our backyard : updates

our backyard updates | almost makes perfectour backyard updates | almost makes perfect

it’s been four months since the last backyard update, and we’re soooo close so i thought i’d share the progress before the big final reveal.

bear with me, it’s still not that pretty but it’s getting there! 

our backyard before and during | almost makes perfectour backyard updates | almost makes perfectour backyard updates | almost makes perfect

what we’ve done

as you know we painted our house. that made such a huge difference. we also painted the shed (studio) the same white color, but decided to keep the trim white to make it kind of disappear as much as possible. i think it really worked! we planted bougainvillea into that large hole we cut in front and it’s looking so much better already. the tree we planted has been growing and i’m so excited to see everything big and blossomed on there.

you can see we successfully murdered all the weeds. that was a big long un-fun process and next we’ll deal with the same issue in the front yard.

we replaced the back fence, and painted it the same color we painted the concrete wall. it’s a light grey despite how light it looks. we planted 25 podocarpus in front of both fences, because i listen to you guys and you told me not to do bamboo. in the corner of the fence we planted some pampas grass, hard to believe it’ll ever look like this, but we’re hopeful!

we moved the AC unit like i said we would. it cost a ton and even though it’s still so visible, it’s a huge improvement. we’re going to build a structure to hide it, still trying to figure out what.

we removed the three posts on the patio, and replaced with a huge engineered beam. this is kind of hard to tell with the scaffolding which was put up during that process. that’s coming down this week. it’s going to feel so much more open without those stupid posts!

AND as you can see, we poured concrete! this made such a huge difference. it finally feels like our backyard. we doubled the depth of the patio (it was 6 feet, now it’s 12), with a low profile wraparound step (which i am obsessed with). we weren’t sure that the extension would match/look good and we considered putting a layer of self leveling concrete over the old slab, or cutting out the old slab, but went with the cheapest and simplest option and i am so glad we did. they totally match just fine and it looks amazing. we also added two steps to the entry doors, which was so crucial and i can’t believe this guy who lived here didn’t think to put them there. we also cut out one big unnecessary piece of concrete to create this edge which is going to look so dope when the DG is down.

also, ignore the huge tarp over the yard, that’s for the crew to not melt while working on it.

our backyard before | almost makes perfectour backyard updates | almost makes perfectour backyard updates | almost makes perfectour backyard updates | almost makes perfect

we did 2.5′ stepping stones to lead to the studio and to separate the yard into three different areas. right now they look like they’re huge because they’re 3″ off the ground, but once we put down the decomposed granite, they’ll blend in more. i’ve never had a pathway to the studio, and it has been AMAZING to finally have one. we cut into the existing concrete to continue the hopscotch-esque pattern, and although it looks crazy — i think it’s rad. we considered doing a straight simple pattern for the stepping stones, but decided we wanted it to feel a little more casual and fun, which i think this pattern does!

our backyard updates | almost makes perfectour backyard updates | almost makes perfect

what’s happening next

now that the concrete is curing, our next step is to build the pergola over the patio extension. it’s going to be super modern and simple, with no exposed hardware. i’m hoping that only takes a week or so, so that we can just be done and start putting out our furniture! we have boxes and boxes of things we’ve ordered in the garage, and it’s going to be like christmas morning when we can finally unpack everything.

as you can see allllll of the plants, we purchased hopefully all of our plants for the yard. we’re going to grade the yard and set up drip lines for them this week, then planting them — before then laying out the DG! does anyone have DG in their yard btw? we’re buying the type with stabilizer but man it’s expensive. also, we got a big cute ass olive bush. i have ALWAYS wanted an olive tree, so i am so excited about this guy.

once those two things are done, we ARE DONE! we can finally hang our string lights, lay out our furniture, plant food into our raised beds, EEE!!!!!

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  1. Love the pavers – can you share how those were made? Looking to create a path from my garden gate to into the yard and garden…. thanks!

    1. thanks holly! they were cast, but you can buy pre-fab squares. the reason we didn’t is because the levels are all wonky in our yard and we heard its pretty hard to get them perfectly level, but still maybe a cheaper / simpler option

  2. It’s looking so great Molly! I love the plants and how you’ve designed the concrete stairs/path!

  3. Its looking so good, i love the aesthetic!

  4. wow!!! that looks like a completely different place!! love love love! great job! can’t wait to see the end result! love all the plants and the pavers! great work!

  5. Really really love your style so am excited to see how it all comes together. The agave plant is a nice touch! 🙂

  6. Citizen V says:

    Hi! Looks great! I have DG w/o stabilizer, and it’s been great. It’s on a slight slope, and 6 yrs later it probably needs a touch-up just where the water flows, but other than that I love it! Since your yard is flat you probably won’t need it – just a thought!

    1. thank you thank you!!! its all been a learning curve and we just found out we didn’t need the stabilizer after all — soooo glad about that because we saved a ton of money.

  7. s.montgomery says:

    This is thrilling!! I saw your IG update that you had yard news on the blog and all frickin week I kept thinking “I can’t wait for the weekend so I can check out Molly’s yard”.

    Well it did not disappoint. I have neither money nor time to do the overhaul my yard needs so this post was EVERYTHING I needed.

    Thanks for sharing all this goodness!

    1. HAHA — thank you!!! so glad i’m not the only excited one

  8. It looks gorgeous! I can’t wait to see it when it’s all done. How did you guys decide all this? Did you work with a designer?

    1. thank you sandy! we’ve just been working with my stepdad on it — he has a great eye and he designed the plan for the patio. he isn’t a professional so we’ve all learned a lot along the way

  9. HausHomeMaison says:

    So DG and stabilizer. We have it on a majority of our yard as a temporary measure. Why? Because if u walk over DG (stabilizer or not) and have wood floors in your house….u might as well get the floors used and scratched. I love DG and the look of DG – and I bought the stabilizer and we had thenDG professionally laid and stabilized etc but no matter what you do. It will come off and cram lemons get stuck in shoes and get into the house. It’s a natural product and its crumbled granite so u can’t make a slab out of crumbles no matter what u do. That being said I still love the look and I just poured gorgeous little beach pebbles (same color as DG) over our fire pit area as we walk there barefoot all the time and that was not happening with DG. So when the DG gets installed… Make sure they install a weed barrier, pound down layer 1, pound down layer 2, and final layer 3. U can skip the stabilizer BUT if u have any water dripping or coming down u will have a mini Grand Canyon develop. Stabilizer or not.

  10. How did you clear out all of the weeds / zero scape? We are hoping to do something very similar to our awful weed filled yard now. Any tips?

    1. molly madfis says:

      we did full weed killer treatments about 4 or 5 times until it was fully gone… such a long gross process!

      1. Any specific brand or extra recommendations?

  11. Hey Molly,

    What is the shade of grey/brand of paint you used for your block wall? I have a similar looking wall in my backyard and its horrid. Do you still love the color and did it go on easily?


  12. I’d love to know what the tree is you planted? Very inspirational blog

  13. Looks great! I like the size of the concrete pavers you poured. Do you have the dimensions for those?

  14. Melissa bates says:

    How are you liking the dg now? I’m debating doing a similar thing in my yard and unsure I’d the dg will become a wet soggy mess in winter and if the pieces will just mess up my shed wood floor. Not sure if the stabilizer is worth it either. Any feedback? Beautiful yard!

  15. Hello! Can you tell me the type of tree by the shed please