A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Look What We Did: Patio and Yard

As part of the Houseblogs.net “Look What I Did” Sweepstakes, it’s a perfect time to show the Before-and-After of our flagstone patio and the progress we’ve made on our yard to date. (I’m also happy for the chance to win some cold hard cash/plastic from our sponsor, True Value!)

When we moved into our bungalow, our sorry yard consisted of:

  • Over twelve types of weeds
  • The imprint of the PO’s Pod storage box which had been sitting on the front lawn for six months
  • Rubber mulch
  • Chain-link fences; one of which was installed too far in on our property

In March/April 2008 we began to plan our new garden spaces in earnest.

The family who bought our previous house (located 90 feet away) very generously offered us the flagstone from the patio we installed there years ago. With two young children, these new owners were preparing to tear out the patio and garden in favor of lawn. (Having moved only two doors away, we currently enjoy watching the kids play in their yard from the comfort of our flagstone patio. It was definitely a win-win.)

Following are the steps we’ve made to turn our yard into a comfortable outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing, along with much-needed curb appeal.

1. Remove the fences and reestablish the correct property line. Once that was done we planted shrubs which will eventually grow into a natural privacy fence.

2. Remove sod where the patio would be located as well as the paths leading to the patio. Then proceed to dig. And dig. And then dig some more.

3. Lay out and install the flagstone patio. Think: a big giant puzzle using pieces that weigh a LOT.

4. Plant trees, grasses and forbs (flowering plants) that are native to our area.

5. Build a structure to house garbage and recycling bins, compost, and act as a fence against the alley.

6. Add tables, chairs and decorative elements.

While still overrun with weeds, our yard has gone from this:

To this, on the one-year anniversary (today!) of moving into our bungalow:

This post was written for Houseblogs.net as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by True Value.

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