As most of you know, we moved into our house in the suburbs last May. So we’ve been here a bit over a year, and while we have tackled a few projects inside (including our kitchen renovation!), we’ve actually done a ton of work in our backyard! As first time HOUSE owners (previously we had a condo), man it’s a steep learning curve taking care of a yard! There is so much to do, and for us, we inherited a yard that had a lot of overgrown landscaping.
This past weekend we hosted friends for the first time since moving in and I decided to snap some photos to share with you the full before/after makeover of the yard.
Come along on this journey…
Part of what we loved about this house when we bought it was the size of the back yard! But as you can see, when we moved in, half the back yard was taken up landscaping that I assume was really beautiful at one point but had been overgrown with weeds and ivy, and whatever plant life was there was struggling, including 6 hydrangea bushes.
Once the summer months came along, it quickly got so overgrown, we knew our best option was to clear it all and free up space for more useable yard for us the hang as a family.
So many steps led us to where we are today and we had all of our parents helping us at some point. Last summer was mainly constant weeding, taking down a tree, moving hydrangea, planting flowers, you name it. Ultimately we brought in a few local teenagers to help clear out the overgrown landscaping–they filled 10 yard waste bags. Maybe more?
Then we hired professionals to rototill, regrade, and re-sod the back and front yards. It created level ground, gave us beautiful new grass, helped with drainage for our huge midwest storms, and most importantly, doubled the square footage of usable yard space!
The final step was getting a fence installed and a new swingset, which just happened this spring. Finally, we were ready for having our first guests over to the house! Most of our friends had never been here since we moved in last May!
Once the grass was ready, we were able to pick up a few pieces to really make the yard functional and fun for the kids and guests. I looked to Walmart Home because I know I can always find great items at amazing prices with quick shipping. White Adirondack chairs are a favorite of mine; they look so classic and are great for relaxing. I also added this really affordable metal side table to hold snacks and drinks.
Dan did an amazing job hanging string lights from the deck out to two trees, creating a beautiful lit canopy over the yard in the evening.
This two-tone basket duo is perfect for corralling the boys’ many small yard toys, or I’ll use them for towels when we have company over (I love these striped towels). I also got this three tiered tray that I used for desserts at the party, but I also use it to bring out drinks and snacks when it’s just us.
For our 4th of July party, we used a basic white folding table and a beautiful white linen tablecloth for adults. We brought the boys’ play table and chairs out back for the kids to sit and eat.
We blew up a few kiddy pools, had balls and toys for the kids to play with, music from a bluetooth speaker, and it was really a great time!
We hope to have at least a couple more parties back here before fall!
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
This post was sponsored by Walmart; thank you for supporting the brands that help make this blog possible.
Beautiful, can you share the name of the local teenagers who helped clear it? I am looking for just that locally. Thanks!
Incredible progress, Alaina! Would you recommend the professionals you hired? I’m looking for similar support in the Chicago suburbs. Thanks!