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This is my backyard, my sanctuary.  It didn't look like this when we bought it in 2018.  There was a ramp off the deck, retaining walls made of broken sidewalk pieces, dying trees, overgrown shrubbery, a plastic trellis railing around the deck, and a grungy brick patio. We still have the grungy patio, but a couple of hours with a pressure washer made all the difference.

Before...

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After...

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Before...

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After...

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When it gets tough or too people-y out there, I head out to my private space and listen to the fountain and the birds.  Sometimes it's enough to just watch the water, though a glass of wine doesn't hurt either.  A chilly day may require a little fire in the chiminea.  Ahhh, there's no place like home.

Before...

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Don't let the flowers fool you.....this landscape was old, old, old.  It was unhealthy and a jumbled collection of icky.  Everything had been neglected for so long that much of the landscape was unhealthy.  Tree roots bulged up throughout the lawn, making it a challenge to mow.  Even the dogs wouldn't chase their ball on the grass.  The amount of water used to keep that mess alive couldn't be justified, so out it went. 

After...

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We removed all of the grass and shrubs, as well as all but a couple of trees. We now have paths that lead around the yard so we have a loop and additional destination seating.  The path also leads to the veggie garden.  The dogs even have a path to their new pen.  We used 3/4" crushed rock so the tire of our wheelbarrow wouldn't create ruts.  It's 5' wide, enough to walk comfortably side-by-side, which we do quite often.  It's a pleasure to be out here.

We've since planted the roses along the newly painted fence, and added a few more plantings, including those the deer munched on.  As with any new garden, it will take a while to mature, but we continue to add plants as the budget and energy allow.  We are so happy with the feeling of sanctuary this redo has added to our lives.