Tuesday, May 7

The San Gabriel House :: the backyard

Gardening is still on the brain today but instead of focusing on my new garden wall project like I should be, I'm wandering down memory lane again; this time, I'm obsessing over the dramatic before and afters of the San Gabriel house backyard.  See for yourself.  Oh...and try not to judge.

When I met Biff, the backyard looked like this.

San Gabriel backyard_before

Good Lord... Thank God we met and were friends first, because in a dating scenario, I'm not sure this type of yard is something I could've gotten past.  It's just sooooo bad, right?

Biff was digging up the back yard all by HIMSELF like a crazy person.  You can see in the second photo above, that he was making a raised 'bed'. When he wasn't working, he was digging.  Pure madness.  I finally convinced him that he needed some help and we hired a couple of young guys to weed the back yard and help with the planter.  So it went from what you see up top there...

To this.
San Gabriel_after weeds 2

Still awful, but much better.

All that digging worked; we had a huge planter bed that was sectioned off using railroad ties.  The idea was to have colorful greenery and plants in most of the raised bed with a small section saved for a garden.  We wanted sod for the grassy area, a clean and BLUE pool and knew that eventually we needed some sort of cover for the pool's pump and other components too.

In this photo we've just begun planting.  And you can see here that we've also painted a mossy green color on the cinder blocks surrounding the house.  We couldn't afford to replace the wall itself so this was the next best thing.  We couldn't believe how much of a difference it ultimately made.

San Gabriel_begin planting

The pool went from this scary monstrosity...

Pool before

To this creepy crawly slime bucket.


Here I began to have hope though...


And when this happened, well, I almost died from happiness.  That pool was blue for miles and my heart was so full of joy I'm surprised it didn't explode right then and there.

Pool after

The day the sod arrived was a good day too.

I've never been happier to wake up at 5am and work my butt off.
laying sod

We worked SO hard... And it looked SO great.  We were quite proud of ourselves.

SG backyard_after 1
The kids were happy about it too.  Here we are jumping for joy! :)

And here's how the backyard looked when we sold the house.  Success!

SG backyard_after 2

Holy ground cover over-growth!  It looks like a certain "someone" was a little impatient and wanted instant gratification so that certain someone "may" have planted the ground cover a wee too close together.  Oopsy.

And before I forget, you've got to see the patio that leads out to this backyard space.  I wish I had a photo of how it looked in its' original state of disgust.  The photo below though, is how it looked shortly after I met Biff and I am telling you, a TON of progress had already been made (you can see another angle of all the yard overgrowth here too).  When he bought the house this was an enclosed patio.  Yep.  An enclosed patio with a fire pit. Say whaaaaat???

San Gabriel_fp patio before

This is another great before and after. In addition to removing the roof and walls, we painted the beams black and the brick walls white.  We also continued the moss green color we used in the back yard on the cinder block walls. A pressure cleaner helped too, as did a lot of scrubbing on our hands and knees.  This porch was just off of the kitchen and den areas of the house and quickly became one of our favorite spots; we roasted s'mores with the kids and had countless dinners under the stars with friends.  And here's how the patio looked when we moved.

San Gabriel_fp patio after
Divine!!  This backyard and patio makeover goes to show that absolutely anything is possible. Wait till you see what we did to the front of the house... :)

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