Our Backyard Transformation on a Budget

by Kevin on November 12, 2010

Last week I shared how to stage a backyard for cheap.

In the article I told you to have a goal of three things. Your backyard needed to be well kept, green (with some color), and inviting.

Today I thought I would share what we did with our backyard to try and achieve the above goals.

Background on Our Backyard

We live in what most would call a garden home. We’re on the side of hill with some nice space between our neighbors. There is no one behind us as the neighborhood’s retention pond is off in the distance. This gives us a nice bit of privacy and a wooded area for wildlife andĀ foliage.

Since there is no other development behind us the area beyond our property line was left as empty red Alabama clay. Eventually a tall weed grass would grow which was okay, but not great looking.

Our first attempt at improving the space did not go so well primarily because we decided to change everything in the middle of July a few summers ago.

Wow, we were really that dumb.

I spent the better part of a day digging… and digging… and digging… in rock hard Alabama clay.

We planted two “double knockout” rose bushes in the back as well as about 5Ā lilies. All were rated for 100% sun and we happily enjoyed our new landscaping.

That is until the following spring when we got a ton of rain and some really bad storms that snapped the lilies in half. One of the rose bushes died because we planted it too deep in the ground — since it was planted in clay there was no where for the water to drain.

No one told me too much water is a bad thing! (And I told you we had brown thumbs…)

Here is what remained when we decided to stage the backyard to try and sell our home. Consider this the “before” photo.

Backyard in need of staging

Faded mulch, one solitary rose bush remaining, and a separate area on the right that our Moms (who have green thumbs) planted. (Of course it has thrived since they planted it).

That won’t do. It looks unkept, it isn’t green, and it has no color.

Staging a Backyard

We wanted to stage our backyard as a support to selling our house. We didn’t want to break the bank either.

We added a lot of mulch, a fire pit, two adirondack chairs, and a large pot full of colorful plants for about $200.

We went with mulch and covered the entire area in that black cloth stuff that stops grass and weeds from growing. We wanted to add space that didn’t require additional maintenance. (I am not a fan of pulling weeds.) While this didn’t give the green that we wanted it also contrasted nice with the surrounding area and really set the space apart.

The chairs and fire pit were to make it look more inviting… a space that you’d like to come out to, sit around, and relax. The pot added the color and some height that we wanted.

Here’s the end result… what do you think?Our yard after staging

Coming up on No Debt Plan

I know I’ve been writing a lot about selling our home recently. Some of these articles don’t apply to any of you, or you don’t think they do. I’ll be switching it up next week and you’ll see articles about Christmas shopping, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving traditions. We’ll focus on how the holidays can put you into debt and how to avoid it. Stay tuned!


Golfing Girl November 15, 2010 at 8:39 am

Well done–the space looks great–and a big difference for a small budget too!

Kevin November 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Thanks! Lots of work… hopefully will be worth it.

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