This is what my backyard looked like in February. Granted it was the middle of winter and so the grass wasn't always that yellow, but pretty much it was always thin, unhealthy, ugly. And I HATED the rocks. If you are considering putting a set up like this in...DON'T! It probably isn't as bad if you put in curbing or something, combined with a little more interesting set up than this...but it was TERRIBLE for the daycare kids.
So Joey literally spent almost all of his free time for MONTHS working on the backyard. I helped as much as I could, but with most of my time taken up by the house and daycare, he ended up doing the majority of the hard labor. I got to help put the "icing on the cake" as he likes to put it...helped lay the sod and the patio, that type of thing. Anyway, with no further ado...
THE BIG REVEAL:
We have a large canvas where everyone can draw their dreams and more. Hopefully there will one day be a lovely backdrop of flowers next to the house. I've planted a few things, but they aren't quite thriving yet (OK so they are barely surviving, probably due to my procrastination issues!) You can also see we now have a place next to the house for the dog. So I can lock her up (much less damage to the garden) and don't have to nag Joey if he doesn't clean up the poop (much less damage to the relationship :)
This is our "multi-purpose room". We've already pulled out the gas fire pit and camp chairs several times and roasted marshmellows. The kids like to play up here as well and it makes a nice court for our pee wee basketball players. The bridge also provides more entertainment than you can imagine!
This area used to be a muddy mess every time it rained, melted or someone watered a little too much. The kids loved it because they could splash like crazy, but it was wrecking the grass. So out comes the grass, in comes the "dry" creek bed. We've also planted a lilac bush and bamboo in the flower bed.
We have a HUGE sensory play area. This also serves as a science experiment center where volcanoes can be constructed, rivers can be forged and kids can get REALLY dirty. Joey also constructed this great cover. It is hooked on with hinges so lifts up and down fairly easily. The kids love having a stage upon which to perform as well.
We have a really cool hill. My dad asked "where's the tombstone?" and my sister calls it the "franken-hill" due to some issues with the sod (this got leftover pieces from other parts of the yard and therefore still has some holes...one day it will be fixed). BUT I'll tell you what...the kids LOVE it and it's great for climbing, rolling, sliding down in the wagon....
You can also see I got my garden! I planted it late, so it's not thriving like I really wanted it too, but it's better than nothing and next year, I'm going to get on the ball and get it done in say May, instead of the middle of June!
You'll also notice that where we had that slope with the tiny rocks against the back fence, Joey has constructed a great looking rock wall. The kids kept sliding down the rocks and dirt before (for lack of anything else interesting out there) and it kept making gaps under our fence (big no no for licensing). I'm very happy with the way this turned out.
I also love that we now have THREE trees. Joey didn't want to plant trees because he figures we're are just going to move in a few years. And hopefully we will, but I didn't want to not plan them and then have something happen and here we are, without trees. We have a Maple (which I love and am NOT allergic too :), a braeburn apple and a weeping pussy willow. So fun. Anyway, I love my backyard and ADORE my hubby for everything he did for me back there. Isn't he the best? Now we have to plan that backyard party we've been talking about...