Creating a Backyard Oasis

Backyard view from deck
Backyard view from deck

Cyndie and I are on our second season of creation and construction of the backyard oasis.  This project has been extensive – lots of dirt and rock moved; all by hand.  No single master plan existed when we started.  There were many small plans that have come together on paper, in our minds and dreams.  Much work was completed last year and even more continues this year.  It is a labor of love creating a peaceful backyard oasis where you can relax over your lunch break, kick back after a long day at work or spend the better park of a Saturday lounging around listening to the stream, smelling the blooms and watching the wildlife.

As I post this and am looking at the pano-view above I see so many changes that happened yesterday immediately following the picture.  It is amazing what can be accomplished in a single day.  You cannot fully appreciate all that has transpired without seeing the before (coming soon), but I’ll take you around the space with a quick photo-tour.

Leaving the backdoor into the yard from the deck [completed last year]:


Up the path towards the pond patio [completed last year]:


The pond, stream and four waterfalls [completed last year]:


Right side flower garden [completed last year]:


Wiener Run (stairway to Wiener Trail) [completed last year]:


Wiener Trail [completed last year]:


Upper vegetable garden (carrots, spinach, dill, beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, dumpling squash, strawberries and blueberries  [new this year]:


Hammock patio [new this year]:


View from Hammock patio [main patio and pergola completed last year]:


Left side flower garden [partially completed last year] and “the pit” (foreground).  The pit has functioned as our plant staging place, bin and potting container collection site and home of “chippy” which Audrey is hunting currently.  Still formulating a plan in my mind for the pit area:


Backyard entrance – flower pallet  [new this year]:


Lower vegetable garden [completed last year]:


Side herb garden [new this year]:


*All rock for walls were picked by hand and hauled by car and set to rest manually in the yard.  Good times 🙂


13 Replies to “Creating a Backyard Oasis”

  1. Great to see the progress and can’t wait to see it in full bloom. Did you post this in a different way? Usually I can see a slideshow of the photos, but couldn’t do that this time.

    Keep the photos coming!! 😉

  2. I love the special touches; the pathways, the flower pallet, the colors you chose in the potted plants are all so amazing. I would tell you that I finished my makeover 3 years ago and this year was the first year that sitting on the porch after work has now become an absolutely golden experience…you have such wonderful rewards awaiting

    1. Thanks Charlie. I have to give big credit to Cyndie, my no doubt better and very creative half, for orchestrating all of the planting beds with the plants. I am more of the structural engineer – mongo move dirt from here to there; pile rocks up and make walls. 🙂

  3. I want your yard. Yes, I do. We have dreamed for years of putting in a waterfall as we have a natural hillside, too. But that plan has not evolved into reality.

    About 10 years ago my husband built a limestone retaining wall with the rock gathered from an old barn foundation and hauled, pick-up load by pick-up load. Lots of work and an incredible wall. Now the limestone is cracking and flaking due to water and temps. But I think it will still hold up long after we are gone. The limestone path, not so much.

    The work you’ve done to transform your yard is spectacular.

    1. We did two more loads of rock today to finish off three different partial walls. It is dirty, heavy and very messy hauling it by the carload. The end is near though, for the back yard anyway. We could spend another two season hauling for the hilly front yard 🙂

    1. There are some simple plans out there for an herb garden pallet. That is where the herb garden started out, but the herbs didn’t grow well where I had wanted the pallet; so it became the flower pallet instead. Simply Google “herb garden pallet” and you’ll see lots of links.

      I didn’t use the weed-guard material to make the pockets. I screwed plastic containers to the pallet instead. I drilled holes in the container for drainage too. I wasn’t sure how that fabric would last, but I guess you could redo it each season.

  4. You are so creative in your design and ideas- I always wonder what new area I will find that I can plant in when I get home 🙂 Thanks honey- your blood, sweat and tears are well appreciated.

Comments are always welcome and very much appreciated

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