Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Backyard Transformations

You know that one thing that drives you crazy from the moment you move into a new place? Yeah. Welcome to my gravel pit.

I'm not sure what this was used for in the past- speculation includes a base for a pool, the spot where a playground existed (and I'm guessing, caused many skinned knees) and, well, really that's all we can come up with. I knew from the minute we moved in that I could only put up with it there for so long but I also know we'll probably only live here a few years which puts expensive landscaping projects at the bottom of our to-do list. What could I do that would cost almost nothing and that I'd be able to pull off myself?

After thinking and sketching, I decided to go simple. I chose to move the black borders in a few feet, creating a more circular area for the gravel and moving all the gravel to fill it in more deeply, creating a place for our fire pit and patio furniture. I extended the edges of the space left behind to wrap a little around the patio to create some curves and then tilled, supplemented and fertilized the dirt left behind.

Once it was finally warm enough, I planted tons of seeds, a combination of annuals, herbs and vegetables.

A few months later with Wisconsin's glorious sunshine and steady rain and here you go! We've been eating sugar snap peas straight off the vine for a week and are waiting for the zucchini, squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, basil and cilantro to ripen soon.

We enjoyed the 4th with the fire pit going and good friends around it, with the scents of marigolds, dahlias and ripening tomatoes wafting around us, not to mention the singed marshmallows the 7-year-old contributed to the evening.

Lost cost, just a little sweat and tears and I've got a patio/garden!


  1. Wow! It looks great! That is some seriously green opposed to our super dry and very brown yard. I guess all that snow did some good! :-)

    1. Thanks, Sarah! And yes, things stay pretty green all summer here. One of the bonuses of surviving the ridiculous winters, I guess.