When my roommates moved into their house about three years ago, their backyard had a depressing, abandoned lot feel to it:
Over the last few years they have already made a ton of improvements, but this summer they decided the time had come for the major DIY landscape. Plants are a little bit like crack to them, so they knew if they got started that this was going to be a full-on binge! They picked a weekend when there was a big plant sale, borrowed a truck from a friend, rented a tiller for the day, and went to town.
I can't really take credit for helping much with this project (besides moral support)...
But they didn't need me!
Since the area right in front of the back door had turned into a major mud pit (and with two big dogs, that gets really old during our eight months of precipitation), they decided to put down a hardscape groundcover of gravel over about a third of the backyard space. And since there was a natural slope to the yard, they used a big island to separate the two levels. They rolled out the insanely carpet-like sod in the upper level of the yard, and they started planting--trees, succulents, ornamental grasses, and lots and lots of pretty flowers!
Even though there is a lot more going on in the "after" pictures, the different levels and zones of the yard actually work to make it feel larger. I am beyond impressed with the results of their handiwork to make our own personal backyard oasis.
A few weeks later, they balanced out the ornamental overload with a veggie bed built from recycled materials from the Rebuilding Center.
Shortly thereafter, Drew really personified Vegetable Love with a fresh harvest from the garden.
Mollie Firestone, editorial assistant