Kids dirtHold on to your britches! I am FINALLY going to show you the BIG reveal of our BACKYARD!!! If you missed the series of posts {last year}, you can check out our: Landscape Design Part 1Backyard Landscaping Part 2, Curbing and Sod, Installing a Concrete Patio, Finishing the Backyard Details, and DIY Inground Trampoline Installation Instructions posts….PHEW! This project was a BIG one.

I wish I had a HUGE, AMAZING reason that I have not shown you the finished backyard, but I don’t. I had baby Creed last January (yes that was a YEAR ago!) and when we were doing the backyard posts, things were a bit crazy around these parts. We were working hard and staying up late to finish the yard. I wasn’t getting much sleep, and I’ll put it nicely by saying that I just couldn’t do it all. {Can you say NERVOUS BREAKDOWN?}.
So, with that being said, the reveal just never happened. I sincerely apologize. I tried really hard to stay up on my posting schedule while I had a newborn, but this is one that fell through the cracks. Ironically, I took some pretty good pictures of the yard after it was done, but they weren’t perfect pictures {darn perfectionist in me}, so I intended to retake the pictures a week or so later when we mowed the lawn again. Well, our poor lawn got a fungus and the lawn looked CRAPPY for the rest of the year. I remember thinking, “After the lawn looks good again I will hurry and do the backyard reveal.” Well, the lawn never recovered, and I just plain forgot as we moved onto other projects to post about.
So, if you missed the first part of our backyard design, I will remind you of the original plan that I my husband dreamed up and drew up myself on Photoshop. When we started the process of designing the yard, it felt like it would NEVER be done. The kids were constantly getting dirty/muddy and there were lots and lots of tumble weeds in our yard.  Just take a gander at the picture to the right. Look at those DIRTY KIDDOS!!
Our tubs were constantly full of mud for almost two years!! Ha ha. I’m cracking up at that picture because it brings back so many memories!
Ok, moving on! Here is our backyard design. I am SUCH a visual person that every time Dan would explain what the backyard would look like, I would get on my computer and start drawing up the “plan” so that I could better see his vision. This is our final design that we both agreed on. ;)
Backyard landscaping design planWe had an ALL DIRT backyard for almost two years so when we finally got done with this project, it was a dream come true! The kids are constantly playing out there, and they are now in a fully fenced yard! It truly is amazing.
When we moved in, the backyard wasn’t fenced, and the yard needed a lot of work! Here are some pictures of our dirt!

_DSC0217 (2) _DSC0200 (2)_DSC0206 (2)_DSC0201 (2)
Once we had our privacy walls installed, our yard was finally defined and more importantly CONFINING {for the kiddos and pooch}.
wall 007 wall 010 Stone Tree Landscaping (435-668-6306) did our block wall, and those guys are sooo good, and super fast. We were really impressed. Since the wall was super tall, Dan and I decided to snazz it up a bit with our painted backyard mural!outdoor decoratingWe planted our own shade trees, bushes, and palm trees around the perimeter of the yard. Back wall finished...trees 009Back wall finished...trees 011
At this point, the yard FINALLY started to look like a yard instead of just a dirt patch.  :)  We hired Stone Tree Landscaping (435-668-6306) to do the sprinkler system, the curbing and the sod, and they were done in literally three days. I would recommend Josh and his crew to anyone {and no I am not being paid to say that, I just like to pass along information about companies that I like}.
Here is a time lapsed picture collage of the before, the during and the end result!!
Backyard.. The side of the house was a HUGE part of the project since we built our very own in-ground trampoline, laid a patio concrete pad, and laid a flag stone pathway. Plus, we needed a gate to trap in the kiddos. {Wow those are EXPENSIVE…I about fell off my chair when we started getting quotes!}2011-07-17 Sofa Table Krylon Dual
We laid weed mat around the rock areas to prevent as many weeds as possible, and we hauled our own rock with wheel barrows. {I honestly don’t know how landscapers do it! Doing our backyard was HARD work! It reminded me of working on the farm every summer growing up! It was HARD, MANUAL labor!!} Props to you if you are a landscaper.
landscape rock hauling rocks
Of course the hard work paid off in the end! When we started this project {ahem 2 1/2 years ago} Dan and I both agreed that we wanted our home a place where our kids would want to stay and play at. {Not that they will want to stay and play here all the time, but it is much easier to keep track of them when they are HERE}.

Because of that desire, the kid’s play set was the VERY first project of the yard. Dan built it almost immediately after we bought our house 2 1/2 years ago. Then last year we surrounded the swing set with a brick border and filled it with rubber mulch.
_DSC0669Swing Setoutdoor swing set 1 I love it when kids come over and stay, “You have a PARK in your backyard!!” It always makes me beam with pride since my hubby and his amazing brother Mike built the swing set themselves!

Here are a few more before pictures of the process for you to see just how big this backyard project really was! 2011-07-17 Sofa Table Krylon Dual1I came across these pictures of the kiddos running through the sprinkler, and it pretty much sums up how we feel about the end result! We love it {but more importantly, THE KIDS LOVE IT!}wall bed lamps dining chairs easter lamp peacock rug 376
wall bed lamps dining chairs easter lamp peacock rug 377wall bed lamps dining chairs easter lamp peacock rug 391
  Having the yard done is a dream come true! I love every speck of it! The kids play in the yard ALL THE TIME.
Here are a few more pictures of the finished project!
Sofa Table Krylon Dual 080Sofa Table Krylon Dual 083 Sofa Table Krylon Dual 081Sofa Table Krylon Dual 082Sofa Table Krylon Dual 084Sofa Table Krylon Dual 085Sofa Table Krylon Dual 086Sofa Table Krylon Dual 088 Sofa Table Krylon Dual 079
Thank you for being patient with me!  I hope it was worth the wait! The only thing left to do is to build the garden grow boxes on the side of the house and get a shed! :) {It is a NEVER ENDING project around here!!}

Comments

  1. says

    There is nothing better you can do than to create a place where your kids friends want to come! And that design on the wall, for me that makes the whole yard!

    ~Bliss~

  2. says

    Absolutely beautiful! The mural really completes the yard. What I wouldn't give to be able to have those type of walls in our yard, but we are not permitted to have brick in these parts.

    Now all you have to do is get some thrifty snack ideas for when the whole neighborhood comes over. When my kids where young, my house was the place to be since I have such a huge yard. There were times I very nearly went broke feeding the kiddos.

    Your kids will thank you when they are older. The memories they create now really do stay with them. Mine still talk about the fun summers and always having a bunch of friends over.

    Good Luck!

    Lauri

  3. says

    Brooke, it looks AMAZING! I love it! The first thing I thought when I saw it was that it was "comfortable" a fun but relaxing back yard! I bet your kiddos are loving it. The end result def makes your back yard look alot bigger than it proabably is. Now if the weather here would just warm up (although it really hasn't been that bad this winter) you could really enjoy it.

  4. The Yoder's Four says

    What a super awesome, fun, big, kid HEAVEN! After having a dirt back yard for two years, I know what a difference all that makes! WOO-HOO!!!

  5. Lori C says

    JUST. INCREDIBLE! That is one HUGE transformation! LOVE the mural! And the in ground tramp is a great idea, I've seen a few, more folks should do it-probably safer! Just think how much you will be able to enjoy it this summer! You'll have to make a toll booth for the neighborhood kids coming over, help to pay for snacks/drinks!

  6. Katherine @ Grass Stains says

    Brooke, I've been looking forward to the finished product, and it looks amazing! I agree with the neighborhood kids; it IS like having a real playground right there in your backyard. Worth every minute and penny you spent, I'm sure!

  7. says

    Your before photos are my current state! The pic of your dirty kiddos made me laugh and almost cry because that is our every day. I strip them down at the door and carry them straight to the shower. I only hope ours looks as gorgeous as yours when we are done!

  8. MamideRay says

    Just found you blog and I am totally impressed with the total coolness of this backyard! Man, that there is a kid's paradise!

    Nicely done, Mom and Dad! nicely, done!

  9. Jenny says

    Your yard looks wonderful! Wow, I can’t believe you had dirt for two years. Our yard has been dirt for almost 3 months and it is driving me crazy. We’ve had to completely re-excevate and grade the yard because we had flooding (6 inches in our basement!) last summer. We poured a patio and also need to build a swingset and put our trampoline up, like you. We are now trying to decide between sod or seed for grass. So I was very interested to hear that your sod got a fungus. How did that end up? Was it treatable? Did you have to sod again? In a case like that, is the landscaping company responsible, or did you have to pay for it again? I am so nervous to put sod down because it is a lot of money and I’m terrified that it won’t work, that it will die or get a fungus!! What do you think, now that you’ve done it? Thanks so much! Love your blog!!!!

    • Brooke says

      Mr All Things Thrifty here: Fungus only happens when you live in an area that at night is warmer than 80° and you are watering too much. We did not have to sod again we just put seed down and it grew back. Good luck on your project!!

  10. candace says

    I just love this!!! You have inspired me! We have been living in our home for almost 3 yrs. Dirt backyard. And my husband, although I love him dearly, appears to be Fred Sanford-esque in saving (ie, hoarding LOL) EVERYthing possible! It is making me crazy! I want a place for our kids to play. Thanks for inspiring me to clean it up and not give up! :))) Love it!

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