Final stage of Operation Backyard 2011



This past weekend we tackled the final stage of Operation Backyard and the plot of land adjacent to the house where our shed used to sit. We are so happy to be done for the year!


Here’s what it looked like on Thursday.

And here’s what it looked like end of day Friday …


Ta da!


We rototilled the entire yard and hauled a trailer load of crapola including more remnant concrete to the dump. Then we rolled out sod and brought in more crushed granite to match the other garden spaces. We were thrilled that it only took us one day to finish everything out.

Last year we did our entire lawn from seed, but we weren’t really happy with the turf’s performance. It was extremely high maintenance and expensive to water, which was a real bummer. We knew that our design plan eventually called for less lawn space and more hardscaping so it was a good opportunity to try a different turf. We were lucky to find RTF sod at a local sod farm. RTF sod is a patented varietal of grass that is thick and lush, but also drought tolerant (needs watering only twice a week) and highly self repairing (from peeing dogs) and able to withstand lots of traffic. And best of all it was priced better than anything else we looked at. Hallelujah! We were able to pick up our sod just hours after it was cut. It was a very expedient process and we finished a whole day sooner than we had anticipated.

Next year we will build a deck with pergolas over the space that is now gravel, but that’s Operation Backyard 2012. For now we’ve got a level spot that allows us to enjoy the backyard for the rest of the year.


Here’s the view into the rear garden.


We then spent Saturday looking at patio furniture. We would love a wrought iron black patio set with nice big captain’s chairs, but our budget doesn’t allow it. In the end we kept coming back to simple picnic tables. We both love picnic tables. So, we checked craigslist for good deals and realized that we could make our own picnic table—it would be better made and cost much, much less.


So, that’s what we did. Or when I say we, I mean Jack. Unfortunately, I had to write an English paper.


And here’s what everything looked like on Sunday.

There are still some small things to be done like bringing in more plants (I have my eye on an avocado tree) and stringing some outdoor lights …


… I’ve got these babies on order. I can’t wait to see all the lighting finished. Can’t you just imagine dinner al fresco under twinkle lights? Oooh, I can’t wait.

Jack’s got his eye on a fire pit and some adirondack chairs.

But for now the real hard work is done. We’ll have some fun adding accessories until next year when Operation Backyard 2012 begins and we start work on the deck.


4 responses »

  1. Hey Michelle & Jack,

    I have been following up your backyard operations and very impressed what you guys have done. Now if you guys can come to our house in Austin and remodeling our yard……

    I will be in Austin from August 3 to Sept 4. We plan to spend family getaway to New Orleans from 8/16 to 8/21 before the boys returning to school. If you guys have time to visit Austin in between, that’s would be great.


  2. Love, love the picnic table. Your backyard is gorgeous and am sure the dog is happy to have the yard back to normal too. Have a Great Week and start enjoying your new space – just beautiful.

  3. LOVE THE PICNIC TABLE!!! But should Jack be using a power saw while wearing flip flops? Safety first.


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