We’re Babes In The Woods

Our new California home has a side yard.  It’s not very large. It is very important.  It is the one part of this house I fantasized about while still in Connecticut.

In my dreams I sit out there in the cool evening breeze and relax.

I know. Doesn’t seem like much.

You can get to our side yard via the garage or the service alley behind the house. Most of the time it will be accessed from large sliding glass doors off the eat-in kitchen.

There are five windows plus the glass doors which look into the yard. It’s meant to be seen and used. Right now it’s stark and featureless.

We’re looking to put in pavers for a patio area with plants on the margins. We got an estimate today.  There’s not a lot of room, but plants are a must.

Nothing is cheap. We’re thinking a second estimate might be in order.

As with so much we’re doing we’re babes in the woods.  We can only hope we make the right decision. Making no decision is not an option.

9 thoughts on “We’re Babes In The Woods”

  1. Pavers with a brick bbq- a la Lucy.. some nice wooden chairs that recline a bit…. table with umbrella… Bamboo for the trim around!! It grows in lots of different sizes and it can be non-spreading, otherwise it’s very invasive. Makes a lovely wall along the side for privacy.

  2. Don’t just get two estimates, get 5, 6, 7. I’m not kidding! I always get several estimates. My roof estimates ranged from $1200 to $5000 (tiny house). I didn’t go with the cheapest or highest, I went with the guy who I knew in my gut was THE guy for the job. (He was incredible, and not a nail in my yard when the job was done!)

    I will tell you that having paving stones done right isn’t cheap. I had a tiny landing at the bottom of my steps and that cost $900. The guy was an artist! Incredible work. He’s doing a patio for me starting tomorrow, and we worked out a fair price. He does a lot of subdivisions and has leftover materials which he will use on my patio (not a hodge-podge of stones, they all match). So, I’m paying for labor. Ask your contractors about stuff like that! Send us some pictures when it’s done!

  3. Not sure if this applies to your situation or not. But if you can cut corners by doing some of the foliage or anything yourself, you might get more satisfaction. I say this because if you have a Pinterest account, look under yard or gardening. Also they have some cool ideas for upcycling. Things/ideas that I would never even think of. They show a lot of DIY walking paths and neat ideas. I use Pinterest a lot for ideas for my whole house. Good luck!

  4. Don’t be in a hurry. Plants can be moved. Hardscape is much more difficult to move. There is something to be said for living in a space for a while to get the “lay of the land”. You may find that you will use the space much differently than you thought you would when a normal everday routine kicks in.

  5. I agree with Lisa P. For now, use it. Put some lawn chairs out there and sit. And think. And picture it. It very well may end up completely different than you originally thought. After all, it’s not like you’ve got to get it done before winter!!

  6. Have I mentioned how much we miss you here????? AND how much fun this website is. As a former Angelino, Balboa child, Laguna summer teen I delight in your new experiences. As for the Orange County Register, just grit your teeth and read the LA Times for the editorials although it too has fallen from the outstanding paper of my earlier life! So glad you three (Doppler included) are beginning to find “home.” Having done the move in the opposite direction, the stark differences are head spinning! Good thing you have Stef there to translate some of it. 🙂
    Blessings with you all. Remember you’re “our/ct’s” amazing Geoff Fox and that handimen need employment!

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