Our backyard was once a big giant disaster.  Over the last year, we have made many changes.
We live in an area where big backyards are hard to come by, especially big flat backyards.
Our yard is not flat by any means, but we have worked hard to make the best of what we have.

The top of our backyard is fairly flat and that is where the BIG transformation just happened.  
It's 95% finished and I promise to show you some pictures soon.

The second level of our yard is what we began working on last fall.
First we tackled a few of the terraces.
This past May, a dear friend of mine helped me landscape another big terraced area of the yard.

It now looks like this.....

  It used to look like this.....

We basically ignored the area for about three years.
I had a plan done by a talented local landscape designer.  
I took the plan to a nursery and bought all the plants.
My friend and I spent about 10 hours planting, laying the brick border 
and pea gravel and finally mulching.

I won't lie.  It was hard back breaking work, but we were so proud of ourselves once it was finished. 

I love that the plan included some beautiful Nikko hydrangeas. 

The plan also called for a few upright junipers 
that will hopefully take off and offer some great privacy some day.

This area has seen quite a bit of action the last few months. 
Especially since the top part of our yard was completely unusable. 

The outdoor fireplace for the top of the yard is the last piece the puzzle.  It will go in sometime this fall. 
We envision this area being a hang out spot for our kids and their friends, 
while the adults gather around the outdoor fireplace.
As luck would have it, this spot is just below where the outdoor fireplace will go.  
It will be the perfect set up to eavesdrop on their conversations.
Of course, they might be thinking the same thing. 

I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a gardner or a landscaper, 
but the more I get my hands dirty, the more I love it. 
The renovation of the inside of our home was such a big undertaking, 
I couldn't even think about the yard for several years. 
Now that the inside work is mostly complete, I am enjoying turning my attention to the outside.

Are you a DIYer when it comes to your hard or do you leave it to the professionals? 


  1. It's looking fantastic! I *really* want an outdoor fireplace! I think it could be such a great gathering spot for us as a family, and also for the kids as they get older. I even mentioned to my husband that we should get rid of the pond, and replace it with a fireplace. Much lower maintenance!

  2. It looks so great, Andrea! What an awesome place to hang out, kid or adult. Looooove the hydrangea. I'd be bringing those babies in the house all the time :)

  3. What a great spot to hangout and relax! I love working in the yard...we do a lot of the planting ourselves but we leave all the masonary work to the professionals.

  4. it looks beautiful!!! we didn't get to our fire pit this year.... maybe next year!

  5. What a transformation. I'm especially loving those beautiful hydrangea and the pea gravel. Hope you get to spend lots of time around the fire this fall!

  6. How lovely! I could sit there and just enjoy the beauty of those hydrangeas!

  7. Oh, what perfect gathering spots for everyone! All your plants will be gorgeous, too! We're diyers for our yard, I'd LOVE a fire pit! Great job, nice friend, too!

  8. This space looks great, Andrea!! I love the plantings and the pea stone patio. My husband is dying to have a fireplace installed out back, looking forward to seeing yours! How exciting!

  9. That looks amazing! Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite too! Our friends have a firepit area similar to this, and we've spent many nights lounging around the fire with a glass of wine and good conversations. Enjoy your space! Perfect timing for fall too!

  10. That looks absolutely beautiful - you will use that area so much, especially with the cool nights approaching.....
    That is a very special friend you have, to help you and work so hard ! Some times even good friends disappear when there is hard work to be done !!

  11. Wow backyard is looking so amazingly astonishing!!! This work needs a lot of appreciation. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures with us.

    Beautiful Landscaping

  12. Love this!!! I have been dreaming of doing something similar in our backyard and can't wait to show my hubby. And the fact that you and your friend did it is amazing, what a great friend! Are you helping with a project at her house??!!

  13. Wow this looks great. To go from what it looked like to that is amazing work and it really looks great overall. Big improvement from what is was and Im glad you can now enjoy some fires! Thanks for sharing this!

  14. great place to chill and spend time with friends and family. Want to put up something like this. Thanks for the idea.

    landscaping pittsburgh

  15. Impressive transformation! You should be proud. Now, you have a whole new place to hang out with your family and friends. Glad that you have made this – a vacant slot has a lot of possibilities indeed.

    Matt Kucik @ Meridian Landscapes


I love reading each and every one of your comments!