Friday, October 6, 2006

Our New Backyard

We got the drawings from the landscape designer this week for the backyard on our new house. I was pretty amazed. Considering Peter and I designed and put in the whole landscaping at our current house, it was such a relief to have someone else do all the heavy lifting of the design work and physical labor. The fact that the builder was throwing this package in was a major factor in selling us on the house. The backyard is a quarter of an acre, about twice the size of what we have right now, and I can't imagine doing all that work myself.

Unlike the first landscaper we worked with (and subsequently got fired), this guy was amazing. It was so much fun to sit down with him with the prelimary sketch I'd made and have him refine it and make suggestions that made the backyard exactly what I wanted. Reminded me a lot of the critique/editing process in writing. Two large grass areas and a play area surround the central patio with a built-in barbeque and bar. The trees are situated to block the neighbors' houses but not our view of the mountains. And the plants were specificially chosen to be rolling palette of color.

It may seem like I'm putting a lot of importance on the backyard. One of the reasons we moved to Arizona was to have a yard. In California, we never would have been able to afford a house with an actual yard. But with two kids who have a LOT of energy and gorgeous weather nine months out of the year here, the backyard is an extension of our house. It's where we'll spend most of our time. And if the kids are happy out there running around, I can sit on my porch swing and get some writing done. Of course as Malia will probably tell you, Charlie, the dumb dog, thinks he belongs on the porch swing. I really don't like dog hair in my laptop.

Come Thanksgiving, the whole yard should be done. I can't wait.


  1. Wow. I wasn't a big fan of Phoenix when we went to visit because of the arid air, but for that backyard, I could be convinced to move.

  2. Three green ferris wheels in the back right corner -- I am so jealous. Don't care for the ride so much myself, but to have three(!) of them. Wow.

    Congrats, Jen. Looks great.

  3. Wow, looks so cool! Now you've inspired me to explore the idea of hiring someone to help us plan our yard. Hubby, too. He saw over my shoulder.

    LOL! Love the picure, Heather!

  4. That is so awesome! And what a great way to keep the kids occupied so you can have writing time. 1/4 acre is big.

  5. Wow!!! Looks great!!

    I can't wait to see real pictures!

  6. It looks gorgeous! I can't wait to see pictures. Something tells me Charlie's going to get confined somewhere for awhile. LOL

    And yes, the dog thinks he belongs in someone's lap if they're in the swing. Of course obedience classes might break him of that habit. :)

  7. Wow. I love the plans.

    The amazing beauty of the Sonoran desert. When I first moved there, I resentfully called it my exile in the desert.

    By the second year, I prayed, "Lord, don't let us stay here long enough to get attached," knowing it was already too late.

    When it was finally time to leave it at the end of six years, I prayed, "Lord, can't you just make the kids and all the in-laws move here? Who retires FROM Arizona?" and I clearly heard, "You're about to!"

    Then the Realtor back here emailed us about a house near our daughter, but in another subdivision near hers. We fell in love with the house from online photos. We bought it.

    Then we noticed the name of the subdivision: Sonora! As in Sonoran Desert. Too amazing.

    And our new phone number is one digit in sequence after our daughter's--and she received hers two years before.

    Little hugs from the Lord, assuring us we're where He wants us, making me feel better about leaving that far Southwestern beauty.

    Your yard plans look wonderful. Take care of the coyotes and geckos for me.


  8. Looks lovely, Jen. I know you are going to enjoy this house and yard when it is all done--just wish you were closer (all selfish, I know, but still. . .)
    BTW, you might want to taken under consideration Chris' Ferris Wheel idea--talk about keeping Calvin busy!
    Abundant blessings,
    Jenny Cary

  9. Well you all are invited to come on over anytime.

    I thought the Ferris wheels were a nice touch. They make me completely sick, but my daughter loves them. I don't think Calvin's ever been on one.

    And what Margo said reminded me of when we first moved to Arizona. My writing team that I left behind put together an amazing card for me that quoted a verse from Isaiah about making the desert bloom. Considering I came rather reluctantly to Arizona, it's been an adventure to see how God has made that promise come true in our lives.

  10. I designed our back yard too. Not quite as elaborate though...pretty much a big rectangle of grass with a fence around it. Oh, and garnished with dog poop.

  11. Oh, this is so kewl!! I'm so excited for you. The layout looks gorgeous!! Can't wiat for you to post pictures.

    :-)Ronie..who's way behind on blogs and trying to catch up in the intermittent connectivity today. SIGH.