What We Did On The Least Relaxing Vacation Ever {Backyard Progress}

As you may have been able to tell from my How To Lay a Pea Gravel Patio post, Liam and I have been making some significant progress on our backyard.

I don’t have great ‘before’ shots of our corner garden, but basically all that jungle behind the chain-link fence was encroaching a good 5 feet into our lawn. We cut it back, dug out the roots and created a fabric-coated, mulch-covered, minimal-maintenance perennial garden. The best kind of garden there is! I also gave the old bird bath a few coats of bright blue spray paint to freshen it up.Backyard Before 006Our shed was more nest than storage solution so taking it down became a thrilling two hour battle with bees. We got it done without getting stung but the massive pile of junk that was left managed to sting us with a $300 bill to have it removed. That shed was nothing but trouble! shed progressThe side garden was an overgrown mess that I would have loved to rip out entirely, but it is too shady a spot for grass to grow. It was either garden or dirt so I picked garden as that was less work anyway. I just cut it back and cleaned it up so that now it’s neat.

side garden

The second big project of the week was refinishing the deck. We rented a belt sander from a home store and took turns sanding each board one by one. Not only did this remove the old stain and dirt on the wood, but smoothed everything down tremendously. I hadn’t realized how rough and splintery our deck was before we sanded it.

Next came staining. I spent eight (EIGHT!) solid hours putting the first coat of stain on this deck. Don’t be mad at Liam, while I was staining he was doing the much harder job of filling the gravel patio. The next morning it still took the two of us two and a half hours to apply the second coat. The old dried out and freshly sanded boards just soaked up the stain and getting in between them was a tedious nightmare. The result though, is fantastic. Below is just a sneak-peek of the first coat; I’ll reveal the finished deck when its all dressed up and pretty.

deck progress

flourish.svgStaycation is over; we’re slightly more tanned but back at our desks and busy as ever. Our intention is to take another week off in August to complete the backyard and tackle some issues at the front of the house as well. I’m looking forward to it. Even though we work tremendously hard on our holiday we gain a great sense of accomplishment … and manage to sneak off to my wonderful uncle’s pool every now and then for a dip and a cold one. Cheers!



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