Rocks, Broken Hot tubs and Backyard Hardscaping

It's so very hot outside right now. I've been watering the container plants twice a day, but that's about all the outside I can stand. I miss hanging out there.

The backyard was an icky mess for starters. It consisted of a small patio, a river rock bed and a broken hot tub. Oh, and lots and lots of weeds. Interestingly enough, the poison ivy appeared to confine itself to the Professional Landscaping in the Front Yard? Go figure. We moved the rock to the side and the front of the house and had two patios and a sidewalk poured.

The first patio is here. It's under the deck and Ry installed an outdoor ceiling fan, which makes a tremendous difference. We also have this great gas firepit from Costco. It's super comfy and runs off of a regular propane tank, which is hidden in the table.

In the area between this new patio and the pre-existing patio, we chose to leave open for landscaping. We installed this stone pathway to link the two areas. Other than the obvious VERY HEAVY rocks, this was pretty simple.

Luckly, since we had already moved the river rock, there was really not a lot but hard, clay dirt to dig up. We dug out the pathway about 4 inches and then installed metal edging to "outline" the path". Next, we put in a thin layer of sand and then laid in our rocks, jigsaw-puzzle-like. That was the hardest part - moving those around to get them to fit just so. Then we filled in the spaces between the rock with pea gravel. Next, we mulched around the path and then pulled up the metal edging, which we reused in other landscaping.

This is the second patio. We poured it for the previouly broken hot tub, which Ryan fixed AND redid all the sides so it looks pretty again. You can see where the older patio ends and the new one begins. One day we may stain or do an overlay, or just wait patiently for it all to naturally color? We shall see...

A view from the other side.

This fall we hope to build an arbor over the hot tub, with a stone wall facing toward the woods.

This is the original patio on the back of the house.

We struggled with the placement of the furniture, as the patio is on the small side. This works really well. Behind the loveseat, the crank out window can still open, and there is plenty of space to walk out the back door between the loveseat and the chair. But it's still all close enough for easy conversation.

And here's a picture where I try to capture it all. There is a slope and lots of trees behind the house, so I can't get a photo that shows the entire project.

But, you can see where we finished off some landscaping around the patios and under the deck. We also placed a water fountain to the right of the firepit group, which is very nice. And we put a heater in it and leave it on in the winter. We've gotten over 20 birds splashing around in it! We also refinished the deck.

The plantings around the decks include:
Hosta, Iris, Peony, Lilies, Vinca (annual), Daffodils, Aster, Chrysanthemum, Chives, Oregeno, Thyme, Solomon's Seal, Yarrow, Fern, Heuchera, Gladiolas, Surprise Lily, Nandinia, Wild Onion, Clematis, Catnip, Geranium, Zinnia, Ferns, some Tropicals, Morning Glory and a variety of stuff in pots.

I am still struggling with getting a handle on the light and moisture around the entire house...Live and Learn!


  1. Wonderful work! Sun loungers are must-haves in gardens, especially during great seasons! :)

  2. This looks awesome! You guys did a great job. I bet that hot tub is amazing at night or during the winter. I've always wanted a hot tub in my backyard. My husband bought one a few years ago, but it broke. I think we should have just gotten it repaired. Better luck next time, I suppose.