Friday, August 31, 2012

Our backyard - an empty canvas

I took a little break from this blog and spent some time catching up with one of my closest friend's and former college roommate who happens to live in the Chicago area now. This was a trip that was months in the making and I enjoyed 5 days of girl time in her hometown as well as in downtown Chicago. Chicago has got to be one of my favorite big cities =) Last time I was there was 4 years ago, so it was nice to be back for a few days. And being from Arizona, I certainly enjoyed the rainstorm we got on one of the days.

But back to the point of this post - our backyard. Just like the blog name, House Canvas, our backyard is no exception to being a canvas of creativity. However, right now that canvas is blank, sparse, incomplete, etc. We used to have some oleander trees but got rid of those when we adopted our puppy and found him gnawing at the poisonous bark. Our several attempts to grow grass from seeds have been unsuccessful, although we do have a nice fountain that hugs one of the corners of the backyard. Needless to say, I have been wanting to tackle our backyard landscape for quite some time, but it always takes a back burner to other expenses.

Here's our backyard now:  Pathetic, I know.

The upside to having a blank canvas backyard is that the sky is limit for landscaping options. Since we don't plan to stay in this house for too many more years, I don't want to put too much time and money into landscaping. My plan is to purchase sod and cover the large middle portion that is currently dirt in grass. That will give the backyard a nice wide area of green grass and we can landscape around it.  Here are some pictures of various landscaping ideas I would like to incorporate when we finally get around to tackling our backyard project:

Where the green grass ends, I want to add more gravel rock (ours is very sparse right now) and plant a few flower bushes like in the picture above. This would be the border of the backyard. 

I also want to add a few trees, scattered in various areas of the yard. Our backyard is small, so 2-3 medium size trees will likely be enough, plus two trees on both sides of the fountain. I love colorful trees and trees that rustle in the wind, so I would likely go with the following:

1 plum tree. My parents have one and it is beautiful with its rich purple leaves

2 Pigmy Date Palms, 1 on each side of the fountain, set back a few feet. These are great because they aren't very tall, but fan out with lots of palm branches.

1 Oak Tree. They are low maintenance and provide plenty of shade. The one in this picture is on the large side, I wonder if there's such a thing as a dwarf oak tree? Hmm...

I also want to add some small bulb lighting across the ceiling of our patio, like this:

If my husband and I can do all the above to our backyard, I will be pretty pleased. Grass, some trees, additional rock to cover the sparse areas where we currently have gravel, some lighting, and a few flower bushes and I will be one happy girl. It's too hot to tackle this project right now, but I'm thinking this would be a great winter/spring project for us.

Is your backyard already landscaped? If so, did you landscape it yourself or did you purchase the home with it already landscaped? If you could design or redesign your backyard, what would you want it to look like? Link up your blog posts in the comment section below!

Happy Friday!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you decided to add some touch in your backyard. I like the canvass; it's the green grass that's first come into my mind when I think about backyard landscape – that and a few flower bushes and a fountain.

    Johnson Rondeau