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Grown Up Backyard – Adolescence


In the spring of 2006, we decided to start all over again on that part of the yard. We dug out the bushes that over time had taken over the flowerbed and replaced them with arborvitae and a burning bush. This gave us back a nice row of flowerbed in which flowers could be planted.


Turning our attention to the other end of the yard, we recognized that while we were beginning to get nice shade from our three trees, we were losing our grass lawn. Something would need to be done about that unsightly balding situation.


In 2007, thanks to our oldest son who is a landscape architect, we were able to overcome the sore spot in our yard with the addition of a custom designed deck.


Suddenly we had multiple sitting areas in which to relax and enjoy our backyard paradise. But much to the chagrin of my wife, we had ignored the patio which with no shade, just provided a place to bake in the hot summer sun. Although with good intentions of addressing it next, a remedy would unfortunately take several more years to be resolved.


By 2008, our weeping willow and bushes replacement had matured very nicely and offered a multitude of color.


But as early as the winter we could see that the Leyland cypress trees were encroaching over the pool deck.


In 2009, our old pool liner had given its last gasp…


…and had to be replaced adding a new cool blue color to the yard that proved inviting to all types of guests.


But the only good view of the naked patio was in the winter of 2010 with one of our best snows in years…


…only to be surpassed the following winter by an even bigger snow.


Then another powerful storm took out the tops of two trees …


…and made addressing the patio even more important with the loss of our 20 year old glass top table.


And the wayward Leyland cypress trees began to look as if they were going to jump into the pool.


In 2012, we finally remedied the patio that had languished all these years thanks again to our landscape architect son who designed and helped build a pergola. Using a unique antique shutter roof…


…my wife’s patio was now shaded with a pergola that included a ceiling fan for hot days.


All the while, the vegetation continued to grow and mature offering more shade and seclusion.


Even with the storm setbacks, the yard had become a peaceful paradise. That is until an ice storm in December 2013 took out some of the Leyland cypress trees and part of our fence.

Fallen Cypress

Suddenly, it was decision time for the remaining Leyland cypresses. Since Mother Nature had done a good job with two of them…


… we decided to be proactive and remove the rest of them.


Again, it looked like we had had teeth knocked out.


Since the last arborvitae had done so well aging into a lush green screen, we decided to go with those again which hopefully will rapidly grow to match their more mature older brothers.


For a parent, it is always enjoyable to watch your children grow as they develop into their own unique self. I have always enjoyed watching plants grow and mature and for me, this backyard has provided a similar growth experience. It is still relatively young but I look forward to the personality it will have when it turns 20 and is no longer a teenager.


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