Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Backyard Expansion

Ok, this is an old one... from this past September, when this blog didnt exist.... but its SUCH a great transformation that I HAD to share with you... Well, THAT, and the fact that we are redoing the back yard (again) and so for all THAT to make sense, you have to see this first.

So, THIS is our back porch leading out from our sun-room, aka my office... (snore)
And this is the side of the back porch (cringe)
 Like seriously, what are you supposed to do with that?! It was just dead space! And because where the fence stopped, you can see right into the sun-room (again, my OFFICE) from the street... which is a little creepy/stalkerish for me...

I didnt want anyone just walking their dog seeing me work in my bathrobe, mismatched socks, and talking in voices to the dogs, so I ask Chris to either please extend out the fence to enclose the sun-room, or we needed to start charging admission and put some seats in the front yard.

He chose the fence.
 Sorry I took these photos kind of late, but it kinda gives you an idea of what we were working with...
 Chris, his dad, and his uncle drilled and set these post themselves.

Apparently I was just impressed that they set the post in a straight line....
But going back to the back-back yard and this picture below, you will notice we had a tree/out-of-control bush thing on the right...
 Im not really sure what it was, but since we were expanding this whole side, it had to go.

So Chris did what he does best and got out his chainsaw...
 And hatched the sucker down....
 mmmm k bye....
 And he even removed the stump!
 True man right there...
 (side note: I do not take responsibility for how he dresses when doing yard work, aka like a homeless man)

See! All better!
 And now all we need to do it knock down the dividing fence....
 Chris may or may not have seriously kicked it down...
 Yea, he has some muscles...
 Back off ladies... mine all mine!

sooo much better!

Now all that was left was building the frame and putting up the actual fence.
Up it goes!
Also, going back to September 2011, we had 100 days of 100+ degrees here in Dallas...to put it simply: it was HELL.

So major props to Chris and his dad for not keeling over and passing out during this project.
As an example of how hard we were all working, here's a headless shot of me/my sweaty body...
You're welcome, internet... soak it in....

I love that even Gus looks worried in the background...

But back to the actual project at hand, here is some father/son bonding time over the nail gun...
and some sweet short-shorts being sported by Chris's dad... what can I say, the man has great legs.

It's also worth noting that Chris doesnt consider anything a project until it requires a table saw...
Best. Present. Ever... Seriously, some nights I find him in the garage telling it a bedtime story and kissing it goodnight... well, not really. But if that ever happened, let's just say I wouldnt be surprised.

So the fence went up!
And Chris got all acrobatic with it...
Yay for not being able to see the street anymore...
Also, my office has come a LONG way since we did this and I am happy to report it is a LOT cleaner than pictured here...
Yes, I cleaned (aka, put everything into a different room) so it looks a lot better now...

After 2.5 days and losing about 25lbs in water weight, we were down to the last board...
Of which I got to drill in...
Thumbs up!

We also took some celebration shots after everything was said and done...
My hero..
Sadly, our work was not yet done... We still had just a plain awkward area that we needed to make into "something"... so we decided on an herb garden (especially since Chris is an awesome cook and I enjoy talking to plants... ... ... in a totally supportive type way)
So we laid down some rock and stepping stones we got from the Home Depot...
And Chris started working on building out a planter box.
Where he learns to do this stuff, I will never know.

I wasn't much help for this project, but did offer a lot of vocal support and ice cold H20...
Chris even got to use his second favorite tool... the sledge hammer.
P.S - he loves that headband... I think it makes him believe he's a yard-work ninja.
While taking pictures, Gus came out to supervise....
And then perform an inspection...
He wasnt a big fan of the smaller rocks so he just hopped from large stepping stone to stone... it was adorable.
And then decided he was tired and wanted to take a nap on my lap while Rocky did his inspection.
So once the planter was built, we went to the farmers market here in Dallas and got some fantastic locally grown herbs and flowers.
And attempted to make this look pretty...
I also found this planters on clearance at Joann's for $3 a pop and figured it would be nice to have something on the fence that I could look at from my office window.
I experimented with a few options...
Like this one...
But I thought the bottom flowers kinda looked like scary teeth, so I vetoed that one..

And then tried this...
Which I really liked since the longer plants reminded me of eye lashes on my fence-face...sold

Chris also set up a drip line system to water the plants instead of having to water by hand everyday...
Thank GOD this isnt an electrical outlet...

But hooray! It worked!
So we began planting...
Chris is so muscular he has a hard time keeping his shirt on... lol.

I planted all the veggies and herbs because I wanted a little bonding time with my new friends...
Seriously, our sexy outfits should be featured on Project Runway...

After we planted rosemary, basil, lemon mint, double mint, tomato, thyme, and oregano, we had this...
even Chris gave my work a thumbs up!
Now all that was right side was completed, all we needed to do was work on the left...
We decided to plant just some regular crape myrtle bushes since they expand pretty quickly and will hide the ugly foundation of the house..
See... pretty, right?

We also had this random little side corner that we decided to plant an orange tree in..

It just needed a little something...

We decided  to name or orange tree "Simpson"... (Orange tree, Orange juice, OJ, OJ Simpson... get it?)
awww so cute... seeing is how its now February, its funny looking back to how tiny he was...
We also planted Simpson right across the way from our lemon tree, Liz... (30 Rock, Liz Lemmon, Liz, get it?... ... ... we really enjoy naming things...)
And also planted some cute little flowers in between our crape myrtles to make the area look a little more full.
We then had to go back to Home Depot to buy additional rocks to complete the space.
And racked them down the walkway...
I brought all of them in from the car... so here I am showing off my muscles and making a face only my mom (and Chris) could love...
And normal face... ... .. with a NBA sweat band... (I seriously can't believe I am posting these pictures on the internet right now... Im sure my future kids will someday use these as blackmail)
But low and behold... TA DA!!!
Ohhhhh ahhhhh....
Work it...
Seriously, I love it... its so pretty to come out and see this space everyday.  Im debating putting a little chair or something there on the end to make it look like the steps are actually going somewhere.

Chris and I then took 20 minutes and played around with the self timer on my camera to celebrate...
And yes, we sweat... we sweat a lot...
So here is the before and after picture for ya... or at least as best as I could come up with.
What do you guys think? Like it? Love it? Turned off by the fact that Chris and I could ring out our sweaty shirts? Jealous that my planter fence-face has eyelashes? Pretty pretty please leave a comment!  Thanks!


  1. Oh my goodness! I love it! This is really inspiring me, we have a similar space and I want to do a "cute" veggie garden. I know you know what I mean:0)

  2. This is amazing!!! Thanks for sharing and thanks for making me laugh along the way. I loved the way you made your story so interesting and funny!!! I am your newest Linky Follower and I would LOVE to have you check out my site too!! This project makes me soo ready for spring and summer here in PA!

    1. Thanks for all the kind words Katie! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. It looks wonderful! You guys did a great job!

  4. I'm so glad you shared! It looks amazing!! And like a ton of hard work! I hate yard work. But wow, what a difference! Now you have such a pretty view from your office and no more worries about any weirdo's watching you while you work! :)

  5. How cute is that! You guys are adorable! Your project turned out so nice and it looks like you had a great time. I love how your little garden turned out!
    Sherry's Bees Nest

  6. Hi,
    I am a new GFC follower. I found you on a grow your blog hop. I would love for you to stop by my site and return the favor and follow me back as well. If you are interested also check out our current giveaways. We have something for everyone right now.
    Thanks a lot!

  7. Ok, you and Chris are so freakin cute AND talented!Not only are you great on the inside with furniture etc, you rock (pun intended) outside. Bob and I are nearly divorced each and evry time we do a project together, I would never tackle something this big.
    Thanks for sharing. xoxoxo to you both.

    1. hahaha thanks for the encouraging words Kerry! I think the best thing about our project is that its always something we BOTH want to do... or one of us has to talk the other into it... We're just having fun! and you and Bob are way too cute anyway ;-)

  8. This turned out fabulously! Really, really great makeover.

  9. It looks amazing!! What a transformation!! I can't wait to see your chairs : ) -Sarah

  10. This looks great! the outdoor projects are always so daunting to me. the step-by-step pictures really help.

  11. Great job!!!! Looks awesome. Ya'll really worked hard. Love the flower baskets on the fence. I'm anxious to start planting some containers for our front entry. On my list for tomorrow:)

  12. Wow! It's hard to pick a favourite in this post. Could be the headbands ;) That was a lot of work, yo! Awesome job to both of you sweaty-messes :) Newest follower!

  13. great transformation!! clever job.
    cheryl xox.

  14. Love it! You guys are adorable, and your little yard space looks great now. I'm very inspired to get out into my yard (once the snow melts) and do some work! It would be great if you stopped by Etcetorize to share this transformation at the Make it Great party going on now: http://etcetorize.blogspot.ca/2012/03/egg-necklace.html. Hope to see you there~

  15. Great makeover! I love all the dark dirt against the light stone path and the hanging baskets too. Thanks for linking up at Burlap & Denim.

  16. That is so awesome!!! Love how you added so much color and now you have a 'view' out your office. Visiting from Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple.
    ~Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva

  17. This looks sensational! You guys are so awesome for doing it all yourselves!

  18. Great work! What an amazing transformation - and so satsifying to have done it all yourselves! It looks like such an inviting space now!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  19. You guys are SO cute! And the side yard looks fantastic! I need to do ours and I'm really inspired now! Too bad we just got inches of new snow last night. :-( GREAT job!!

  20. Wow! Great makeover. New GFC follower stopping by from the toot your horn Tuesday hop. I co-host the Creative Corner Hop every Monday. Feel free to come and link up. It is open all week.

    Cherished Handmade Treasures

  21. What a great transformation. Your kids cannot blackmail you with pictures you already posted, once on the internet forever in view. lol I am reworking our front yard; the drought here in the Hill Country claimed our lawn. so it is time to rework it all. I like your fence idea, may try something like that too.

  22. Wow, that looks so great. What a difference and something to look at while you are working. I need to do something like that in my side yard.

  23. Great job, you 2 want to drive down to San Antonio and fix my yard. I'll even let him wear his headband:)

  24. This was such a great post!! I love what you did with this little side yard!! You really put this once dead space to good use and I bet you enjoy looking at it from your office!!
    I have a very small yard too and I am always looking for ideas for small gardening spaces!!

    You deserve an A+ on this transformation!!


  25. Love it! You guys did an awesome job!

  26. WOW!! That is Gorgeous!! will you come and do my yard now?:) Great job!!

  27. You guys did an amazing job!

    Mrs. Delightful

  28. Girl, I love it!! I love everything you do. I wish we were neighbors ;) By the way, I've updated my blog design and buttons. If you want to update your list feel free. These are way prettier!!!! Thanks for linking up to Toot Your Horn Tuesday :)

  29. Samm....love this! You all do fantastic work! Enjoy! Megan

  30. Beautiful. Love the chair idea, every walk no matter how long should have a destination. Would love to see it now that it has had time to grow. Is it all fuller and still alive? Nice design. Please come to my house and make my yard pretty too!

  31. You did such an amazing job!!! Thanks so much for linking it up to Fantabulous Friday @ Little Becky Homecky!

    Katie @ Little Becky Homecky

  32. Great project and only one day for planting!!!

  33. Your yard turned out beautiful! I would spend all day out there! I'm loving all the detailed pictures! Awesome job!

  34. Great job! Ya wanna come to NY and do my yard??? I'm visiting via Truly Lovely and am now following you with GFC and Linky Followers.

  35. Absolutely beautiful! I can sympathize with you working in that heat - I live just 45 minutes north of Dallas and that summer was HORRIBLE! I know you are enjoying your new little garden! Enjoy it together!

  36. You guys did an absolutely beautiful job! Our side yard needs some work like that. I love it.

  37. Stumbled onto your blog via the blog hop and just wanted to show you some blog luv! def enjoyed this post :) new follower!


  38. Love, love, LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You two are so cute on there! and I completely get the comments about guys and saws.....especially chain saws! Great work! I'm impressed! What an awesome makeover!!!

    Thanks for linking it up @ Creatively Living!

  39. I just love the commentary and the way you speak your mind...you crack me up especially with the camera timer..you should have your own comedy/home show..funny funny girl!

  40. This was such a fabulous transformation! It looks like you guys had fun with it, too! We really appreciate you sharing this at our link party and can't wait to see what you are up to next week!

    Take care,


  41. U guys did a fabulous job. I love making the out side more comfortable. I guess I should take some more picks and show the make overs. tfs.

  42. How amazing and I love it! What a great view now from the room with all the windows!

  43. Great project - looks like it was a lot of work. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  44. I'm featuring your yard transformation over at Etcetorize tonight. I hope you'll stop by to grab a button and link up again!

  45. You two are amazing! It's truly beautiful and so worth all the hard work you put into it! Thank you so much for sharing this at It's a Party! I loved reading your post!

  46. I'm featuring you at the Cowgirl Up! party tomorrow night! Make sure to come grab a featured button!

  47. wow. that's a lot of work. love that you can see the flowers from your office! that's a cool idea.

  48. Replies
    1. Wow! All the way from Russia! Im honored! Let's see if I can respond back appropriately... Спасибо! Я рад, что вам понравится! Надеюсь, у меня будет больше фотографий на заднем дворе доступна в ближайшее время!

  49. Congrats! I featured this on my blog today. Thanks for linking it up: http://trophyw.blogspot.com/2012/03/winner-and-features_27.html

  50. You are welcome for the Pin. I found it through Tara @ Trophy Wife's blog. Lots of hard work, but looks like everyone enjoyed the time together.

    Great work, y'all. Can't wait to see more pictures as the plants grow.

  51. Great job! Thanks for linking up at Whimsy Wednesday last week. Hope you'll come by tonight for another party!

  52. This is just fabulous! So many great pictures and it turned out perfect! You're being featured this week at Mom On Timeout - thanks for sharing!

  53. You Totally rocked it!!!Great use of the "dead" space!! Kuddos for all your hard work it looks awesome!!! Deidre http://simplysimplisticated4.blogspot.com

  54. This is so inspirational -- seriously! I am so wanting to do something with the south side of our yard, which may include (but not be limited to) planting an orange tree (my Valentine's present this year), a vegetable garden because my daughter really wants one, and an herb garden because I really want one. Thanks for giving me the motivation I need to get started!

  55. I've featured you for Functional Friday!

    Thanks so much for stopping by to link up!

  56. What can I say, but wow! You did a great job and I love the end result! A great transformation! I also love how you documented the whole process and you personalities shone through - fun!
    Thanks for linking up this week - hope to see you back this week!
    STacey of Embracing Change

  57. Featured you!
    Come grab a button!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  58. Absolutely awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. It went from What-N-The-World? to Hello Beautiful! I really like it. Wonderful idea and I SOOooo want a garden seriously! I hope someday I will panting one myself. Way to go!

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