Backyard Landscaping Progress - Dry River Bed - Weekend Yard Work Series

17 July
Hello, I hope you all had a nice weekend! I've been spending the last few weekends working on my backyard and I'm finally at a point that I can share!


Last year I had a new sprinkler system installed, some curbing added, and the following projects:

So, I'm continuing on this year! So far I've had a new fence installed which involved fighting with my neighbor behind me a little bit. Long story short, she had issues with me installing a new fence and putting the posts on her side yet she didn't want to pitch in and help pay for anything if I put them on my side, so in the end I left the old rickety fence for her since she seemed so fond of it and put my new fence up right inside that... I'm pretty sure that pissed her off even more but if you're going to be difficult and bitchy I guess that's what you get! :o)

My dad and I cut down a small apple tree that was in the corner a couple of months ago. The previous home owners had used it for practicing with an ax I think because it had chop marks all down the trunk and it leaned really badly so down it came.

Here is what I did with that corner. The apple tree was just on the right of the black tarp, you can barely see the stump.

I wanted to incorporate a little dry river bed for some added interest in this corner. I started creating that by building up a little mound with dirt and some ugly rocks I had lying around my yard. (These rocks actually used to line the bottom of the old fence, the boards were so rotted on the bottom that there were large gaps where my dogs could have escaped!)

Then I continued with the weed block tarp right over the top of the mound and then added some round rocks (these were also something I already had) to start creating the shape of my new river bed.

I bought 1/2 yard of black rocks and started the sweat factor of this project... unloading the back of my truck with a shovel and wheelbarrow!

Once I got all the black rock unloaded and in place I started creating my river bed with round river rocks. I'd like to add some more pieces of wood and some pea gravel to give it a more natural look.

A friend of mine who is really good at landscaping projects suggested some sort of focal point in the corner so we came up with this.

I put another mound of dirt in the corner and then added some more of those ugly rocks I had lying around. The main part of this is an old fountain. It was just a cheap little fountain that I've had for years and it had started looking cheap instead of cute (finish coming off, etc.). I was going to throw it out but then decided it would be great to reuse to create a dry waterfall look!

I think it worked great! I threw some of the round river rock over it and let it spill over and fall naturally to create the look I was after. 

This is what it looked like at that point.

Now I've started adding some plants and have some more to add still. I think once the plants start filling in and growing it will look so awesome!

I continued the river bed around the front of the mound that I created last year.

Then I added a cute little weeping cherry tree. It will produce white flowers in the spring next year but no fruit and I'll be able to prune the branches up so they aren't so long then too but for now I still think it's pretty sweet looking :o)

And here is what this corner looks like now!

It ties in nicely with the berm/mound I added last year on the right of the dry river bed! Oh, speaking of the mound on the right... see that little topiary looking tree? It's new too. The one I had there last year didn't make it through the winter so I'm hoping this one will do better. It's a little evergreen.

Here is what it looked like when I bought the house. This is from the patio and that corner is out by the telephone pole, you can see the little apple tree.

And here is a before of the tree up closer. You can kind of see how the tree leans in this picture and you can see that ratty old fence.

And the same corner after!

What do  you think?

I have another project that I worked on this weekend that I'll be sharing in a couple of days and then I'll be starting on the area where these arborvitae are planted. The weeds need to be pulled, rocks put down and some little pops of color in between the trees I think! (Note: to the left of the trees is the area that I've been working on).

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  1. Wonderful job!! (and I really love that little windmill!!)


  2. It looks great Tania! I love the dry fountain in the doesn't look bad at all like it is. Aren't you glad you didn't throw it out after all? I love all your rocks & I know that was a ton of backbreaking work getting all that unloaded. But now it's worth it! New fence is a great improvement too.

    1. Thanks Florence! Yes, I'm very glad I didn't throw it out, I love repurposing things so this was great!


  3. It looks fabulous!! I love the little river bed and all the new plantings really look nice and will be even better when they grow up a little more. Great job!!

  4. Wow! I love it. Looks pretty low maintenance too which is a real bonus. Good job Tania.

    1. Thank you so much! I'm hoping it'll be low maintenance!!


  5. Tania I love it - what a huge difference. And I really like the new fence. Why in the world would your neighbor have a problem with a beautiful new fence like that?

  6. Your backyard corner looks lovely--all your hard work has really paid off and you'll be rewarded many times over when you can sit and enjoy it instead of maintaining it!


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