So, as promised, the garden update! Those of you who know me in real life know that lately, every weekend has been all about working on the backyard. We have big plans for it, and each stage is SO exciting (for us at least).
We were delivered a ragged if relatively blank slate from the previous owners, who lived here for 50 years (we're the 3rd owners of this 1930 house). The former lady of the house gardened quite a bit we're told, but by the time they sold the house, the couple were both pretty elderly and infirm. So, the garden had slipped a bit. We're happy to be reinvigorating it in a new direction.
Anyway, perhaps a pictorial narrative is in order!
First, I found this Google image of the block from before we bought the house. Look at what a jungle the backyard is (click to enlarge). You can't see the ground:
Next, a view of the back of the house, from about a year ago, a few months after the purchase. The jungle had been cleared for the sale, but vines and thorny things were making a reappearance. Construction renovation was well underway, but the garden was a head-scratcher for us. We weren't even living here yet, so we kinda let it ride. Mostly, we stopped by to pick limes for G&Ts.
Here's a view of the yard from the house, during construction. Note our house's guts in the yard. And the encroaching wave of nasturtiums.
This Summer, after our Spring move-in, the garden make-over began in earnest with a re-clearing, and a new retaining wall through the entire yard. (When you live on a hill, you need things like retaining walls. Keeps the neighbor's yard out of yours.) Turns out I married a pretty handy DYI guy, so we grabbed our shovels and started digging ditches. Like 70 feet of 'em. It was mostly Toby, truthfully. And it was hard work. We have a friend who thinks ditch-digging should be the next workout craze for brides-to-be, but that's another story. Anyway, the big rock pile to the right is the former retaining wall, which Handy Guy busted apart with his two hands and a sledgehammer. Dang.
Before we moved in, a deck was built (below). But Project Retaining Wall moved along with the setting of posts. Giggle, giggle:
Then, walls started to materialize:
And, then a patio! Connected by stairs to the upper deck! Our backyard now has three levels where it used to have one... eventually, there will be lots of sitting areas, tables, umbrellas, BBQ, hangout space, etc. Just getting those beautiful stairs in is so exciting. They're so shiny and new to me that I love just hanging out there in the sun: