Thursday, December 31, 2020

Backyard Renovation Reveal - Part 2

Late spring, the entire summer and early fall saw the renovation of our backyard. The project was designed as a whole, but the actual process took place in stages. I showed you the first stage in Part 1 and now I'm excited to share the next stages with you!
 
Although the entire backyard was a construction zone throughout the summer, thankfully we were able to use the deck fairly quickly. Since we sheltered at home, the deck offered a welcome area to spend the time outdoors and watch progress on the other areas. The photos below were taken the second week of October.
 
We'll start where we left off in Part 1 — the bridge that crosses the upper stream. The stream begins with a waterfall that's visible through the bridge's guard rails. The flagstones lead from the upper patio to the bridge and resume on the other side. . .
 

where you'll find a colorful bench just above another waterfall. Several small boulders define the stream's curve and provide additional interest.


The view from the bench takes in the new middle patio, the deck and one of the two original stone walls. When we first built the house I had attempted a perennial garden in this space. But the combination of encroaching shade from the trees and the heat radiating off the house in the summer was too much for even the hardiest of the flowers I planted. After about nine years, we replaced the struggling perennial garden with a large koi pond that had pretty water lilies and papyrus. Ten years later the shade from the oaks and hickories was too much for the water plants.


These chairs are perfectly placed to see and hear the waterfalls! The chairs on the patio are not new; we purchased them last year for Miss J's graduation. The elephant table we've had for about ten years used to sit on the deck. The tips of its tusks are a bit worse for wear after several run-ins with our boisterous 90-lb Labrador retrievers!


I really love the design on the back of the teak chairs. Several pots of summer annuals have moved to the middle patio, which is the smallest of the three.

 
A few stone steps and you've reached the lower patio. Four comfortable teak chairs surround a metal table that converts to a fire pit. After seven years the furniture is in excellent shape, only requiring a good cleaning each spring. In the renovation we expanded the size of this patio as well as setting it on a concrete base. (No more weeding the patios for me, lol!)
 

In the background are the French doors you've seen framing many a tablescape in the garden room, such as Acorns and Flowers and Dreaming of Paris. What I forgot to take a photo of is the pretty bar cart that sits to the left of the doors.


New to the backyard are the pergola and swing. They replaced the wooden play set that my daughter had since she was a toddler. The individual swings were long gone, their place taken by a wooden swing. Why did we still have the play set? Though it had been useful for hanging a swing that could accommodate two or more, the real reason we had kept it was that our older lab loved to climb the gangplank and hang out in the shade of the fort, then exit by sliding down the slide!!
 

You may have noticed some of the landscape lighting we had installed (the conical shades on short posts). They illuminate the pond and borders of the patios and enhance the safety of the walkways.


The pergola was built of cedar. The seat of the new swing is curved and the back is very supportive. I love relaxing on it!
 

The pergola and swing face the new koi pond. It's much deeper than the one we had before, which should help the koi and goldfish avoid the herons that come to visit. We've placed a few plants on a submerged ledge in the pond, which are not only attractive but provide hiding spaces for the fish.



One of the interesting things we've discovered is that our backyard actually appears larger than it did before.


Waterfalls aerate the pond for the fish and water plants as well as being decorative.

 
We are quite happy with our new spaces and spent a lot of time out here in the fall. Greg has held numerous conference calls from the lower patio!


And Jake loves to move between the cool stone on the lower patios and the warmth of the sun in the grass above the upper patio!


 
 
I am happily perusing garden catalogs for perennials, ground covers and shrubs to plant! 
 
Thanks for joining me! I'll post updates in the spring when I've added landscaping.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

24 comments:

  1. What a beautiful haven! Thanks for sharing. Have a very happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Marielle! Have a happy, safe and healthy new year!

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  2. Beautiful backyard. Great job!

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  3. Oh, gosh, that's just beautiful, both the middle & lower patios. The pergola and swing must be the perfect perch for watching the koi and listening to the sounds of the waterfalls into that pond. And the teak chairs and cushions are terrific. Smart move to concrete the pavers to eliminate the weeding! Beautiful work.

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    1. Thanks so much, Rita! The renovation was a long time coming and we are so pleased to see the results. We are enjoying every inch of our backyard now!

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  4. A beautiful backyard with the foliage, pond and the bridge is so lovely. A nice place to relax and enjoy.
    Wishing you the best in the New Year.
    Thelma.

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    1. Thank you, Thelma, for your sweet comments! The backyard now has many spots to enjoy being outdoors.

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  5. What a beautiful space. Congratulations on your project,

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    1. Thanks, Judy! Today's beautiful weather drew me onto the patio -- all I needed was a warm throw!

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  6. So beautiful Sandra! I bet it is just so relaxing listening to the waterfall! I hope 2021 finds you staying at home enjoying your wonderful outdoor spaces...just because you want to... not because you have to! What a lovely place!

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    1. Thanks, Denise! I have been enjoying spending a lot of time in our new outdoor spaces. I'm sure I'll continue to do so, even after things open up. It's been a long time since I wanted to be in the backyard!

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  7. Your backyard looks lovely!

    Thanks for linking up and sharing with us on the Embracing Home and Family link-up party!

    -Cherelle

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    1. Thanks, Cherelle! It has turned out better than I had hoped!

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  8. What a wonderful space! Or should I say spaces! Enjoy.

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    1. Thank you! Even with colder weather it has been just what we needed. So glad you stopped by!

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  9. Incredible transformation!
    So inviting!

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    1. Thank you, Michele, for your sweet comments! I'd love for you to visit again!

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  10. This is just beautiful! I love the furniture...all of it! Happy New Year, and thank you for linking up with us at Embracing Home and Family!

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    1. Thanks, Jenn! Even though the furniture was bought at different times over about ten years, I was glad I was able to find pieces that went together well.

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  11. Wow, that is quite the oasis. Wish we had a backyard like this. Enjoy!

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    1. Thank you, Cindy, for your sweet comments! Glad I could share it with you!

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  12. What a lovely outdoor space, Sandra! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

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