A journey to a dream backyard 

Don’t you dream for a perfect backyard? Filled with flowers, laden with fruit trees, exotic vegetables, a tiny koi pond with a small rock waterfall, frequented by colorful butterflies and birds and Ah! The serene sounds of nature! How wonderful that would be! That’s the kind of backyard I want (nothing wrong with that) and assumed to achieve it almost instantly (a lot wrong with that).

When we bought our first home last summer, I had this unrealistic expectation that once we move in I will transform that almost barren backyard in a paradise in no time. Of course all I had to do was walk in a garden center, buy a lot of annuals, perennials, mature enough trees, loads of dirt, pour it all in and boom! I will have my paradise. Simple enough. Isn’t it?

Fast forward one full year and most I have achieved is the realization that if you are a practical enough person and not willing to pour in thousands of dollars in the backyard right after purchasing a crazy expensive house, then It takes time!

The backyard was a mostly blank slate and I have been putting a lot of efforts and not a lot of money to take it where I want. I am finally at a place where I can see some considerable progress and would love to share my journey with you all.

Here is what I started with, a decent size backyard with a lawn and patio. Some good old shade trees, one pretty old lemon tree orange tree on the side strip and only one somewhat ornamental plant, the Japanese honeysuckle.. which actually do produce pretty fragrant flowers. The honeysuckle attracts quite a lot of bees too…nothing for butterflies though.


Here is what I did first (not in any particular order)

  • Cut short the overgrown plants (see on the left side of next pic and right side of first pic)
  • Added some backyard furniture (Neutral colors)
  • Added cushions and carpet for softening the look and add a pop of colors.
  • Some decorative accessories – Lantern, mosaic round table, decorative planters, wooden log and a dwarf figurine.
  • Some potted plants. The soil was (and is) pretty damn hard to plant (needs a lot of amendment). Potted plants also gave me flexibility to see what suites, check sun light patterns and move them accordingly. As seen, I don’t even have same planters, I had some from my apartment life, some are cheap plastic, some are good ceramic



The dining table was a find of my husbands! We totally enjoy spending our evenings or lazy weekends in our small backyard. California weather makes it easy 😉

How do you like my outdoor setup? What you would have done differently?

This is not even close to my dream backyard but I think I am headed the right way. Stay tuned for my next post to see more changes I have made over the time. 🙂


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