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a month in the making

A month can seem like a long time or fly by in a minute. I’ve experienced both on my backyard remodel.

It took only one month for the wonderful people at Garden Plus Landscape & Pools to tear out my old backyard and install something beautiful and new.

And it’s taken an entire month for me to round-up and Photoshop all the photos so that I can finally get this post up. No time like the present, so let’s get on with it! These first four photos are the renderings that Garden’s Plus presented me with.

Lovely, aren’t they?

The rest will  be the before, the between (the progress) and the after photos.

As a refresher; in May 2017, I moved out of a 4,000 sq ft house that I’d lived in for 18 years, into a 2,000 sq ft rental that also served as my storage space. Then in November 2017, I moved into this 3,000 sq ft house. I adore this house and it felt like home immediately.

Well, except for all the excess stuff that was piled deep and high on the back patio and along the very narrow eve on the north side of the house.

Thankfully it doesn’t rain in AZ very often! If it did, there would have been much more of this situation.

It all felt so very claustrophobic, suffocating and downright awful.

To rid myself of that stuff and those less than warm and fuzzy new home feelings, I needed to pare it down and spread it out. The paring down came in the form of a garage sale on March 3rd and 4th.

And the beginning of being able to spread it out began at the same time, in the form of a new covered patio that would be nearly 3x the size of the original covered patio.

At the same time, the chipping plaster and cracking border tile of the original pool needed to come out and be replaced with new tile, coping and pebble finish. The old cement under the long but narrow covered patio, the faded cool-deck and a good part of grass area were to be replaced with travertine.

A built-in gas grill with dinning table was getting built, along with a beautiful accent wall/planter, which was inspired by a vintage French wall fountain I scooped up at Sweet Salvage several years ago.

Being installed in between the accent wall/planter and the pool, an eye-catching harlequin-pattern of travertine tile and faux grass. I’d love to take credit for that design element, but all credit goes to Adrian at Garden’s Plus. He spotted the French fountain among all the stuff piled on the patio and came up with the idea and design.

The first order of business for me was to get everything off the patio. I moved all the boxes into the garage and figured out what would be kept and what was to go in the sale. I moved all the outdoor furnishings onto an extra-large tarp in the grass on the far north side of the yard and then the guys covered it with more tarps to protect it from possible rain. It rained for two days before I was able to move stuff to the grass, but it hasn’t rained since … that was February 27th.

Note: As if to prove me a liar, it rained only hours after I pushed “schedule” on this post. Yes, it rained last night! Hallelujah! Praying it’s raining up north and helping put out or at least control the Tinder Fire.

Actually now that I look at the photos, I remember that the guys started putting up the masonry columns even before I moved my stuff off the patio. That seriously lit a fire under me and put the pressure on!

This was travertine delivery day. In a future post, I’ll share with you all the drama that occurred on granite delivery day. It was quite the thing.

Before and After!

Covered Patio:

The patio is cleared off and ready for demo

Demo Day

Framing and electrical


Painted with new fans

Travertine prep

So much travertine!

Time to move the furniture back in place, just in time for Easter.

Easter Day – you’ll notice in future photos that I’ve since replaced these dining chairs. And a new dining table is on it’s way and arriving in a couple of weeks.



Overall west view – Before



Grill Area: Before

Concrete footing

Table slab with supports


Travertine top

Grill installed



Ready to Grill!

Accent Wall/Planter and Harlequin Pool Deck:

Concrete footing


Vintage French fountain install. *I’m using it as a succulent planter instead of a fountain.

Stucco and paint

Travertine pattern

Faux grass install


Pool – Before

Tile coming off and plaster getting chipped out

Naked pool

New tile

New travertine coping

Spraying on the pebble finish

Filling her up


Rare cloudy days with and without sun

Palm reflections

Yes, I’ve been in it once. Although, I needed the wine to brave the cold water. Not complaining, all too soon, the water will not be refreshing at all, more like hot bath water. :-/

New plants and trees and faux grass install:

The plants and grass were the last things to go in.

When we sold the house in May, it was difficult to leave behind all the fruit trees, so I replaced them all here: blood orange, navel orange, pink grapefruit, Lisbon lemon, Meyer lemon, pomegranate and peach. There were already fig trees, in fact, so many fig trees, that I had a couple of them removed. I also added lime and tangerine out front when I put in the courtyard. The only thing I need to find and plant is a bay leaf tree and I’ll be set.

Alrighty then, this may be my longest and most photo loaded (around 70!) post of all time. I’ve been at it for most the day, so I think I’ll pour myself a glass of rosé and get outside to enjoy it all. xoxo

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1 Sloane Ellen Hansen { 05.02.18 at 8:05 AM }

Amazing how fast they are able to get things done in Linda Land!

2 Ginger { 05.02.18 at 10:34 AM }

Linda, It looks beautiful! You always can design things so great.

3 Patti Tucker { 05.02.18 at 5:46 PM }

It’s beautiful Linda. You’ll enjoy many happy moments out there.

4 Shirley { 05.03.18 at 5:59 AM }

Linda, you are truly amazing. Your backyard is beautiful! I am so happy for you and I pray your new life will be as terrific as you are.

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