Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Backyard Was A Hot Mess

My backyard was a hot mess.  No grass, just Georgia red clay and lots of leaves!

Over the winter we neglected our yard duties.

Looking at my awful yard made me wonder, how do I make it look good again?

Rather than being bogged down by its current state, I decided to focus on what I liked best about our yard and plan from there: 

-I love the ivy climbing up the back of the house.  We're fully aware of how rapidly ivy grows and all the damage it can do, so we've kept it controlled to this small area.
   
-We love the look of our retaining wall, but after a heavy rainfall the lower level fills up with water and everything becomes a muddy mess.  There's nothing much worse than watching your dogs track muddy paw prints across your floor!  So we decided to start our planning there.  We created a small patio area to keep the mud away.  We wanted to have concrete poured, but it was way too expensive.  Our next option was concrete pavers; they are easier to work with and inexpensive.  We began by purchasing the pavers and mulch to fill in the cracks.  

Once we had the area raked and leveled, we placed the pavers down in a simple pattern.  They're not absolutely level, but we're okay with that!
  
We added a few azaleas.  They should be an awesome border in a few years as they fill in. 


We built the patio for about $250; supplies purchased from Home Depot.

A small price to pay in comparison to all of the rugs I've washed or tossed to keep the muddy paws out!

There's still so much more to do though.  I plan to add few more plants and give the area a good cleaning with the pressure washer.  I purchased paint for the back door and the areas that need to be touched up, but for now we're just enjoying our small patio area.



Of course, I'll post more pictures once we're finished!



I am linking this post to:
Inspire Me Please

48 comments:

Gretchen said...

looking great out there! It's going to be so pretty when the azaleas fill in. And, yes, keeping the mud out of the house is a big bonus!

Dee D said...

Oh wow! The pavers really made a difference. It really warms up the space. I can't wait to see the rest... :)

Rose said...

Looking great already!!! Great choice of flowers. In Brazil they grow everywhere. As a child i remember being a big fan of eating the flowers....

Kita said...

Love the flowers my backyard looks bad because of the grass we need some pretty green grass

Kar said...

That turned out great for not a lot of money. And keeping the dirt and mud out is the best part of all. I would be out there every day enjoying it. :)

Rhonda said...

Looks great! Our back yard is a hot mess too, I need to mow soon, the grass is still short but the weeks are knee high :)

Bliss said...

Yard work is hard and you never know for sure if you nailed it till it's done, and by then you love it no matter what cuz you're not gonna move it! I'd say you got your groove right on with that clean up - looks great!

Julia Konya said...

Love the pavers and everything is looking so good

Traci Hutton said...

It looks GREAT! What an improvement and the azaleas will look lovely as they grow in!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

It's looking fabulous. Love the new patio and flowers. Gorgeous.

Purple Flowers said...

I love what you have done with your patio. You and your husband should be very proud of yourselves. I have a couple of azaleas. They are a lovely blooming plant to have growing in your garden. Kudos to you!
In reply to my white and peach daffodils, they do not have a scent.
Take Care.

Vel Criste said...

I love concrete pavers more than poured concrete for a patio! I love it when the grass grows in between them so I think your on the right track Brandi,it's looking great, and by summer, I'm sure you'll have a nice cozy spot to hang out in!

Katrina ChicLittleHouse said...

Your new patio area looks fantastic!! And once those flowers grow in its going to look even better! Can't wait to see your next update :)

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Lookin real good Brandi!!

House@heart said...

It looks great!! We need to do this in the back yard, too!! Maybe you can do mine??:)
xo
Ozana

sharon smith said...

I love the way you think. Focusing on what you like and going from there. I love green walls, so I would have kept the ivy too. What you did was great. Now it's usable space and functional too. A small price to pay is an understatement!
Thanks for the pictures!
Sharon

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I love the pavers! We actually had a plain concrete patio and last fall we installed pavers on top of it. I like the look of pavers much better. Your azaleas already look so pretty! Great job!

Leslie {Goodbye, house. Hello, home!} said...

I'll bet you love looking out there now! I would! What a sweet spot for a visit and a cup of tea :)

Simply LKJ said...

Looks fantastic Brandi!! I can relate to the muddy paws. The azaleas will grow in no time. We planted a few a couple years ago and they are huge!! I know the uneveness doesn't bother you, but if it settles and does a little sand or crush and run will be easy to put underneath them if you need to level them out.

~~louise~~ said...

I was such a bad girl last year too, Brandi. I didn't do nearly as much yard clean-up as I should have.

You always make redoing sound so easy. What a great idea to use the pavers. I have a muddy mess by my back fence most times. I tried planting mints because they just love water but, it seems they just can't drink it fast enough sometimes, lol...Your pavers look great and the Azaleas were a wonderful choice. Thank you so much for sharing, Brandi...I only wish you would have seen my post from Sunday. I have two wrought iron Victorian like chairs that are in need of something, anything. I'm contemplating, what:)

Darnetha {ChippaSunshine} said...

Everything is looking good Brandi!

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

It looks great! I love that you can keep so much of the dirt and mud out now. It looks so pretty. Great job!

Pam

Divine Theatre said...

I love the pavers, it looks so European ! As the mulch decays and/or washes away you may want to replace it with pea gravel from Home Depot. Also, if you pour table salt between the pavers it will kill the weeds...:)


xo

Andie

therelishedroost said...

Good luck it will be great!

Libby said...

The changes you've already made have really livened up your backyard space. Looking good! I'm involved in a makeover project as well. I'll show some snippets as I go, but the pollen will dictate how much I can do at a time. lol

Jamala Wallace said...

I have full confidence you'll have a fantastic backyard design once you're done. So far, so good - the azaleas were a great choice

Tina C said...

Looking good! Can't wait to see the finished area.

Erin@ Live Pretty on a Penny said...

Looking great Brandi! The pavers will def help with the mud and your yard is gonna look beautiful once its complete.

Alycia Nichols said...

This wasn't a dilemma I ever considered. Of course...that Georgia clay! We have a lot of clay here in Missouri, too, but I think Georgia (and Oklahoma!!!) has us beat hands down. You came up with a very practical solution to what I'm sure was a real pain of a problem! You'll get to enjoy the area more now, and the dog won't have to get the stink eye every time he comes back in from outdoors! Problem solved! Great idea!!!

Karen said...

Great idea Brandi, it looks really nice. I feel you with the muddy prints. In my house it's the dogs and the hubby who track up the floor! I hope your patio gives you and your family many hours of enjoyment.

Whitney Jones said...

Great job!! It's looking good!

Whitney

Amber Harrop said...

My Garden needs help too- I have Irish clay though I will be following with your progress with interest :)

Jenn - HomeStyleReport said...

That back wall with the flowers & the pavers looks great!!! I hate doing yard work but always love the end result soooo much!!! Great job! You're going to Haven right? We need to meet up for sure!!!!

Susan said...

I love this! Looks great! I did a similar paver patio project in my backyard last year.

http://journalingmywaythrough2010.blogspot.com/

Our Delightful Home said...

I love the look so far!!!

CoastWithMe said...

Wow Brandi! It's looking so pretty! A few small changes make such a difference! Can't wait to see the finished product! P.S. I love ivy covered exteriors!

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

Hi Brandi,
Thank you for stopping by my blog! I came to see what you are working on and I wanted to say that you did the right thing by not pouring cement or concrete there because nothing would have drained if there. This way water can still seep into the ground. I love the ivy, also. Here in Illinois, the ivy grows all over the old brick buildings and 100's of tiny singing birds nest in it. Sometimes, a landlord of another building comes out to rip it all down and we say, "Oh, please, don't rip it down, we are enjoying it." So far, so good. But, I have to admit, I haven't let any grown on my building. I left one little blackberry cane next to my iron fence and after just two years, I have a wall of blackberries and have to watch that they don't bother my other neighbor. I am going to check out your blog!
Ginene

Shavonda@AHomeFullOfColor said...

Yay! It looks so good Brandy! Pavers are always a great choice to freshen up an outdoor space:)

Shavonda@AHomeFullOfColor said...

Darnit...I meant Brandi!

By Neymes said...

OI BRANDI,ME PARECER MUITO BOA A REFORMA DE SEU QUINTAL,AS PEDRAS DAR UM ACABAMENTO ELEGANTE,PARABÉNS.BOA SEMANA.BEIJO.VALÉRIA.(BRASIL).

ABeautiful LittleBlog said...

I love what you did in your backyard. Great job I can only imagine what it's gonna look like when the flowers start blooming. :)

Judy Whatilivefor said...

It must be so nice to have a patio now! It makes the area look wonderful and I love the pretty flowers you've planted...can't wait to see what else you do with your yard :).

Stacey said...

Love the pavers! Great transformation already!

Charity said...

Enjoy your amazing DIY patio! Looks great and yes it's no fun when dogs come in with muddy paws :)

charity
www.lifeafterbaseball.net

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Brandi, what a difference those pavers are going to make with the rain and mud. The space between the pavers will give the rain a place to drain and hopefully your pups will bring in less mud (if so let me know because I have muddy pawprints all over the house currently!!) What a great project, it looks pretty and will be so functional! Thanks for sharing on Best of the Nest!!

Morgan said...

Oh, Georgia red clay.....

Warning: long story ahead
I grew up in a suburb of Atlanta and my sister and I walked to Junior High together as there was a path through the woods that connected our neighborhood to the track of the school. We walked often and it usually wasn't a problem, but one day it rained and we just thought we'd give it a shot anyway. We didn't want our mom to have to come pick us up as she was home with our baby sister. Unfortunately, there was a steep little hill we had to walk up in order to get into the path in the woods. This hill was completely GA red clay and I'm sure you know how that stuff gets when it's wet... We both just stood there for a minute and then I charged it and made it up unscathed. My sister went to run up and was not so lucky. Poor thing was covered in the red clay. I gave her my gym clothes to wipe her hands on and we continued home. My mom wouldn't let us come in the house until we took off anything with red clay on it in the garage. She couldn't believe how covered my sister was. I felt so bad for my mom doing that load of laundry... She looked at my gym clothes like, how did you do this? You weren't even wearing these!

Needless to say, I understand what a mess GA red clay can be.... Your yard looks so nice now though with your patio and new plants. :)

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

My husband has been working on a patio make-over for us as well. Can't wait until it's done as it can make such a HUGE difference. Yours is awesome! You must be in love with this change and rightfully so. xox

Cristina Garay said...

I need to buy some of those pavers, my patio gets all muddy too :( I'm trying to make it look good at a low cost.