When we first moved into our house in the Barnum West neighborhood, our yard was kind of a wreck. The previous owners had covered up the original pergola with a really crappy plywood storage shed, replaced the lawn in the backyard with a foot or more of sand to hold an above ground pool (a pool that didn't even exist by the time we moved in), and neglected what they hadn't ripped out or covered in concrete or sand.
The only things we could keep alive were thistle and paper wasps. Even the shed itself was falling apart. The roof kept blowing off every time the wind kicked up. The red trellis is from the edge of the wooden deck, also falling apart. When the mister and I decided we wanted to adopt a dog, we decided she would need a better yard. This was about three years ago.
We took down the shed, painted the pergola, took the rails off the deck, and planted two cherry trees, another peach tree, three aspens, two lilacs, a rose of sharon, two arbor vitae trees, and some mystery flowering shrub, a second strawberry patch with miniature roses, and, of course, grass.
That's our dog, Lulu, hanging out by the fireplace, showing off her backside. It's a rather nice little spot to have a cookout now. The photo on the right was taken this morning. Three years later, the lawn shows signs of being home to an 80lb dog, but everything is getting so big and lush! It's a mess of green, just the way I wanted it. And, now I am free to spend my time outside where I belong: the garden.