We've been working on our backyard to make it a place where we can spend more time. We have a nice big backyard but most of it has been pretty overgrown with weeds for the majority of the time we've lived here. We knew that we wanted it to be a place that worked for our family and honestly, our family is just not great about gardening or having a nicely planned set of flower beds SO we've gone the rocks + toys + pool route.
The biggest change has been that we dug up our garden and a fair chunk of grass so we could put down a landscape barrier and some rocks. The rocks are a little larger than I wanted because I ordered them sight unseen via the internet BUT I will say that we are having almost trouble with having the rocks migrate out of their designated area.
We also turned part of the lawn into a sandbox area by digging up the grass and adding a mix of heavy sand and finer play sand. We'll have to keep an eye on the weeds in that area but the good news is that the kids have been hanging out in that area pretty heavily so all weeds have been wiped out just as part of their play. I am aware that having an open sandbox area is something of an invitation to bugs and neighborhood animals, but I mixed in three of those Costco canisters of cinnamon and that seems to have kept everything at bay for right now.
We still have quite a bit of lawn in our backyard which isn't my favorite thing because we're in a drought and our lawn requires a lot of water if we want it to stay soft and green. (It's pretty crispy right now). We enlarged the dog area so they have quite a bit of room in their dog run, which is where they are when they're outside and we aren't with them. We'll have to see if the dogs can graduate back to being able to use the whole yard unsupervised, but we have a combination of diggers and toy-eaters so they're in their run for now.
Adding to that part of the yard is a large trampoline, which I finally caved to after being worried about the safety implications for years. We have a rule in place that only one kid can be on the tramp at any given time and so far we haven't had any catastrophes so fingers crossed.
We also converted our carport into an art space for the kids but I'll talk about that in a different post.
On our to-do list:
- redoing the bench under our cherry tree
- settling the play house under the apple tree
- repainting the old rusty shed
- removing the rest of the vines and weeds behind the pool area
- repainting the iron railing around our covered patio
- adding a table or something close to the pool so we can have a place to hold drinks, goggles, etc.
We also might need to figure out a way to change up our tiny swing set so that it keeps up with our growing kids...
In the meantime, we've already spent more time in our backyard than we have during any other summer. I just can't wait for it to cool down a bit in the middle of the day!