About two weeks ago, a good friend of mine accompanied me on a little landscape shopping excursion.
She is a very experienced gardener, something I am not. 
This is what we came home with.....

Okay, so it turns out it wasn't such a little shopping excursion.  
In my defense, I had been patiently waiting on this semi-annual plant sale for months. 

Okay, let me mentally prepare you for the next picture.  
I've been keeping an ugly secret from you, our backyard.
This is how part of our backyard has looked for three years now. 
It's so embarrassing that we sometimes pretend it's not even our yard.
It was time to stop pretending and start planting. 

I know this isn't the best after picture, but you must admit, it's a huge improvement. 
Let's just ignore the ugly concrete sidewalks and the hideous 2x4 handrails.  
We got a call from our insurance company soon after we purchased the house.  
They said if we did't get a handrail up in 48 hours, 
they would cancel our home owner's insurance policy. 
We hastily had one put up and it is unfortunately still there. 

Here's my grand plan to hide the ugly concrete sidewalks in between the terraced beds. 

I plan to order loads of pea gravel to go directly over top of the concrete.  
Then I will add some natural stepping stones for a path. 
Problem solved (after hauling load after load of pea gravel down the stairs).

The bottom of the yard is fairly flat and the top of the yard is covered in concrete.
Both areas need tons of attention.
One thing at a time.  

Oh yes, and while we were plant shopping, we picked up some lovely sedum plants. 
I planted my right away in my big pots on the front porch.
The very helpful employee at the nursery said, and I quote, 
"If you kill these plants, you should just hang up your gardening gloves for good". 

I went to check on them earlier in the week and was disturbed to see this. 

I thought the deer had gotten a hold of this poor little plant.

Then my husband pointed this out to me.....
There on the side of the porch, hidden from sight, sat these poor plucked off leaves.

I immediately confronted my little guy.  
Believe it or not, he tried to blame the neighbor.
After a harsh interrogation, he fessed up.  
I'm thinking an appropriate punishment might be
to have him hot glue each leaf back on the stem.  
That'll teach him to mess with my plants.

Kidding! Have a great weekend. 


  1. LOVE your hardscaping- so pretty! we need to do something like that!

  2. It pays to have gardeners as friends..... :) Love your plan (especially the addition of pea gravel). I'm sure it will be beautiful! Can't wait to check it out when we return next summer. Have a great weekend!

  3. Your backyard isn't bad at all - it's going to look great with the pea gravel! All the plants look great! Why do kids like to pull leaves off of plants? Mine do the same thing.

  4. I love the garden levels! That is such a huge opportunity for a wow factor - and you are well on your way with your new plantings!! I'm imagining total fabulousness next spring with pops of color like your inspiration photo!

  5. Your yard has a lot of potential! Take it slow and enjoy yourself! Our yard took years and it still has some bad areas! ;-D


  6. 1) That is going to look killer! 2) If you saw my backyard you'd feel better about yours. 3) I had no idea an insurance company would do that?! 4) I'd probably kill those succulents.

  7. The gravel is a brilliant idea! It will look fabulous, your plants will fill in and be spilling over the walls in no time. Your little one's pile made me laugh!

  8. Ok, don't be upset with me but I really don't think the before is bad at all - I think it always seems worse when you're living with it but I see a ton of potential and an area for you to really make shine. Look at what you've already done - it looks great already.


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