Sunday, April 10, 2011

In Which Our Deck Is Finished!

The New Deck!
Our beautiful new deck is finished! 

All that's left to do is put another coat of stain on, and that won't really be feasible until the weather dries out.  I've put up "before" (taken when we bought the house) and "after" pictures for your viewing pleasure. 

The deck is fully wheelchair accessible; there's a second ramp not shown in this picture that runs down the side of the house and connects up with our cement pad back there, so it's now possible to actually take Connor from the front yard into the backyard without going into the house. 

Right now both the deck and the ramps have low "bumpers" to keep a wheelchair from going over the edge but no railing because it's not likely we'll need it before we have to redo the deck another twenty years or so down the road.  We significantly expanded the deck's size and now it's much easier to get around and fit our patio furniture on with plenty of space left over.  The ramp in the picture ends in grass right now, but eventually it will lead down to a nice patio space that I'm still tweaking the design for.  Oh, and the bottom step will be finished off once we put in said patio-- which may be a while.  But otherwise it's done, and I'm excited to try it out this summer!
The Old Deck

What I spent the vast majority of my time working on is the other half-finished project you see to the right in the "after" shot.  That's going to be my herb garden!  I spent about seven hours today playing with a bricks, bags of sand and a shovel and as a result all of the edging on the garden is now set.  Tomorrow I'll start work on the pathway through the center of the garden that you can see laid out.   Each divided area will have a single type of herb in it; I like planting enough that I have plenty to cut for cooking without decimating any individual plant.  There are twelve spaces in all for herbs, and then the center ring around the bird bath will be planted in flowers.  I'm planning on putting creeping thyme in between the bricks on the pathway.  Hopefully in a few years it will look truly lovely.

Since Connor's not planning on taking up cooking any time soon, we've got raised planting beds in the works for all of Jeremy's cooking needs (the man eats his weight in spinach every year) and Ellen should easily be able to navigate the foot path I'm not as concerned about making the herb wheel accessible right now.  There will be plenty of accessible space in the yard, so it's okay to have a spot just for me!  Plus it shouldn't be too hard to modify the space later if we need to; I'm not using any mortar or making any sort of a permanant structure there.


Other projects we're planning for our backyard in the future include an arbor, the aforementioned patio (possibly with a fire pit-- we haven't decided yet), raised beds, either a trellis or planting boxes affixed to the fence on the side of the house, an accessible pathway around the other side of the house and a small patio area in the front yard.  Oh, and also I want to take out the rest of the sod in the backyard and put in a no-mow fragrant groundcover mix, and of course there's all the planting still to do.  I think that will keep us busy for a few years!

I think I'll need a break for a couple of days after I finish the herb garden though.  All that digging has made me pretty sore!



Julia said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous!!! Congratulations!

Kristin said...

It looks fantastic!! I cant wait to see your plants in the garden, too. So excited (and a little jealous) for yall to have a beautiful outdoor space! :)

Kristin said...

and thanks for the pictures!

AJ's Mom said...

WOW! The deck is absolutely gorgeous!!! Nice job!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Wow! That looks AWESOME!

Well done!

Mary said...

Hot damn, Jessie. It looks great!

Emthe said...

Look at that glorious space!

leah said...

The deck is beautiful! I love the bench on the one side!

I am totally copying your herb garden design - I like the bird bath in the middle!

sara said...

I'd love to hear more about the no mow fragrant ground cover. Our back yard is pretty shady and grass doesnt do well. I think we will do a patio space and maybe mulch the rest, but a ground cover would work too.

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