Our Dog-Friendly Back Yard is Filling In

Back in April, we had our back yard redone by the great folks at Rain Country Gardens. Now that things have had about three months to grow, I thought it would be fun to show how it’s all filling in.


The path to the other end of the yard


Things are filling in nicely


I love how inviting it all looks.


Looking back toward the rock wall


Little plants just waiting to grow


Nice and lush

The only thing that didn’t do well were the plants with the little purple flowers that were supposed to spread up by the deck and by the patio. I think only about 5% of the plants made it. If I were a gardener I might know what kind of plant they were, but…

Keeping the weeds under control has been fairly easy. I just weed in chunks and do it after it’s been watered. The weeds come out easily.

We love spending time in our back yard this summer. We added some little lights along the gutters on the house and some solar lights along the path, so it’s like a little oasis back there in the evening.

Our Transformed, Dog-Friendly Back Yard

Our back yard was in desperate need of a makeover. All of the rain and the shade from the tall trees resulted in lots of mud and moss in our back yard. We’ve tried to no avail to get grass to grow back there, but nothing seemed to work.

We met Wyatt of Gardening with Wyatt and his owners at Canines Uncorked last year. I remembered that they have a landscape design business, so I contacted them to see if they had any dog-friendly ideas for our back yard. They had some awesome ideas, so this past week the great folks at Rain Country Gardens transformed our back yard into a dog-friendly, suburban oasis.


The patch of grass that we could never get to grow
Our leggy rhododendrons
You have to love that Oregon moss
Our lonely garden bench
Another view of the old back yard
We needed some serious help in the back yard


Wyatt to the rescue!
Look at all that Wyatt got done in a few short days
A new path to the other end of the yard

The low plants should fill in to make a carpet of green.

No more leggy rhodies
Makes you want to stroll through the yard, doesn't it?
I love how inviting it all looks.
Kendall wants to know when you're coming over to help her enjoy her new back yard.

We’ll be sure to post pictures throughout the year as the plants fill in.

Before and After – New Built-in Bookshelves

I love our living room with its hardwood floors, big fireplace and picture window, but it was lacking. The expansive walls on either side seemed to be calling for some white built-in bookshelves.

Before - blank walls to the left and right
A wall in definite need of some built-ins

I contracted with a finish carpenter to install some built-in bookshelves with wine storage. The space on either side wasn’t even, so the wine storage helped balance things out.

After - Our new built-ins complete with wine storage
A big improvement - now we need some stuff to put on them.

We cleared out a lot of our books when we moved from our condo to the house a few years back, so we don’t have a lot of books to put on the shelves. I’m sure we’ll be able to fill them up in no time. I have some great black and white photos that a friend took, that I’m planning to put on either side of the fireplace in black frames.

So, what do you think?

A Tiring Weekend

This pretty much sums up our weekend. We power washed all day Saturday and then had to clean up the after power-washing mess all day today. It’s amazing how much mess can be made when you’re hitting five or so years worth of moss build up with 4,000 psi. The house and gutters are now all scrubbed and looking good as new.

The neighbors must think we’re getting ready to put our house on the market, but we’re not. Last weekend I painted the front door bright yellow (pictures soon, I promise) and put in new lights by the garage and front door. This weekend we spruced things up, and I put a nice plant by the front door. Around here, people only do a lot of work on the outside of their house right before the For Sale sign goes up. No such luck here. They’re stuck with us for the long haul.

It rained most of the weekend, so Kendall and I only got out for two short walks. We’re still on schedule for the Walking Challenge. This week looks a bit more accommodating.

On the blog side, I made some progress this weekend. Notice that there’s now a favicon up on the tab in your browser. Until this morning, I didn’t even know those things had a name. Next thing I knew I was ftp’ing files and inserting it into code. I also added the Follow Me links in the side bar and got the Walking Challenge badge so that it would link back to Lessons From and for 4 Legs blog. I’m figuring this out bit by bit. If you came here from the old blog location, you’ll notice that I put a redirect in. I hope you’re able to update your bookmarks so you can avoid the redirect.