Backyard makeover: the before


If I were a realtor describing this house’s yard, I’d use phrases like “full of potential” and “ready for your personal touch.” In other words: neglected, unprepossessing, and in need of work.

We spend most of our time on the deck, but it has seen better days – the wood is rotting and mossy, railings are loose, the bottom step is propped up with bricks.


Even at its best, the deck has always been awkward in size and layout. It seats two or three people comfortably, but as soon as you add a fourth, you find yourselves shuffling and scooching chairs each time someone wants to get into the house or down the steps to the yard.


We barbecue all the time in the summer, but there’s no room for the grill on the deck. It sits at the side of the yard, in a grungy area with a few pavers and a cracked cement pad.


The lawn, which covers the majority of the yard in an uninspired rectangle, looks the way lawns look when you don’t put continual effort into maintaining them: shaggy around the edges, with plenty of weeds and bare patches.

So what’s good about this backyard? Its proximity to our neighbours’ much nicer yards! We get to enjoy the canopy of their mature trees and the view into their lovely, cultivated perennial gardens. Which is all very well, but really, it’s time to give our own yard a bit of love and attention.

Let the project begin!

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