Beginning in the Backyard

I am so so excited to have this project a little closer to being done! I got the inspiration from this pin from my Garden board:


Last time I shared about the backyard it was in a sad state. The boards that were holding back the dirt in the rose beds was falling apart.

board fallingI lamented the fact that I didn’t have a big car to haul in these new stones I wanted to rebuilt the retaining wall:

pavers2Plus there was the little problem of my wrist which has been in near constant pain for the past 2 weeks. Not really up to hauling stones, digging out bricks and pulling up boards.

So I hired some help in the form of a guy named Ryan who. is. awesome! Seriously, amazing help on this project, fast and nice to work with.

We started on day 1 at Home Depot before it got too warm and picked up 140 stones and piled them in the back of my Yaris and Ryan’s station wagon. We also got 3 tubes of outdoor adhesive to bond the first row of stones to the second. Since I was using my caulking gun for other projects we picked up a second caulking gun for outdoor projects.

Finally, a 60 pound bag of polymer sand which we will soon use to fill in the gaps between pathway stones to block out weeds.

The first day we just got the supplies to the backyard and made plans to start another day when it was cooler.


Second day started with tearing out the old crap and building the new retaining wall. I have no pictures of it in progress because Ryan was so damn fast! 3 hours in and he had the bricks out, the boards out, the dirt pushed back and the first layer of stones in place!

2013_05_04 (06)

The 3 tubes of caulk just barely covered what we needed so we had to grab another tube for the last bit.

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If you see above,  we couldn’t finish the middle section on the first day without taking out the final board and bricks. We’ll also work on taking out the tree!

I love how it curves in to the fence!

2013_05_04 (13)On day 3 we took out the final section and board and finished the second section of stones:


Going back to this list here’s what’s left to be done

  • Trim back the roses
  • Dig up 2 dead rose bushes
  • Begin replacing the wood retaining wall with new bricks
  • Complete the new retaining wall in 1 spot
  • Fill in the flower beds with new dirt
  • Seed the lawn in multiple bald spots
  • Plant more flowers under the guest room window
  • Cut down the tree in the corner

Of course the backyard is in progress but the side yard looks terrible still:

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I’ve been trying to get the stones out a few handfuls at a time but there will probably come a point where we toss everything in the green waste trash can.

2013_05_04 (09)(no, it is physically impossible to take a picture outside without the dogs photobombing)

So we still need to:

  • Dig out the small stones and hard dirt – halfway done
  • Recycle the wood that we pulled out of the backyard
  • Use stones to fill in the gaps
  • Measure for 2 raised flower/vegetable beds each will be 9′ x 3′
  • Buy wood and install flower/vegetable beds (newspaper to line the bottom)
  • Fill in the beds with fresh dirt
  • Dig out the scalloped edging – halfway done
  • Create another brick patio like the one below – halfway done

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Day 3 we also took out the walkway from the back patio to the side yard and replaced it with bricks:

20130507_133126Close up:


In the corner we’ll add more bricks to form a patio for my new rain barrel!

The side yard project got started, but we’re in that phase where it looks worse than we began:


But I think we’re making good progress!

*use of “we” should not be taken literally. I make suggestions and buy stuff. Ryan does all the heavy lifting, digging and hard work.


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