My Ugly Useless Backyard , Why I Hate It, and How I want to Transform it.

We have all been tucked safely away at home for the last 70  plus days due to the COVID quarantine.

Spring was really late this year here in Canada, but I am so thankful things are warming up and my kids and MIss Molly can get out in the backyard and play now.

My Backyard is and Overgrown Unusable Space and I Hate it!

The problem is my back-yard, front-yard and outdoor spaces are really … YUCKY!!!

I will totally confess, I’m not an outdoorsy person, I do not take the time of initiative to keep my outdoor areas beautiful.   I would love to be able to take pride and enjoyment from spending endless hours outdoors weeding my flower beds, but I don’t really find enjoyment in it.

I mean I’ll sit outside with a cold beverage on a nice summers evening, but as far as enjoying time spent gardening, or cutting my grass or doing any of the home maintenance type jobs,  It’s really not my favorite cup of coffee.

In fact — I SUCK at it.

My backyard and all outdoor spaces looks like stereotypical  “white trash”, and I know my neighbors wish I kept up with it better.   Some of the main problems are:

  • I’ve had garbage and junk piled up all over for years
  • My grass is patchy, full of quack grass and non-existent in areas
  • Half of my backyard is full of weeds and wild grass
  • My yard is divided by a chain link fence
  • I have no trees or shade and this is the side of the house with full sun
  • There is no organization with toys and bikes
  • Huge lack of time, energy, and inspiration on my part
  • I am allergic to the sun

I will NEVER be a gardener or have a fantastic out door space, and that’s not even my goal…

My goal is to have a clean, and well kept outdoor space for my kids and I to enjoy this summer.

With everything in lock-down and quarantine from the COVID-19 pandemic,  I really NEED this to be a usable space for me and my kids, and I need that to be a usable space – now!!.

4 Realistic Backyard DIY Projects I want to achieve in this Outdoor Space this year.

Being totally honest, my budget this year on renovation and DIY is not for the outside of my house.  It’s for inside (and that is another project that I will tell you about another day).

As much as I would just love to hire a landscaper and let them take care of the problem and make me a beautiful usable backyard, I can’t afford to do that this year.

So, all of the DIY projects I have planned are very simple, inexpensive and the purpose is just to make the space usable for the next couple years.

I want to wait for a full backyard makeover until my kids are a bit older and not so involved in backyard play and until Molly is in her golden years and not so high energy.

1) DIY backyard project number one – Clear the Clutter!

I’ve already completed this project, and it feels good to get it done.

I had been storing junk and garbage for a few years.  On Monday I hired someone local to take  two loads to the dump for me.

It sure felt good to get rid of all that junk!

I’d been waiting and waiting to borrow someones truck, or to load stuff in my old van, or even to find a free Saturday to do a dump run.

Finally, I just said that’s it – and hired someone to do it.  Two loads and the junk was gone.  Well worth the hundred bucks I paid to finally get rid of it.

Looking at these pictures, I would sure love to give a fresh coat of stain to my back fence, but I’m not sure if that will get done this year or not.

2) Backyard Ideas for Kids – Backyard DIY Idea Number Two: Organization for Toys and Bikes

One of the best things I did last year was to buy this deluxe play structure for my littles to play on.  They have gotten hours of enjoyment out of it.  This year it has been our saving grace during this time of quarantine.

This year the other thing that I invested in was bikes and helmets for all my kids.  It was a bit crazy starting out in the spring, trying to teach 4 boys ages 5 and under how to pedal a bike.

riding bikes

All my littles did awesome, and are now able to go riding daily with my big kids leading the way and ensuring they are safe.

But now look at the mess all over my back yard!!

I have ordered a bike storage rack for all the messy bikes and will teach the kiddos how to park there bikes in the correct area.

The other thing that I want to order for the backyard to help keep the kids organized, is something for storage.

This storage will not just be for kids toys, but for other things that may need shelter from the rain.  Such as cushions for chairs.

I plan to put the bike rack and the storage bench over in this area of the yard,  Normally that is the gate going toward the front of the house, but for safety reasons I have locked it for the time being.

3) DIY Backyard Project – Create an eating area.

Without adding additional patio space, I want to create an eating/picnic area where I can set up the table and chairs where my kids can enjoy some picnic lunches  and snacks during the hot summer months.

This is going to be a bit tricky because I don’t want them on the lawn so they need to be moved.  But the patio area is not large enough for the table that I have.  And I have this ridiculous chain link fence splitting my yard in two.

My thought (for now, is to move the table and chair set closer to the house and find a way that is cheap and affordable to level and make a weed free picnic area.

Also, I have a decent table and chair set but the cushions that went with it were really old and worn, so they got sent to the dump.  I was originally going to wash them and try and clean them up – but my time is more important than that, and it is super easy to get some new cushions to use.

4) My Fourth and Final Project for this Season

Is to work on the getting the green areas looking better, and to clean up the rest of the area with a good sweep and tidy.

Try to fill in some of the bare areas of grass and maybe even choke out some of the quack grass by adding some grass seed and keeping it water and cut.

I do have some local guys that come and cut if for me each week and I have underground sprinklers, so this shouldn’t be hard, right ? !

I also want to work on keeping the weeds and long grass on the other side to a minimum, perhaps using some weed killer that won’t hurt my kids or dog.  I heard on Facebook about using a vinegar mixture.  I think I may give that a try.

The most popular recipe is: white vinegar, table salt and dawn dish soap.

I found a video that shows the results and I think it is definitely something I will try on my long weeds.

If i get all of that accomplished, I will be please with myself and be able to handle the results.  I know there are many more projects that I could do, but I also know my time and money constraints.

What about you?  Do you love to spend time working in  your yard?  What are your favorite yard tips to share?

Drop a comment below and let’s chat about it!




Talk soon,




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