I get a serious case spring fever every year when the weather warms up and planting season arrives. All I want to do is go to the nursery, buy a bunch of plants and spend my day outdoors gardening (gardening to me is so much more cathartic than other DIY type projects like painting and sewing).  Being 10 months pregnant at this point has been a bit frustrating but I’ve managed to get a fair amount of gardening done and acted as foreman for one large hardscaping project. Last summer I showed you our back yard progress and what I was envisioning for it down the line. Here is what it looked like:

And my pipe dream.

I still like the idea of the arbor, the carriage lantern and painting the garage door.  But I have since changed my mind on the plantings and decided that instead of a monotonous row of evergreens, a few ornamental trees with plantings underneath will add enough privacy while providing more interest.  That will be a photoshop project for a future blog post. I was gearing up for these planting when Bryan started running back behind our garage into our rubble and poison ivy laden far back yard.  Here is what it looked like (from the real estate listing when we bought our house).

Tree planting then got put on hold and the aforementioned large hardscaping project ensued. The back area had to be cleared out and trees had to be trimmed and cut down (to let more light in and deter the poison ivy from growing back).  And since we were clearing out the back area, we had to move forward with the next step of putting down whatever we were going to put down since if we didn’t everything would grow back as well.  If you follow me or Scott on instagram you would have seen this progression of photos (what you don’t see is the ridiculous pile of gravel that Scott and our volunteer friends had to wheelbarrow from the front of the driveway to the very back of the yard). The nice thing is that despite the back breaking labor, the volunteers still seem to be friends with us and the toddler boys seemed to have really enjoyed rolling out the landscape cloth.

We used all the extra stone rubble we found to edge the “pool” of gravel and had some stepping stones donated by a neighbor.   What amazed us in the process was how large the space is we have back there.

Here are the stepping stones and what it looks like from the deck.

Next in what will undoubtedly be a multi-stage multi-year project will be planting a perennial shade garden around the “pool” (dogwoods, japanese maple, bleeding heart, hostas etc), adding a fire pit and maybe a picnic table and string lights….. and of course the trees for privacy along the fence.