Yard Projects

Yard Reveal: Before and After

Things have been a little hectic around here with my moving in, contractors coming and going, out of town company, and integrating cats. It’s been far too long since our last post, but what better way to make up for it than a good ol’ before and after reveal? The yard overhaul took a little longer to complete than was estimated, but the results were worth the wait and minor setbacks. If you missed it, you can check out our yard inspiration post to see where we started and our vision for change. While the journey to completion was not without its ups and downs, we’re overall happy with the result. This post is mostly about pretty pictures, but we intend to write up a post talking more in depth about the process and our experience working with contractors.

Without further ado, let’s get to some eye candy!

Front Yard Before:

Honestly, the front yard “before” picture looks better than it was in reality. The hedges next to the house were oppressively large and unruly, the grass patchy, and the only view out of the living room window was of a large mass of brown branches and vines from the backside of that big green shrub (no green from that perspective).

Front Yard During:

Front Yard Now:

Favorite parts: Hands down my favorite parts of the front yard are the boxwood lined concrete slab path and the jasmine against the fence. I’m mildly obsessed with topiary and perfectly manicured lawns, so the boxwoods + path scratches that itch for me well enough. Even the cats like to walk the path and now choose it over the driveway for coming and going from the house.

Regrets: Not creating more ground height variation. I don’t love the super flat shape of the central part of the yard, but we opted not to add any hills and we certainly don’t want to tear it out and do it over now! I’m sure once the plants mature a bit it’ll help a lot. Also as much as I do like the rocks we have (up close there’s a lot more color variation), I kind of wish they were a little grayer/less brown and closer in color to the neighbor’s. We were very much not prepared and a little overwhelmed during the rock picking process when it happened!

Back Yard Before:

Back Yard During:

Back Yard Now:

Favorite Parts: The concrete border around the lush green grass, the slab wall by the Japanese Maple, and the baby lime tree! I’m looking forward to gin and tonics augmented directly by our backyard fruit. That lime tree (in the retaining wall by the patio) may be little, but it’s packing a lot of itty bitty fruits on it, so hopefully it provides a few usable limes this year.

Regrets: Nothing so far! We love everything about the back yard and so do the cats. We’re excited to see how it looks as the plants get bigger.

I am planning to trim up the large floral shrub in the image below as well. I saw one cut to have the lower trunks exposed in a more tree-ish shape and really liked it. I think it will help it feel a little less like it is engulfing the tree next to it.

Looking outside at the yard used to be an unpleasant and stressful experience for both DJ and me. Now it’s downright relaxing and enjoyable. The backyard work isn’t finished though — we have plans to build an outdoor cat enclosure for the bengals and also want to redo the dilapidated overhang. This is work we plan to tackle ourselves. There’s a good chance we won’t get to the overhang until Fall, since we want to prioritize the cat spaces. We don’t fancy the idea of construction work in the 100+ degree summer heat, so timing depends on weather and how fast we can get things accomplished in our limited free time.

In the meantime, we’ll just put on our metaphorical blinders and look beyond the peeling wood to sigh contentedly at our beautifully designed landscaping.

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