Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Backyard Then and Now

This weekend it was time to close the pool, which is a shame since I never got around to an 'After' pic of the yard after all our work on it. We can't really call these 'after' pics since we still haven't figured out how we are connecting paths from the house to the pool and we don't have a lawn, but here it is today. It has changed a bunch back there, and overall I think we are all pleased with things.

So here is what the yard looked like 14 months ago when we bought the house:

Come to think of it... we may have more lawn now than there was back then. Note the use of rotted timbers as a retaining wall, the beauty of the cedar trees overhanging the pool, and the cracked and heaved concrete deck. Pic below is late last summer with the pool opened and goldenrod in bloom.

Here it is today...

Since these pictures were taken during pool closing, the stairs are up on end etc. but you can at least get a feel for the scale of the work that has taken place this summer.

So far we have removed and replaced all plantings along the fence, including building and planting an espaliered apple orchard (14 trees from Siloam Orchards) as detailed here. For foundation plantings we have a mix of Hardy hydrangea, daylily, hostas (suffering due to too much sun), iris - at least 3 varieties - and a bunch of other stuff mostly rescued from our last house, or from the beds when we dug them out. 

Fenceline Garden and deck:

We removed the deck ourselves and had it replaced with Brooklin Brick products. The border is Barnboard Pavers and the field is something that was on the discount pile. Not sure what the intended colour or pattern was, but the price was right. Hardscaping was done by Ryan at Dreamscape Landscaping, with materials sourced by us.

The pool coping and liner was replaced by Ewing Pools, using stock coping (not sure what the pattern is) and a Gulf Coast Gold Pebble liner from Premier. Although the water isn't perfect you can see the pattern pretty well in the pic below. This liner does an outstanding job of hiding algae, which comes as a mixed blessing. It's nice that the algae doesn't show, but it's embarrassing when you jump in and the bottom is slimy. We need to vac the pool more regularly.

The new retaining wall was installed by us using Colonial Buff block from Brooklin Brick. It is nice having a locally produced product with a retail outlet on premises. We used the barnboard as our capstone for the wall.

An ongoing challenge for us will be the chipmunk colony that had undermined the previous pool deck. They are still there, despite the disturbances of the reno. Talking to neighbours, we can expect them to stay for some time. It seems as though chipmunks have always been part of this neighbourhood.

A final shot showing the view from the shallow end - including the pipe draining the pool, cloudy water due to closing schemicals, and the floaties from the trees losing their leaves.

In the spring we will be completing the fence, building a pool shed, and hopefully have a new lawn. We may also expand the patio where the BBQ is for better function, and put up a pergola across the back of the house. Thats all in the 'maybe' file for now though.

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