Our house has so many projects! My foyer has been primed but not pained for several months now and I’m still not done with my build in bookcases or trim in the living room. Already my heart is turning outside. We have a couple of gorgeous months ahead of us and I would LOVE to add a firepit and some swings to our yard and just hang out there with my people.
Two weekends ago we piled our driveway full of brush and yard trimmings, revealed our raised beds and split enough wood for two winters. Then last weekend we built 4 more raised garden beds, and mulched around trees and pathways.
Here’s a close up of the bushy area to the right after cleaning up. The yard is looking almost pretty. The two days working together as a family was really fun and bonding, except for the poison ivy that I found. It’s the city’s job to keep the fence clean 😛 We can work on our side, but the other side remains a jungle. I suppose there’s more privacy that way.
Darren is talking out loud about building a seating area under the deck. I’ve been talking about it for years and he would respond with all the reasons why it was a bad idea. Now, it appears it is HIS idea and I’m all for it. Above is what it looks like today, sigh. There’s a LOT of work to be done. But I’m envisioning removing the wall covering on the side facing this, and the side facing the yard to the right. We’d like to leave the covering on the back wall, because that is the north side and blocks the worst weather for us.
Then I’d like a slew of comfy seating and eating areas where our huge family can gather. (Just my husband’s immediate family is 28 people.) Something with the feel Centsational Girl created here:
This will be the most expensive backyard project on our list because we’ll need to jackhammer some extra footings that aren’t being used anymore, and bring in several yards of gravel to create a temporary floor. Concrete would be ideal, but it would be around $10,000 to pour a spot this big.
Here’s another inspiration photo from Redoingit.blogspot.com. They have a fabulous tutorial there on making outdoor curtains from canvas drop cloth and plumbing fittings.
While we save up the cash for the gravel floor, I’d like to build a fire pit like this. I go back and forth on the kind of bottom to put in the pit. The flat stones as shown here would make shoveling out ashes a snap, but we have a couple of bags of sand that the previous homeowners left and it would make a free floor that drains well. The stone blocks are a lot more expensive in my area than described in this tutorial (more than double) but I have seen them on Craigslist recently (I was just too slow to text and they were already sold, sob.) While we do the necessary clean up work, I’m going to keep watching for another good deal.
This simple swingset can be built for less than $100, even after modifying the plans to make it taller and wide enough for 3 swings. We had a hard time figuring out where to put the swings with all the trees and tall back fence. Darren finally had the idea of turning it sideways (we already plan to take out the tree right by the garden beds) so the kids would have more room to swing without hitting the fence. It’s not as aesthetically pleasing to me as one turned the other direction, but I’ll be able to see it from the house which was really important to me.