Last week, I showed you our new pergola, the first part of our backyard renovation. Since then, the patio extension and pea gravel area have been completed, and we’re on our way to finishing up the entire project. The goal was to increase the amount of usable space for the boys to play, while also providing more shade during the hot summer months. We still plan to add ceiling fans with lights to our porch ceiling and we’ll also install a mister system eventually, too. The overall cost of this project was pretty significant, so we’re doing it in stages each month to spread things out a little.
The pea gravel area will eventually house a playscape for the boys, and we’re hoping to install that later this year. Going into this project, I knew it might take the entire summer to complete, and thankfully, we’ve had really mild temperatures and lots of rain. Even though we don’t have ceiling fans installed yet, we’ve been able to spend some time playing outside. And since we live on a really busy street, having a safe place to play is incredibly important.
Last weekend while the boys were visiting my parents, Ryan and I cleaned up our existing shrubs and added a bunch of mulch to the shady area near our fence. We’re lucky to have a huge elm tree in our backyard that provides a lot of shade, but there’s an area near our fenceline that gets too much shade to properly grow grass or many plants. Because the tree’s root system is basically the size of its canopy, and our tree is well-established at this point, it isn’t a good idea to cover the base with anything solid like concrete. Instead, we are leaving the area open and will add a bunch of shade tolerant plants next weekend. We’ve already picked out a few that are drought tolerant and like the shade, and I’m excited to spruce up this area.
I love working in the backyard and now that we’ve maximized the space, it’s a wonderful place to spend the weekend.