Entries Tagged as 'Yard Plans'

Summer Yard Plans



Hi everyone, Happy Spring, we’ve had wonderful weather and it has prompted us to head outside and get to work.  The past weekend involved lots of time spent outside and a trip to Home Depot to buy some plants and trees. Early spring is a great time for tree planting right before the leaves bloom.

High View point Lake View

But before I share what we’ve been working on outside I want to share what we’ve had in mind for the yard this summer and beyond as it continues to evolve and grow into a backyard retreat. When last we left off on the yard I had promised to share some plans we have to finish off the area of the yard that’s closest to the lake. Right now we have large amounts of white stone blanketing the entire area down there.

On of the least pleasant aspect of living on the water is spiders. Can I just say ew, ew eeeew! We have all kinds, small ones, HUGE ones and lots in between. We have what are called Fishing Spiders they don’t bite and generally stay in the water but can scare the begeezus out of you when they pop up out of no where. I won’t post a picture of them here because they make me cringe just to see them, but if you’re brave you can check one out here.  They are creepy, crawly, generally gross and the white stones make perfect spots for them and other random insects to crawl and hide. Needless to say we’re a little anxious to move the stones and confine them to the paths and walkways instead of spread out near the water.

Backyard plans with notes copy

But enough about spiders let’s take a look at my little preliminary drawing of how we’re thinking it’s all going to lay out. Of course some things will likely change as we go along. We’ll probably do some additional tweaks in other areas as well and our plans tend to get adjust over time but we always like to begin with a general idea of where we’re going to get things rolling.

#1 in our annotated sketch above is to move the vegetable gardens, we built them the first summer we moved into the house. They were great there for a while but we think they’d be better located just beyond the fence as you can see below. It’s pretty much dead space down there and needs some love. It’s a good spot to keep the vegetables tucked out of sight but still maintaining relatively easy access to them.

Back Yard

Admittedly it’s looking a little rough right now, but it’s been coming along slowly but surely.

Back Yard 2

#2 on the list is to add a new garden in front of the pool area, where the little guy is playing, and moving the pedal boat of course. We’re all about snagging some additional “lake appeal” wherever we can.

Although we love having a pool it sort of looks like a can of tuna especially with the cover on and all closed up for the winter.  The garden in front should camouflage some of that it will be rounded to match the curve of the pool. We’ll plant some tall flowing grasses some perennials to add color and maybe a few bushes which should go a long way to break up the gray exterior walls of the pool.

Back Yard 3

#3 and #4 on the list, include adding some seating areas along the “sea wall” You can see dirt in the photo below since the lake is still low from the winter. But during the summer the water sits right against the wall.

Back Yard 5

We’re going for something like the image below, with an additional larger area off to the side for a possible fire pit and a walkway with a floating dock that will lead out to a platform for sitting right on thee water. Picture Adirondack chairs, fire pits and dipping your toes in the lake as you drink in a cool refreshing glass of ice tea while simultaneously drinking in the view.

image via

#5 is all about adding some additional greenery and lushness through some much needed grassy areas. We’re really looking forward to the natural cooling properties of some lush green grass over the hot spidery stone that we have now. It’s incredibly hot in the summer due to the lack of shade and the reflective properties of the water and the stones are not helping that fact. We’ll also probably need to add some shade from a combination of trees and umbrellas to make it more comfortable during the hot summer months

#6 and #7, are about rounding up the white stones and moving them into manageable pathways, because let’s face it there are far too many of them to remove them all and not to mention we’re always down for using what you’ve got to keep costs down.

Back Yard 4

Along the path we’ll probably have another garden to break up the expanse of the privacy fence, which is way over 100 feet long and in desperate need of some shrubs to soften it up.

Hopefully all that will go a long way to add to the use we get out of this space. We love being outside and during the warm summer month we probably spend about 90% of our free time outside enjoying the lake and working on projects which we actually like to do. We’re definitely not just about the indoor projects around here outdoor projects top our list of things we love to do as well.

So is anyone else enjoying some lovely early spring weather like we are? Are you itching to take your project time outside? Do you like gardening or do you prefer other kinds of outdoor activates? Do tell.

Let’s Take This Party Outside!



If you’ve been around this blog for any length of time you know as the summer approaches we spend many of our days doing projects outside and also manage to squeeze in some fun time on the lake. If you’re new here this summer you’re in for lot’s of outdoor projects, pictures of our lake, gardening and lots more.

But it all starts with a plan right. So I thought it be fun to quickly look back at some of the projects we managed to work on last year. It’s sometimes fun to see how far you’ve come and then take a look what you want to do next. Soon I’ll share some of the plans we have for this year.

But let’s start at the very beginning, you can see why we fell in love with the place from the picture below. It was taken during our home inspection back in September of 2009. I still remember the first time I walked down the driveway peaked around the corner and noticed the view. Honestly I think the house could have been falling over for all we cared because the view was mesmerizing.

Lake View 2 I was newly pregnant and nauseous at the time but a view like that was enough to snap me out of it momentarily. Even that cute little island I first shared here was adorable in our minds.

Lake View

Fortunately for us the house wasn’t falling down, the yard for a lakefront home was a generous size with a nice lawn. It was something that we knew we could work with to make ours. In the end it all worked out and now we get to call this place ours and have begun to turn it into the home and yard of our dreams.

Fast forward two years to last summer we did a TON of work in the yard over the course of a few months. The main event was definitely by far the completion of the deck that surrounds the above ground pool. We finally finished staining this beast it in November and it takes center stage by bridging the two levels of the yard and making the above ground pool infinitely more useful for summer fun in the sun.

Lakeside Deck

Lakeside Deck 2

Our great deck building project also included a matching fence to separate the lawn area from the lower portion of the yard which leads directly to the lake. A cute little gate makes keeping little ones safe up top a breeze and the lake down below still has a generous portion of land yet untouched by us with loads of white rock scattered about which we hope to focus more on this year.

Lakeside Deck 3

The stone stairs leading from the gate were also another project that happened over last summer. You can see a better picture of it below from before we had the fence completed.

They look gorgeous and were completely free thanks in no small part to my Dad who built them and uncle who donated the stones. They’re so much more functional than the steep stepping stone path that used to exist.

While the guys were working on the stone steps and fence my mom and I bought a number of colorful perennials to create a little garden tucked into the corner. In the summer time it comes alive with flowing grasses and flowers. I can hardly wait for it to start blooming again.

Lakeside Garden The outer fence that separates our yard from the street also saw some action last year with the addition of some evergreens, hostas, tiger lilies and lupines to break up the long expanse of fencing. Changing it from long and gray…

to lush and green.

 One of our last planting projects of the season was to remove some of the rogue tomatoes plants that cropped up outside of their designated vegetable plot, plant some seed to fill in those bare spots and fixed up those horseshoe pits with some stone and sand.

Rogue Tomoto Colony 2

We also added some holly bushes along the interior fence, so much better than the weeds and monster tomatoes I think.

Yup it’s come a long way, but we’ve still got so much planned. So what’s in store this year you asked? We’ve got big plans to fix up the part of our yard that buts up directly to the lake. Right now its mostly a blank white stone canvas, which is too hot in the summer and unfriendly on bare feet to say the least. The view below is what you see as you come down those stone stairs I mentioned above and the second photo is as you come around the side.

Lake portion of the yard

Lake portion of the yard 2 Right now it’s not exactly the lush calming retreat we’d like it to be. But we have plans…big plans.

Well that’s it for now, next time I’ll share more of what we’ve got planned here for both this summer coming up and some more long term plans. Until then, is anyone else tired just looking at all that work. I know I am, good thing the results are totally worth it.

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