“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds.
The harvest can either be flowers or weeds.”
— William Wordsworth
A few weeks ago, I shared Snowberry’s newly planted front garden.
Since then, spring has sprung, and the garden is roaring back to life.
The boxwoods are growing like crazy and the new growth is a bright, vivid green.
It’s so pretty.
The camellias and roses are blooming, and the hydrangeas aren’t far behind.
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But today it’s all about the back patio and garden.
It’s one my favorite before and afters from the renovation.
Here’s what it looked like when we bought the house.
The brick patio was in bad shape.
Uneven, missing grout and covered in moss,
I almost landed on my backside twice on our first visit.
The hot tub had seen better days.
During demo, Jim surprised
a family of rodents residing underneath.
We hoped to keep the brick and repair it by regrouting.
Sadly, drainage issues – resulting in water accumulating under the house –
meant it had to come up.
We opted to replace it with stone and I’m so glad we did.
Snowberry sits on a long, narrow lot.
A tiered, wood retaining wall holds back a steep hillside.
Because the hill drains into the yard … and our lot is shady
… the narrow strip of lawn was swampy year round.
That, combined with the drought conditions in California,
made it a no-brainer to remove the the grass.
We replaced the lawn with a center path of gravel interspersed with stepping stones and planting borders on either side.
We kept the ugly retaining walls on the back half of the garden, but added lattice to the front
and painted everything dark brown.
See how they fade into the landscape?
Over time trailing plants will grow up and down the lattice.
We placed a teak bench at the end of the path where I like to sit and take everything in.
Our path lights are tall and down lit.
It’s incredible how they illuminate the entire yard at night.
Very much appreciated when taking Pippa and Maggie for their final outing before bed.
To the right is our small side yard where the air conditioner and stand-by generator are located.
We added raised beds to this area.
Only one bed gets much sun so it’s going to be an interesting process figuring out what veggies and flowers will thrive here.
Looking back beyond the garden borders is our outdoor kitchen and dining area
… and seating area just beyond that.
Last month I shared the back patio seating area zhushed up for spring and summer.
It’s going to make a great summer office.
And, we’re looking forward to warm summer nights under the stars (and twinkle lights) sitting around the fire.
The top of the stone wall looks a little stark after a gopher assault.
They ate everything.
It was just replanted but this time the roots are protected by chicken wire.
Fingers crossed that it works.
Opposite the seating area is small courtyard.
Here’s how it looked before we added furniture.
You can get a good look at the new stone patio.
The stone arrived in large, irregular slabs, and our landscape crew cut it into varying sized squares and rectangles.
Then they hand distressed the edges.
We love it!
Our boxwood topiaries seem to love it too … they’re thriving.
Jim loves his DCS barbeque.
It’s his fourth one.
We really need to stop renovating and moving.
We also added a sink and storage cabinets but didn’t bother with side-burners or a fridge
… our real kitchen is just steps away.
We’re lucky to be able to barbeque year-round.
The BBQ gets a lot of use.
Pippa and Maggie love their yard.
But they don’t love the neighbor dogs next door.
The four of them frequently exchange words at the fence.
I’m sure are Pippa and Mags are very polite and it’s all the neighbor dogs fault.
So, there you have it, Snowberry’s newly renovated backyard garden reveal.
In a month or so I’ll post an update … I’m excited to see how everything matures during spring.
Note: All of Snowberry’s landscaping – design and installation – was done by Enchanting Planting in Orinda, California.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!
Photo credit: Monica Vargas Photography