Our yard is not huge – it’s about 24′ x 75′ not including the existing patio.  It’s still plenty of space for creating outdoor rooms & still have play space.  It almost looks like there is not much going on this week. There’s only a few physical changes, but there is plenty going on behind the scenes.

Planning & Progress – Creating Outdoor Rooms

Room #1 – The Garden

The garden will be the first outdoor room.  I want it to be a destination, similar to when you walk into a home & make your way to the living room or kitchen, then you discover other “rooms” along the way.

We want this area of the yard to be a focal point when you come into the backyard through the gate & turn the corner.  It’s the direction you’ll normally face once you turn the corner of the house so I really want it to stand out & make visitors want to make their way to that spot.

I would have loved to use this bench from World Market (1 of my favorite places to shop EVER) on our patio, but it didn’t make the budget this time around.

Instead, we are reusing the existing benches which the previous owner had built in with they deck put in.  After tearing out the deck, we painted them white & configured a “daybed” for the patio.  It was great for lounging & laying around but not so much for just sitting.  So I need to plan out adjustments to the benches to make them the correct height & depth for sitting & lounging.

Our old patio arrangement

We moved one of benches into place in the garden for a dry run & I painted swatches on it so we can decide on a color.  

There are 2 things we need to address for the garden bench – correct the depth & height, and compensate for the slope in the yard so  that it sits level.

What do you think – white, green, or natural wood?  I also considered happy shades of blue – turquoise, aqua – but thought it might be a bit much for the HOA to handle.   I am leaning toward green – the swatch I painted on is SW Eco Green, but I am thinking a little deeper like SW Greenbelt or Direct Green.  DH thinks he wants the natural wood tones.

If my foot & the weather cooperate, I plan to tackle both of these benches next week.


Room #2 – The Patio & Grilling Area

Another outdoor room will be the patio itself & the grilling area.

We secured the contractor for the patio extension and, with his help, filed the necessary paperwork for HOA approval.  That process will take a couple of weeks, then the work will probably take a day or 2 (possibly up to a week depending on the weather), so I am just hoping we make it in time for the big reveal.  Fingers crossed!


Room #3 – The Open Yard

We definitely wanted to leave lots of open space in the yard for the kids to play and for other possible activities like:

  • “Camping” out
  • Movie nights outside
  • Extra entertaining space

Sadly we had to remove 2 baby oaks that were sickly, but it did open up the yard A LOT. Removing those trees was another thing that we needed to do early on so that the grass could start to grow in.

Please excuse the shadows; the sun was quickly setting on us when we took this photo.

Seeing all the open space got me to thinking about the outdoor projector screen.  So I gathered the materials we {thought we} need to make the frame for that & did a dry run so we could see what’s missing, what needs to change, & what works perfectly as planned.  Next week we’ll be ready to put it together & test it out.



Even the best laid plans can’t account for adjustments that need to be made because of things beyond our control.  I would have loved to get the 2nd half of the garden done, but the weather did not cooperate.  A few days of heavy rain left us with a super soggy lawn that’s not easy to work in & a garden bed too wet to plant or start seeds.  Even still, I was able to get a few seeds planted.

The good thing about the rain is that it softened the ground around the trees.  It’s great because it should make digging out the roots and cutting down the stump much easier.  Or so we thought.  3 tools rentals from Home Depot later and we finally have no tree stumps sticking up out of the ground.  Even better… we have all natural mulch!  And the ground wood is so fine that it just falls between my fingers – perfect for the compost pile!



Last but not least, I planned out the vegetable garden, talked to my grandmother about planting strategy, & started planting seeds!  YAY!  This is what I have been waiting for… getting those veggies going!

I mentioned during week 2 that I am a gardening newbie & that I learned a lot from last year’s summer garden.  One of the things I learned that I plan to do more of this year is companion planting.  Here’s the plan for the portion of the garden that is already built.

My mouth is watering thinking of all the home grown salad & pickles & pesto… stuffed peppers… sun dried tomatoes… Mojitos!
I just can’t wait!  I’m planning the 2nd half of the garden next & there’s a citrus tree involved, so stay tuned for that.  Until then, check out the featured designers & guest participants in this season’s One Room Challenge.  And let me know what you think of our backyard plans so far.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.