Friday, January 25, 2013

The Backyard: Before & After???

Our next door neighbor asked the man who flipped our house why he wasn't going to do anything about the backyard.  His response was that backyards are very personal and everybody has their own idea about what they want.  What we wanted was grass, lots and lots of grass.

The yard started out as weed/dirt/trash pit.  Seriously, how old is that milk carton?  The girls would go and "explore" and find shards of glass and other such treasures.  

The yard is super long (83 feet, according to our measurements) and skinny.  Originally, we had two unidentified shrubs and two avocado trees.  Yum, right?  Can you imagine the amount of guacamole I could make with two avocado trees?  I just need a lime tree, and I've got a fiesta!

The gardener who was going to install sprinklers delivered some heart-crushing news.  If we wanted grass for half of the yard, this avocado tree had to go.  No grass could grow with the incredible amount of shade it provided.  I was consoled by the fact that I still got to keep one tree.

So out came the tree and away went the garbage.  Except to Georgia, it wasn't garbage.  To my sweet five-year-old it was her "grotto" and the sticks that disappeared were her "stick family."

After seeing the backyard devastation, she laid on the floor in the fetal position and said, "This is how you destroy a home."  Wow!  Totally harsh.  I promised that she would love having a place to play, that we would go hunt for new sticks, and the original stick family had gone to build homes for small woodland creatures.
One week later, the grass came in.  We were out of town when the sod was laid, so it was such a fun surprise to come home and see green for miles and miles.  Okay, feet and feet.  
Now, we've got a totally prepped blank slate.  Our goals for the backyard:
  • Replace the Frankenstein fence
  • Make a new and improved "grotto"
  • Incorporate a fun place for grown-ups to read and drink coffee

We're not quite sure what the grotto should include.  A play house?  A rock wall?  A chicken coop?  Please don't vote for chicken coop unless there are magical chickens that lay Cadbury Creme Eggs.  Do you have a backyard play structure or other favorite feature?  I'd love to hear what we need!