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....
 Twice....
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...
 Hooray!
 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...
Purdy...
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!