And then it was March

It’s been a strange winter, and with this week warm-up, it’s time to take stock of the back yard. Every year, it gets a bandaid and a promise that a full redo is in sight. This year, we’re making it happen.

(or so we tell ourselves).

This is what the back yard looked at the start of last year’s outdoor season.


Not perfect, but perfectly serviceable. The wood chips at the bottom of the photo conceal the french drains we installed a couple of years ago. As the season progressed, we learned that the many stray cats in the area enjoyed using our wood chips as a littler box, so we replaced them with gravel.



backyard chair

The plan for this season is to replace the existing pavers with reclaimed brick, which I scored a while ago (and moved 5 times – 806 bricks are a huge pain to carry from point a to point b, particularly extra heavy, 100 year old bricks that were meant to be used as street surface). We did a test patch to see what it might look like.

Brick test

Pile of bricks

In addition to the brick, we’ll have a bit of blue stone, some gravel and new retaining wall to address the heigh difference from the rear of the yard.

The elephant in the room back yard is the deck, or lack thereof. (Can you spot the climb out the window and down the fire escape maneuver in one of the photos above?) We would really like to have one, but we may also need a new roof, and while the deck would be more fun, a new roof would ensure the house stays free of rain and snow on the inside. (which, you know, is a nice perk).

Given my demonstrated skill at not wining the lottery, we’ll probably have to pick which big expense we go with this year. Blah. Roof.

Here is what the back yard looks like right now:


The lush greenery next door, which we fondly called The Jungle, is gone. Some of the Honeysuckle survived, and I will be planting more this spring. That fence will be a green jungle again…

Back yard now

Everything looks dead and sad, but by the end of May, this will look completely different. Here is to hoping…


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