Backyard Makeover Reveal … Snowberry’s Newly Renovated Garden, Part II

“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds.

The harvest can either be flowers or weeds.”

— William Wordsworth

White Flowers

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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White trellis fence, arbor and gate

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.

So gross.

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.

Garden borders and gravel path

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.

Garden Path

We placed a teak bench at the end of the path where I like to sit and take everything in.

Teak Bench

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.

Path Lighting

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.

Garden Path and boxwood border

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.

Patio Seating Area with fire pit and water feature

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.

Outdoor kitchen and DCS grill

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.

Dog walking down garden path


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.


PIN Collage

Stone Owl on Garden Wall

As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.

Cheers from Snowberry!

Photo credit: Monica Vargas Photography

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  • Beautiful! I love what you have done with the challenging narrow spaces. Would you be willing to share your source for the copper path lighting? I m finding many short ones, but your taller ones provide a much better look. Thank you and keep up the great work!

    • Hi Beth … thank you so much! I’d love to share what I know about the lights. They’re by Volt Lighting – but I believe our landscape designer said they were a to-the-trade purchase. However, if you Google ‘Volt downlights’ … you’ll see the light portion which I believe can be attached to any of their poles. If that doesn’t work, I’d be happy to try and find out more. Cheers! xo

  • It looks amazing!!! You have such a vision to see the before and know what you wanted for the after. Such a peaceful looking spot!! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that courtyard area. The sound of the water falling from the stone wall — it must be sooooo relaxing!!! Wish I lived close enough to invite myself over for a glass of tea!!! Gorgeous, Juliet!!! I love your home!!!

    • I wish you lived closer too, Robbin … tea by fountain on a warm, sunny. day! Have a wonderful week! xo

    IT will be FUN to watch the process………….Iam wondering how big those trees will get on the path to your BENCH!

    • Well, Contessa … our landscape designer says those trees will grow up to form an arch. But … hmmmm … do they need training?! I’d better follow up! xo

    • Oh, Leslie … little Pippa and Maggie would love that! So would I … a nice chat on a warm, sunny day! Hope you’re having a fabulous week! xo

  • Hi Juliet,
    Your garden is coming along so nicely, filling in and very very green! I wish I could say the same here…but at least everything has been cut back for now.
    Won’t it be fun to enjoy the outdoor space when the weather turns a little warmer. We’ve had a cold snap and it feels like spring and summer are still a long way ahead of us!
    Looking forward to seeing the updates on your pretty garden!
    XO Heidi

    • Heidi … we had a little cold snap too. Burr. But suddenly it’s feeling very warm and semi-summery. The bad news, I just read that we’re being asked to cut back on water (cut back more than we already are). I guess it’s a good thing we have no lawn … and can devote our water rations to dripping the plants. I’ll be you’re going to enjoy some beautiful walks near the water this week. Hope so! xo

  • I love how the bench is a destination. The creative use of materials… gravel, pavers, plants, wood, lighting, etc is what makes it all so interesting. Landscaping is truly an art because you have to work with the spaces that are available. Well done!! By this time next year the garden will seem so much more mature and you’ll love it even more.

    • Hi Karen … sorry I’m late responding. The bench is a really well used spot. It was either a potting bench or a garden bench. A potting would have been practical … but I do love being able to sit and watch the dogs play and just contemplate the day. I can’t wait to see what your back project looks like when you return home. I know it’s going to be amazing! xo

  • You’ve done an amazing job Juliet. You’ve given me some inspiration for our still untackled back yard. We need retaining walls and fences – the whole lot. Your garden is so beautiful. Good luck with the gophers – thankfully, we don’t have anything like that in New Zealand.

    • What?! No gophers in New Zealand?! Add that to the list of innumerable positives about living in NZ. You’ll probably decide to do pretty stone retaining walls … but if you go the basic wood route, painting makes an enormous difference and adding lattice is a great way to spiff them up too. xo

    • Thanks so much, Laura … and welcome to the blog. I love being a subscriber to Everyday Edits as well! xo

    • Oh, Tammy … I really appreciate that. Thank you … I’m an admirer of your outdoor gardening too! xo

  • Hi Juliet!
    I just found your photo on Pinterest and love your backyard transformation! Can you share how wide your walkway is and the size of your pavers? We’re looking to do the same thing in our yard and would appreciate any guidance.
    Thank you!

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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