Monday, September 26, 2011

Our New Backyard Oasis

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!


looking into the woods

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.



looking into thelower patio and the woods

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 ….


looking under the bridge

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.


start of the stream

This is the first water drop at the beginning of the stream.


looking north to small patio

The planting bed around the stream is filled with small grasses, hostas, and vinca.


stream and bridge

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.




looking north into the woods





back of waterfall wall

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.


waterfall wall into pondless basin

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.


nightview of waterfall wall

Here’s what the water basin looks like at night. Just enough highlighting so as not to be obtrusive….


looking towards house

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!



looking  uphill from waterfall basin

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 herehere 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.


round paver patio

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….








firepit and seating wall

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….

flooding backyard2

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.


flooded backyard3

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.



flooding backyard1

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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          Click on the button above to enter the give-away to celebrate our backyard transformation.



Linking this post to the following:

metamorphis mon.              wow us wed.                   outdoor wed.             



 open house thursday                  Inspiration Friday Graphic                        french country cottage                    Honey, 2805


Barbara F. said...

What a beautiful job. You will get a lot of enjoyment from this, Sue. And, I also thought you placed the colorful leaves to add to the setting lol! xo

Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

WOW WOW WOW! Looks gorgeous Sue. You have to be loving the water feature and all those gorgeous stones. They did a fabulous job!

Olive Cooper said...

Sue, the wonderful use of stone and water is beautiful. I know you are enjoying it so very much. hugs♥O

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Sue, it is just wonderful and I am quite envious. I hate our back yard that is a week pit this year. Maybe some day we can do something like this.

Debby said...

It is all so beautiful. What alot of hard work. Love the water features......not the ones from Mother
Nature. You have to be so proud.

Pat said...

Oasis is exactly right. This is absolutely gorgeous Sue!!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

This is lovely, Sue! I would never leave my backyard! Enjoy your week!..hugs...Debbie

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Very Nice! You are going to really enjoy your new space.

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

It looks that water feature...I would so love to have one!!


Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Sue, this is absolutely STUNNING!! I LOVE it!! What a beautiful area to sit and chill and be with friends and family. And the stream and waterfall!! LOVE it!! I know this was a process, but Girl! It was so worth it!!


Lou Cinda :)

Andrea said...

It turned out so beautifully! I'm sure you'll love it for many years to come!

Jo said...

How beautiful! You'll have to take photos thru the seasons....So nice to have a usable yard.

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

Sue, this is beautiful! I know you are so very proud of it, and to be done with it. I have to admit, I love, love, love the leaves that have fallen. They do look like they are there for decor, lol. I liked that your sis-n-law asked you that. Very pretty! Take some pics when the leaves have changed and are so colorful to show us, Ok?

Alicia said...

I was so excited to see the final result and it was definitely worth the wait! It's beautiful! Gorgeous! Breath taking! They really did a wonderful job. Thank you for sharing!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It looks so beautiful, Sue! I know you are going to get lots of enjoyment from your newly designed backyard. Enjoy this pretty autumn season!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Wow! This is a beautiful yard, Sue. What a great sitting area next to the creek. I know you will enjoy your new yard for many years.
Thanks for linking to the Open House party.

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

I am so glad I didn't miss this post...I was waiting to see how it all came together and it is fabulous!! You must want to be outside all the time now. I love the water unique and everything flows beautifully. Yes, I do think Martha would place the leaves before having guests. She is annoying that way:)

At The Picket Fence said...

OH WOW!!!! Sue this is beyond incredible! What an amazing backyard you now have. It is so beautiful and well done with so many details. I cracked up about the leaf placement comment as I kinda did a double take too when I saw that pic. They landed so perfectly! I know you are enjoying it so much and I'm so happy for you! :-)

Lori E said...

I hope you use it every chance you get. You have so many great spots to choose from.
I look forward to the photos as things change over time. Hopefully none of them will be of a flooded area.
Your waterfall is gorgeous.

Cindy said...

Your backyard oasis is absolutely gorgeous!!! It must be so nice to have such a huge private beautiful area to call your own. It is a dream come true for you, no doubt.
Hugs, Cindy

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Flea Market Makeovers said...

It turned out amazing! You are going to enjoy it so much!!

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

OASIS is right! Absolutely wonderful Sue! You must be ecstatic over the results!So glad you got it done early fall so you can enjoy truly enjoy the season! I will have to show this to C!~Hugs, Patti

Pam said...

Wow. I have to pick my jaw up off the floor! That is amazing. I love how it looks like it has been there forever. I want that new fence on the side. Very nice.

Balisha said...

It's just beautiful,Sue. I hope you enjoy many hours sitting there and enjoying nature...Balisha

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

OMG! Sue, these look like photos from a magazine. What a beautiful landscaping job. No wonder you've been entertaining in the back yard. Who wouldn't, with a yard that looks like this? I love the stream and the little falls in it, and so many wonderful places to just sit and relax. Well done! laurie

Ebie said...

Beautiful house and garden!

Bunny Jean said...

Oh Sue, this is just fabulous! You have so much livable space now. I love the fact that you have multiple areas.

The water element is absolutely wonderful. They did a fantastic job.

The value and enjoyment of your home is going to be so much more now.

Thanks for coming to the party!

xoxo Bunny Jean
Wednesday's Bunny Hop Party!

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

Sue, it's beautiful! I think if that were my backyard, I'd want to live out there! Just gorgeous!
Are you sure you didn't put the leaves out there in that perfectly random pattern??

Rob-bear said...

What a delightful place. And what a lot of work!
Even a Bear could feel at home here.

Cozy Little House said...

It is just gorgeous! I'm certainly going to miss my waterfall. But I'm looking at ways to get myself another if I can. You must be in heaven out there. Wish I was going to back up to nature like that.

xinex said...

Oh Sue, it turned out so beautiful! So serene and peaceful. Do you ever see any water mocassins there? The landscaper really did a good job. I love the waterfall!...Christine

Elizabeth said...

Such a beautiful and serene space. I am sure you will spend a lot of time out here, and get a lot of enjoyment out of your backyard now.

SavannahGranny said...

Sue, This is absolutely beautiful, Perfection. The design is excellent and was certainly well executed. Thanks for sharing, now I want to plan a trip to Ohio. Ginger

Babs said...

Sue, Your back yard is fabulous!! You must be so proud of how beautiful it is. The different levels give so much interest and I like the creek and waterfall. What a perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee in the morning, or glass of wine in the evening. Thanks for sharing your new oasis.

Betsy (BB) said...

This is lovely! I know you will enjoy it! I love to listen to water and this is just perfect! I know you are so happy you did this now!

Cass @ That Old House said...

Holy smokes, that is gorgeous!!!!
I am pea GREEN with admiring jealousy. Beautiful.
Take pictures of your first party in this beautiful setting. How I'd love to do some real landscaping here but -- things like roofs need tending to first!


Miss Char said...

Sue, this is just breathtaking. I certainly hope your new yard gets featured in a magazine, it certainly is magazine worthy.

Honey at 2805 said...

Fabulous! Breathtaking! Gorgeous! What more can be said? Enjoy!

Thanks for linking to Potpourri Firday. I appreciate you!!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

I just saw your post on 2805. What a marvelous retreat! You should really enjoy this space. Everything looks so peaceful and serene. I am a new blogger and your newest follower. I hope you'll follow back! Many blessings to you!

Randy said...

Sue, Love the use of stone. I also like the way your yard leads down to the woods. I know you'll have many great parties there. Randy

Randy said...

Joined Home Talk yesterday. I love all of the ideas for getting my yard ready for winter. I hate to see the time come to say good-bye to my flowers.

Sonia said...

Your backyard project is amazing! All the rock work with the waterfall is so beautiful..reminds me of a mountain retreat. Your setting is beautiful and the design looks wonderful among trees. Fabulous job...I would never want to leave the backyard!!

Miss Bloomers

The Polka Dot Closet said...

What an oasis surrounded by gorgeous trees and a fire pit that will get a lot of use soon, I bet you are so thrilled to have it done!


Betty said...

Hi Sue,
All I can say is Wow!!! What a large project and your yard looks fabulous. I know you will have a wonderful time and the photos of the different seasons will be outstanding. Please share with us all thru the year.