It happened to be a beautiful clear but humid 30C day.  I think I lost about 7lbs.  We built the gazebo, set it all up & secured it to the retaining wall & also to some concrete slabs underground.  Our wedding gazebo blew away in a storm, so we didn’t take any chances this time.

Finally I ordered a couple of skids of sod.  It took us 3 evenings of crazily working to get it all laid.  It would have been 2 but we had a torrential downpour the first night.  We watered the grass well & it all seemed to take.  The gardens had started to grow in & it was looking pretty good. (:  We did a few last-minute things like painting touch ups & a few more plants… Then put on the gazebo top.  This is the view from the bench in our mini-orchard.  We are very happy with the result.  It was an absolute ton of work – but my arm & leg muscles are great!  The only things left to do in the backyard are moving the hot tub to the new deck that we built-in the midst of all of the rest of the construction and resurfacing the concrete patio.  Easy stuff after railroad ties & speed shovelling 15 yards of soil!

Here is the after picture!

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