Since I am totally horrible about posting recent before and afters, here are some old ones.
Our old house in Greenville had a big backyard but we mostly used the side yard for entertaining since it was off the screened in porch which was off the kitchen - and you know everyone always gathers in the kitchen!
This is how the side yard looked off the porch when we bought the house - the white building you see is an old shed (if you could call it that) that was rotten and home to mice. EEK. Basically it was just a pass-through to the back.
The shed got ripped out, English Ivy cut back, and several buried surprises removed (doll legs, bricks, and glass). Here's Eric on Mt. Rubble. BUH-lieve me, the shed removal was a major undertaking - lots of nights and weekend work. Because we were cheap and didn't want to rent a dumpster - we cut up everything and put it in the garbage can - over several weeks of pick ups of course. All clear - you can see back into the backyard now. Then, once that was all clear we built a pergola over a raised deck. Here is Eric and our friend Mark sharing a fatty bud late at night after finally finishing the deck.
at this point we were spent but pressed on. We were actually on a major deadline - Mark and my BFF Tracy's engagement party was just 2 short weeks away. We laid an irregular stone path from the screened in porch out to the pergola with a little area on the way for a fire pit.
We purchased a flat of stone, leveled out the ground, laid a bed of sand and then arranged the stone. We took a shortcut to cement everything in - mixing sand and outdoor cement/grout sprinkled it dry over the stone, brushed it into the cracks and then watered it in. We wanted a simple look - nothing flashy or too uniform so this method was perfect!
Here is the finished product with the finalized pergola, deck and stone path - landscaped all along with cottage style flowers ... and the party was a great success!
I had totally forgotten just how much sweat went into this project until I found these old photos. We ended up spending about $1100 for the total project including the stone, beer, wood, landscaping, beer and all the little incidentals (and more beer).