We have been working on our backyard for YEARS!! Ha ha. First things first,
my cute hubby built the kids a swing set to play on {in the dirt!!}.
Then, we installed the block walls,
put in a sprinkler system
next came sod and curbing,
planted trees,
laid a flagstone pathway,
installed an in ground trampoline, (LOVE THIS!!)
and laid concrete for our patio,
laid weed mat and rubble mulch around the play set,
painted an AWESOME backyard mural, (Especially LOVE this too!)
wheel barrowed a ba-dillion loads of landscape rock, {Didn’t love this part particularly!!} HA!!
AND FINALLY revealed the entire backyard a few months ago.
The entire project started with this fun backyard design that I drew up in my Photoshop as my husband explained his vision of the project. I am a VERY visual-minded person, and I wanted to “see” what it would be like. It was a very overwhelming project to start. Sometimes it seemed unreachable and that we would NEVER. BE. FINISHED. But, we have worked steadily on it for a very long time. Have you ever had a NEVER-ENDING project!?!? Ha ha. This meets that definition to a “T”. :) It feels good to see progress!!!
The backyard started looking like a dirt pile and now it looks like this!!!
backyard before backyard after
It all began with our backyard design that helped us to stay on task!
Backyard landscaping design planThe other day, a good friend said to me {while at a BBQ in our backyard}, “Hey, I LOVE your garden!!” Ha ha. She was being sarcastic because she has heard me wishing and hoping for a garden for three years now!! This is what she was looking at: Don’t you love it!?!?
Garden spot 
After Dan got home from a work trip, he proudly announced that he had already bought my Mother’s Day gift. I was excited, but I’m the type that like to be surprised so I figured he would wait until the actual Mother’s Day to reveal his gift. Well, he had something else in mind! He planned to get my garden planter’s boxes installed for my Mother’s Day gift. I was so excited!! I grew up having an amazing garden, and I’m sure I am going to need all the advice I can get because I’ve never grown much myself.
He brought home two of these kits that he bought at Sams Club, and they were SOOOO easy to put together.
garden grow boxesCon baseball, garden 052
We started clearing out the crap and got busy the next day!
Garden grow boxes  We laid out weed mat like the instructions said. garden grow boxes garden grow boxes garden grow boxes

We already had a ton of landscape rock left to make the area look finishes, so we started shoveling away {with a little help from our four year old Princess}. :)

In no time it was already looking a MILLION times better! All we need now is a small shed in the back corner for the Hubsters.garden grow boxesThen a few days later we were ready to make our garden soil. After seeking the advice of several professionals and lots of family and friends, we bought four ingredients: Peat Moss, Top Soil, Steer Manure, and Vermiculite. {Let me also let you know that our soil is not good where we live. It is FULL of rocks and lots of clay.} That is why we decided on the grow boxes instead of planting directly into the ground.

 garden grow boxesgarden grow boxes garden grow boxes  garden grow boxes

We poured the peat moss into the grow boxes and the kids broke it up into small smooth pieces so that we could spread it evenly throughout the boxes. {Do you like my daughter Londyn’s “garden gloves!?!”} Ha!

garden grow boxes The kids did a great job and then we took over with the other mixing. {It was GROSS and we didn’t want the kids putting the manure or vermiculite in their mouths.}garden grow boxesWe mixed up the soil by adding a bag of each ingredient at a time. Well, except the vermiculite. We only used one bag of that, and we spread it out between the four spaces in the boxes.

garden grow boxesWe spread out the soil and watered the boxes {per the instructions}, and then we are waiting to turn the soil one last time before planting!
  garden grow boxes garden grow boxes garden grow boxes garden grow boxes
I’m pretty darn STOKED! Dan did good this year on his Mother’s Day gift!!!

Do you have a garden!?!? I can’t wait for mine. If you have one, what do you grow!?! I am planting: Tomatoes, strawberries, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, green peppers, carrots and garlic. I can’t decide what else to plant! I’ll have to see what I have room for!


  1. says

    Love it! We have a spot in front of a stone retaining wall that's right on the street that's paved in asphalt. I keep thinking that I'd like to just put some raised beds there. It doesn't seem so terribly hard, after seeing your post on it! :)

  2. says

    We just started our first garden this year and I'm loving it! We also made garden boxes and we used Mel's mix like you did. You might be too late to plant some things like onions and carrots. I live in Salt Lake and planted mine over a month ago. Also, garlic is planted in the fall and harvested in spring so that will have to wait as well. Check out: mysquarefootgarden.net for tons of information! Good luck!

  3. says

    Your boxes look great and your soil composition should work wonderfully for you. I was not successful using the boxes. Apparently you have to keep them watered. (even more so than a regular garden in the ground-they dry out much quicker.) I would suggest you find another place for the strawberries-they are perennials and would limit your veggie production. Here is a suggestion for a type of strawberry planter that you could use. http://tinyurl.com/7pjx2po
    Oh-I plant pretty much what you have listed plus herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley, rosemary) eggplants and beets. Have fun!

  4. says

    What a great gift!!

    I have been gardening for forever and have a veg garden in my front yard. Just keep in mind with your strawberries that they spread like crazy!! So make sure you have a place designated for just the strawberries!

    I also like to grow my cucumbers and squashes on a tomato cage so that they are easier to harvest.

    Good luck!

    ? Ashley


  5. says

    I'm trying to grow tomatillos this year. Definitely grow basil by your tomatoes. They are good to grow together and I've read it makes the tomatoes taste better. My stepmom told me last year that my tomatoes were the yummiest home grown tomatoes she has ever tasted. :)

  6. - Meghan says

    I just made a raised garden, as well! You need to research "square foot" garden. There is a book or you can just google it. But basically, you dived you garden into square feet and it tells you how many veggies you can plant in each section.

  7. says

    I'm not new to your blog but this may be my first comment. Ironically, my hubby built me a framed for my veggis as well. I'm starting with just one to see how that works, haha! Its been raining in NY for a couple of days now but I'm hoping to fill them with dirt after Wednesay when the rain is suppose to stop. Good luck with your veggis.

  8. says

    It'll take a few years for your strawberries to really produce anything f.y.i. They'll look nearly dead during the winter, but should come back each year getting bigger and bigger. Also, cucumbers do better if you plant them in about March here because it gets so flippin' hot. Sandia nursery in Washington fields is the best place to get transplants and have them do good I've found (or so it seems). I've never done garlic…so I'm interested to see how it turns out for you because I love garlic! Good luck! Gardening can be therapeutic :)

  9. says

    We made our first garden bed this year for our first backyard. EVER. It's a huge deal. It's taken over my life. That's a great Mother's Day gift!

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