Our vision for the backyard was finally realized ten days ago, as the crew from The Site Group left our home after their final work day. It was a fun run over the course of the six week project. There were only small tweaks made to the original design plan and the job ran very smoothly, thanks to the experience of the foreman and his crew. The only major hiccup in the work timeline was the several days of rain that held up the installation of the irrigation lines and the grading on the side of the house towards the end of the project.
If you live in the Dayton, Ohio area, this is the “go-to” company to have do your landscaping project. We highly recommend their expertise and attention to detail. Many thanks go out to owner, Dave Swearingen, foreman Rod Deaton and his right hand man, Jason Stamy, as well as the rest of the crew who worked on our project!
This is a shot of the lower patio looking into the wooded area behind us. We have been using this setting as our coffee drinking spot in the morning. We just plop ourselves into the chairs around the bistro table and listen to the soothing sounds of the waterfall.
The patio area, with its fire-pit, can be accessed one of two ways- you can follow a stepping stone path from the middle of the main paver patio pathway ….
Or you can cross over the stream on the stone bridge closer to the small patio off of the kitchen. The stream begins about midway between the two paths and winds its way down into the waterfall in the lower patio.
This is the first water drop at the beginning of the stream.
The planting bed around the stream is filled with small grasses, hostas, and vinca.
Red knockout roses separate the bridge from another small patio at the north end of the yard. There was originally a brick patio laid here when we moved in, but It gradually started sliding down the hill. The crew built a retaining wall with large boulders to support this pad.
At the end of the stream bed, the water cascades over a retaining wall and into a pond-less basin. Two virburnum trees flank both sides of the retaining walls of the patio.
For most of the summer, these two ferns hung in the shade of the deck outside the sunroom patio, but they seem to be thriving here in the sunlight above the waterfall.
Here’s what the water basin looks like at night. Just enough highlighting so as not to be obtrusive….
We wanted just a small area of lawn to break up the expanse of all the pavers and the plantings. It took me all of four minutes to cut and trim this area for the first time this past weekend. You can see that the leaves have begun to fall and land in the mulch beds. When we had a small unveiling party over the weekend, one of my sisters-in-law asked me if I had strategically placed them there for effect! What?! I don’t think Martha Stewart would even do that, would she? But if she did want to achieve this look, I bet she’d delegate someone else to put them into place!
The two patios on this end of the yard were extremely visible from the street and sidewalk, so we had a fence screen installed by Willhoite Fence, the company that has done work on our fences for over 20 years.
We’re going to enjoy our backyard so much now that it is actually terraced and useable. If you want to see what the yard looked like before and see its progress, click here, here and here. We had the husband’s sisters and their husbands over for dinner on Saturday night for an unveiling and they just loved the yard! The brothers and their wives are scheduled to come over this coming Saturday night. It’s a big family and so much easier to have them over in batches.
Having so many patio areas to use for entertaining will make things so much easier. There will be private areas away from the crowd for those who want them….
And there are more public areas, such as the lower patio, where guests can sit on the retaining wall and enjoy the crackling sounds of a roaring fire in the fire-pit. We actually roasted some marshmallows on Saturday, towards the end of the night. I hadn’t planned on doing that, so I didn’t have graham crackers or chocolate bars on hand in the pantry to make S’mores like the girls wanted to, but it was fun all the same!
I’ll have to take some night shots of the yard at this weekend’s party. Until then, I leave you with some pictures that I took this morning. It rained hard for over 12 hours now and this is what the backyard looks like today….
Our yard backs up to a secluded park area that has a creek running through it. The creek is approximately 50 yards away on the left side of the property line and is only about a foot below the natural grade; but after a hard rainfall, this level area fills with water as it overflows the bank before it gets to the bend in the creek. On the right side of our yard where the bend is, the creek is about 20 feet away from the property line. It is about six feet below the lowest elevation grade, so it rarely floods into the yard. The last time that happened was in 2003, when it rained for three days straight.
In these photos, the water level looks closer to the patio than it actually is because you really can’t tell how steep the hill’s grade is.
The hard and non-stop rain that we had overnight and into the morning culminated into a LOT of water, as you can see here! As I’ve been typing this post, I’ve noticed that the rain has slowed down and the water has receded back into the creek a little more. I don’t think I’ll ever get too worried unless the water would start inching up the hill and end up close to the lower patio area. So, needless to say, I’m hoping that the rain is over for the week! Guess I better go check the Weather Channel!
Hope you enjoyed seeing our new backyard oasis!
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