When we moved into our new house nine months ago, I knew our first big project would to redo the backyard. It was very wooded, overgrown and, frankly, not a safe place for children to play. Still, there was something "wild" about it that was fun in the snow and even in the early spring when the trees were just opening and the moss covered the floor. But we rarely used it.
Here's how it looked in April:
View from one side of the patio.
The property is up on a hill, so the houses behind ours are down a steep slope.
It's actually very private up here.
Looking east, across the yard.
From where this photo was taken, the yard slopes gently downward (east) and steeply off to the right (south).
View from highest elevation looking back to the house and patio.
Can you see my blue house behind the overgrown shrubs??
During the summer, the tree canopies were very dense and very little light came through. It provided a nice break from the heat, but the mosquitos were unbearable!
View of the backyard from the upstairs windows.
In the early spring, we met with a landscape architect, who drew up beautiful plans for our yard. I mainly wanted a large grassy area for the kids to play, but also enough gardens for me to "play."
After months of surveys and getting approvals from the town, we finally got the green light to begin the project! The first step was to clear away the overgrown shrubs and cut down a bunch of the trees.
A worker removes the andromedia, rhododendron and mountain laurel behind the patio wall.
I was fascinated watching these guys climb the trees to cut the branches!
Clearing the final trunks away.
Finally - sunlight streams in! I can't believe the transformation.
The clearing. Wow!
Over the next few weeks, the ground will be leveled, a retaining wall will be constructed and a fence will enclose beautiful new plantings.
See the progression here:
Part 2: Retaining Wall
Part 3: The Fence
Part 4: Boulder Retaining Wall