MY HOME TOUR PART 8: PATIO AND GARDEN

We're moving this tour outdoors now!  You've seen the interior of my little fixer house transformed room-by-room,  and I hope it's been as satisfying for you as it was for me.  The changes to the backyard were just as dramatic, I think.

Especially considering it started out as a parking lot ...


You'll remember from Part 1, the remodel rundown, that except for a big, old, slightly diseased flowering pear tree, every inch of the backyard was paved with multiple layers of brick.  To make matters worse, crazy amounts of trash and concrete rubble were buried beneath that.  As I pulled up bricks I discovered that the yard had essentially been used as a landfill for who knows how many decades?  Fun. (Except not.)


So it felt like a major accomplishment when we finally got all the bricks and rubble cleared and were down to plain old dirt!


At that point I paid a farmer a few bucks to drive over an entire dump truck full of old horse manure to return some nutrients to the soil and start bringing it back to life again. (Ask your local feed and tack store if you're looking for free manure ... they'll know who wants to get rid of it.)  I also threw in a few hundred live earthworms that I bought at the plant nursery, to help fertilize and aerate the soil. 


This is the view of the back of the house.  Remember how there was this weird plywood addition that we had to tear down before we even did anything else?


Here's the back of the house after the addition came down, which had been built right on top of that concrete patio slab.


 And all torn up midway through the remodel ...


And here's the exterior after the remodel, but before any real patio "styling" went into effect.  We re-purposed a bunch of the old bricks for the new deck made of wood, brick, and bordered by large square concrete pavers.



Bit by bit the landscaping started to come together. 

I created raised vegetable beds off to the side rimmed with decomposed granite pathways.  I used the wood lattice up against the wall to espalier my tomatoe vines, which otherwise would have taken up all the space in my little veggie garden.  (Remember, this is a pretty tiny yard compared with much of the country, but for LA it's actually decent!)

The cinderblock walls were painted a dark color to make them sort of recede into the shadows, and I ringed the lawn with native plants.

Here's a snapshot of my sweet mom weeding my lettuce patch when I was overdue with my son and way too pregnant to bend over or sit down like that :)


At this point you can see how the plantings around the perimeter of the yard have begun to fill in ...


 Eventually a baby arrived.  To loll about on the grass ... 


And toddle fearlessly ...


And help mama garden ...



With some careful pruning the giant old tree was restored to health and, more importantly, to swinging condition (the wood slat swing is from Etsy and those are mason jars with candles inside that I hung for a very twinkly nighttime garden birthday party) ...


This is the detached garage that eventually became my design studio (which was eventually featured on Apartment Therapy) ...




I planted a fast growing bamboo hedge in front of this eyesore fence and view, for obvious reasons ...


 Below is the entrance to my studio after we converted it but before I styled the outdoor seating area.



 And here it is after I pulled together the outdoor space for one of the Year of Change Designer Challenges I've been a part of this year. 






Some parting "before and after" shots ...




See this house featured on Domaine Home too!

The rest of the tour:

6 comments:

theangelfrequency said...

I love these before and afters of your home. So inspirational! I love your house!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Gorgeous! You did susc a beautiful job with your garden! Your studio looks fabulous too!

helen@handmaidtales said...

So amazing - having just redone our yard and garage, I'm so impressed. It was a tremendous amount of work! What a beautiful result.

Patricia said...

THUNK! That was the sound of my jaw dropping and hitting the floor. Stunning and amazing don't begin to cover the massive change. Wow! Zounds! Stupendous! The most amazing feat of gardening magic I've ever seen (I think I'm getting a little closer here).

Rosa said...

Thanks so much for the comments! I really appreciate hearing your reaction to my home tour :)

theanatomyofdesign.com said...

love how you planted multiples of the same plants together...everything looks so lush!

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