This is my kid, one of them anyway, hanging out in my backyard. Yes, she’s fantastically unique BUT like every other kid, she loves rocks, big rocks, little rocks, any rocks at all. Still, she didn’t ask for this kind of a backyard. When she was 6, she couldn’t concieve any alternative forms of swingset and playhouse. Though those things just weren’t in the cards due to saftey standard space issues, a 7% grade, expense and a selfish mother who wanted to claim the backyard for her own. Ok, so this was my very first “project” and will likely also be my last project because, of course, it continues into the future. I’m a little nervous about showing it, because I wish it were more lush already. I must be patient. Nuf said. Lily didn’t realize it at the time, but she certainly got what she wanted and much more.
When we decided to re-work our backyard, the first thing we did was run on over to Tri-State Quarry. Our standard issue suburban backyard really needed something with big impact to change the appeal but could also take a beating and add some character. What better than boulders? Luckily at the time we had a driveway that wrapped around to the back of our house where the too small garage is. We made great use of the drive, before we demolished it, to bring in pallets of stones which now helps create some great outdoors in a small area. My two kids now perch and explore with any number of stuffed animals and friends, hopping from boulder to boulder.
Above, is the “After” shot of course when the ferns grew in and the picture below shows the moment when we brought in the first boulders – moved with a bobcat – but you can tell what it felt like beforehand, boring.
I also got what I wanted, I didn’t have to give up a large area of the backyard to play space that couldn’t be used in any other way. Now my family comfortably shares the space. We might have ended up divided by our acitivity but instead everything is integrated thanks to the boulders.
Another “before” and “after” pair above and below. Gosh. Taking out the drive and adding the pea gravel eliminated our basement flooding problem at the same time. It’s not perfect, but not expensive either and yes, totally dry.
Did I mention that we don’t really have any climbing trees, either? We do have a neighbor’s tree branch hanging over our yard, on which we hung this hammock swing. Thank you, LG! Kids love it and so do grownups.
Here’s Lucy now taking a turn in the swing, below. I guess Argo is waiting his turn.