Backyard on a budget
When I bought my house 8 years ago the backyard was dust and weeds, fitting of the high desert I live in, but not very livable. Last year I started on one half of the yard and this year I am completing the second half. The yard has the full spectrum from full-sun to complete shade.
1 of 22: Before Spring 2010. My house was built in 1957 and I have over 50 years of old landscape, weeds and who knows what else to destruct before I can reconstruct the yard.
7 of 22: This is the west side of the yard that will become the grilling and dining patio area. This is the 2011 project.
8 of 22: Instead of grinding out the stump of a long removed maple tree I decided to use it as an anchor in the corner of the main planting bed.
9 of 22: Fire Pit project 2010. I will estimate that I spent under $200 for the materials for the pit, fire bowl and benches. I am a DIY'er so the labor of course was free.
11 of 22: Here is the completed fire pit. It's DG that has been lined out with large rocks. The benches I made out of 2x4 douglas fir, they cost about $20 per bench. I wanted benches that were low to the ground and had a casual feel.
14 of 22: The original patio that came with the house was made up of hexagonal pavers. We have taken up most of the patio and I am using some of the pavers as stepping stones through the garden bed.
15 of 22: I've been making up the design of my yard as I go and I found that a great strategy for anyone doing the landscaping themselves is simply to divide and conquer. I saw a dry creek bed installed in a DIY show and decided to put one running the width of my yard to be a division from the sunny area and shaded area.
16 of 22: Of course not having any money to spend on the yard I got the large rocks from an obliging pile in the hills near where I live and installed them myself. The creek bed is 3/4- river rock. At $40/ sq yd it only cost $20 for the entire project. There are two bridges at each end and I got the lumber for those from a rotting play structure in my parents yard.