The Great Outdoors

After posting the photos of our “new” chairs, I thought it would be kinda fun to share a bit about our yard.

When we moved to Oregon 11 years ago, we were really excited to be moving from a patio yard…

… to a REAL yard.

But then Tyson and I both discovered something about ourselves: we’re not yard people. Tyson spent most of his time growing-up in the desert when he wasn’t in Portland.  And my parents had acreage that they spent most of their energy trying to keep the weeds down and never really got to the fun part of planting.  Neither one of us spent much time tending to gardens and needless to say, we are both pretty clueless about them.

Case in point: Last year we planted three arborvitaes trees and they are in three stages of survival… good, sad and toast.

It seems about every plant that we put in has about a 50/50 survival rate.  I have a unique talent of killing plants that are suppose to be hearty and then there was the time Tyson accidentally sprayed a rogue rose bush (it just randomly cropped up) with weed killer… and it THRIVED. Yard stuff is SO not our thing.

All this to say… that doesn’t mean we haven’t had some adventures in our yard.

When we moved in, the space looked like this:

And then, because the kids were little, we ripped up part of the deck and put in a play structure.

But they eventually outgrew that and we needed more of a place to enjoy instead of the giant mud pit that was forming.  We live on a hill side and get a lot of run off from our neighbors.  We desperately needed to improve the drainage system.  So two years ago we undertook our biggest landscape challenge ever.  In the process, our yard looked like this…

Crazy, right?!  Just for fun… here’s a few more shots:

Such a mess!

Luckily, it only took a few weeks before the hard scape was put in.

Today it all looks like this.

And we love it!  Yesterday I overheard my 12 year old tell her friend, “We have boulders in our yard for style.”  She’s so funny!  They do bring in a lot of style.  Before we were surrounded by a lot of wood:  Wood fence, wood deck, and bark.  Now we not only have the wood fence, but concrete, boulders and, of course, bright red chairs!  I’m trying to improve the plant situation, but it will never be as amazing as others and I’m okay with that.


  1. Stacey says:

    Wow!…. that’s some heavy equipment. Did you drive it, Danielle? HA HA!
    Love seeing the different stages you guys went through. From muddy mess to a back yard oasis….. it’s fabulous! Just from seeing the previous post with your red chairs out on the porch I would have never guessed you guys went through all this. I’m sure it was great getting out all the old pictures and remembering all you went through. So much to be proud of. Your yard is gorgeous!!! (and those red chairs in the last picture just grab your attention. RED HOT!)
    I’d say your daughter was right – lots of style… but it’s more than just the boulders!

    • Storypiece says:

      Ha… The equipment was crazy huge! I thought I’d leave the driving to the experts since there were a few times I thought even they might hit the house. It was such a surreal experience; it was too fun to not share. 🙂

  2. northofseven says:

    It’s funny how in the “during” process you feel like ok what the hell have we done and then when it’s done you go ohhhh looky how nice this is! See? I still vote sexy red chairs!

    • Storypiece says:

      Ha… that’s EXACTLY how it felt! But I’m sure you guys went through the same thing. Isn’t it amazing when the outdoor space is actually functional? It’s like you get a bonus room you never knew you had. And thanks for the vote. 🙂

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