After

After

The back yard has been a little more stubborn taking shape than the front at 4820 Washington Boulevard. It is just tricky. Areas which I thought would be full shade are in fact part sun. Beds where I need symmetry are sunny on half and shady on the other. And the Grass needs a lot of work, as there was much rock left behind once the big pile of earth was spread out and the dust settled.

Before

Before

All in all though, we are very happy with the large, square back yard. We have entertained a great deal on the patio and played countless games of volleyball and badminton on the flat grassy part. The views from the inside are softened by four evergreens planted in the back. Blue Spruce to pick up the slate on the roof and the stamped concrete on the patio.

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Outside the Den walls, we planted a Firebird Crab which screens the patio views from the street and provides pretty color in the Spring. Along the South fence line I believe Hostas will be the ground cover. I planted several and even split two I salvaged from this yard into five. They all took nicely but I will be adding in twenty or so more this late summer and by next spring, the whole area should be filled in.

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When I was designing the back patio, Howard was a bit overwhelmed by how large it was. I told him then that no one ever looks back and says “honey, I just wish we would not have made the patio so big”. I was right and the dimensions really work with the scale of the house and how we live. Ron Heck did a beautiful job stamping dark grey dyed concrete into a pattern and texture very reminiscent of the slate roof. He then colored it with a Shrek green powder that brought the concrete to a bluish grey hue. We get loads of compliments and it is very pretty under foot. The contrast of the new concrete with the old stones we used for walkways makes me very happy.

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The moss covered creek-stone which once lined the original patio swirls along the side of the house and draws the eye in or out, depending on where you are standing. It also acts as a little work of art when taking in views from the Den. The limestone pavers which served for years as the top of the patio here, where used to create a walk along the garage, from the patio to the drive. The add interest and seem much more natural than a concrete walk would have been. Along the Drive on North Side, we planted Stella D’Ora lilies on the sunny side and put dow pachysandra as ground cover and ferns in the window boxes on the shady side. It is quite the juxtaposition, but it works with the varied sunlight. I planted a vegetable garden along the back of the neighbor’s garage. It is wild and crazy and I have learned a lot my first time out as a gardener. Next year a flower cutting garden may be in order instead.

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The wall of stones here needed to be re-purposed.

The wall of stones here needed to be re-purposed.

Laying down the stone for a path on Den side of thee house.

Laying down the stone for a path on Den side of thee house.

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The mossy stones with grass growing around them look as if they have neem there for decades.
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