Can you dig it (We can dig it): A Backyard Saga


In case you don’t understand today’s post title, just start singing “Whoomp there it is”. Nothing like a little Tag Team. Anyways. About digging.

We’ve had projects here-and-there going on inside the house, but, outside the house. That’s a different story. Let’s just say we’ve left no surface untouched and no rock unturned. I’m not even quite sure where to begin. Spoiler alert: this post doesn’t wrap up neatly with a bow. It’s more a “what’s been going on around here” update.

I’ve only posted on our yard projects here and there. I’ve mentioned how much I like to ignore our backyard situation, how we had one massive tree fall on our deck, how we’ve had to cut down too many other trees (due to an invasive species maple tree, we learned, that was going to kill everything else), and the copious amounts of lumber we had to deal with.

There were two problems with our yard when we bought the house:

1. It was severely overgrown and neglected. Everywhere. Dying trees, invasive weeds, and overgrown gardens (complete with a Zen Garden walking circle in the middle of the backyard – yep, we discovered that when the snow melted.)

2. We had major pipe problems that needed to be fixed. We’re talking 100 yards of pipe here people.

In the last year, our yard has been excavated extensively. We have dug up and replanted the little bit of landscaping that we planted multiple times. Our two walkways have been demolished so I have gravel pebbles all over my house as a result.


We’ve finally finished putting in the new driveway (we have a LOT of driveway with this house) and I can park wherever I’d like now.


In quite possible the only regrettable home decision we’ve made thus far, we decided to take our wires underground. We ran into ledge (read: an outcropping of bedrock) and needed professional assistance.

If there was one thing we underestimated when we bought this house – it’s earth-moving.  New walls can be built, floors can be installed. But earth-moving – that is no laughing matter.

Without going into much detail of our situation (because it’s a very long and not very exciting story 2.5 years in the making), we still have a lot of yard work in front of us. backyard3

We have high hopes that next year will be the year of the grass! Could it finally be here?backyard4  backyard6   backyard9Dressing to match our projects – of course.

Those bright blue pipes are drain pipes – of which we (*ahem, not me) have installed many of over the course of the last year. And I think we’re just about done! (Cue the happy music!)

For the most part, our yard has been very brown the last two years. This was largely in part to the trees (no sun for grass to grow + dying trees and weeds = no grass).

Someday we will have grass! And I will never take it for granted. I will happily mow the lawn. In perfectly parallel lines.

We’re kind of at a middle-point with our curb appeal right now. It always gets worse before it gets better, and we’re 50% worse, and 50% getting better.


All this stone is being put in for our patio prep!

When I stand in my backyard I kind of feel like Scarlett O’Hara at the end of Gone with the Wind (spoiler alert) surveying her war-torn, beloved family estate.

“As God is my witness, I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over I’ll never be [grass-less] again.”

Melodramatic? Obviously.

But after three years of digging, digging, and digging, I can’t WAIT to have a backyard!


On the plus side? We have TONS OF HUGE ROCKS in our yard we will be creating a retaining wall with. Like this one here (I stuck my foot in so you can see how huge it is), this bad boy would have cost $200 at a landscaping warehouse. And it’s free, compliments of our backyard and some backbreaking labor (thank you husband).

Moral of the story: When choosing your fixer-upper, pay attention to the yard! Moving walls and renovating the house is a LOT easier than changing the earth!