The Project Begins . . .

Before we started in on landscaping, I wanted to upgrade the fence to a 6′ privacy fence. What I wanted was a very specific 6′ vinyl fence in a dark brown with a wood grain. In 2022, I found a contractor out of town who had exactly what I was looking for and he often works in Omaha. Viola!

My husband (Adam) balked at the price. “Let’s do a wood fence – it will cost half that.”

My brain rewound to childhood. . . . me, in the summer heat, staining the wood fence that surrounded our garden. Not just once. Several times. Wood fences are pretty in the short run. But I didn’t want to install a fence that required maintenance.

A debate ensued.

It took me a year to wear him down. The fence was installed in 2023.

This video shows the fence as we began prepping the backyard for dirt moving.

A Sloping Yard

The backyard has always sloped down towards the back of the lot. We agreed that it was time to get rid of the slope.

The question was . . . HOW?

I had ideas, but I had no clue where to start.

I watched a bunch of YouTubes and looked at photos online.

I knew I wanted to create intimate spaces in the backyard.

A shady nook. A sunny corner. A firepit. A patio with an outdoor kitchen.

I wanted the deck space to be private . . . almost “enclosed”. I wanted coziness.

And I wanted pathways that pulled me from one intimate space to another.

I gathered information.

Adam and I spent hours taking measurements. We spent many dark nights in the backyard with a laser level. We consulted with nurseries and landscape designers until we found a designer who clicked. I could visualize what I wanted and where I wanted it. I could verbalize it. Our landscape designer listened and walked the yard with us. She went back to her office and put the concepts on paper.

I poured over her plan. We made some tweaks. Regrouped. Made a few more tweaks.

With a plan in hand, we could push forward.

Dirt Moving

Adam estimated that we needed to remove about 100 yards of dirt.

He found a guy who retired from a local construction company and then bought all his own equipment. He moves dirt for “fun”. Adam hired him.

The dirt mover started on April 3rd.

We wanted to create a retaining wall that ran from the front yard to the backyard. There were several obstacles, including a gas line where we wanted to put a wall. Digging was slow and tentative.

We wanted to level out this area in front of the house and create a flat path to the backyard gate on the right side.

Utilities marked.

Leveling the side yard prior to the wall build

Backyard digging begins

Backyard digging begins

Old patio removed

Backyard from the roof

Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better, right?

High tech discussion over the vision.

Things are leveling out.

THIRTY dump truck loads of dirt – gone!

Here’s a quick video of how things looked as the big equipment was wrapping up.

The Retaining Walls

After the dirt moving, preparations began for the retaining walls. These photos were taken April 16th.

Retaining wall block delivered and staged in preparation for walls

Retaining wall block and gravel for front yard wall build

The first wall – in process. This wall will run from the driveway all the way to the backyard.

Second wall added inside the first wall. April 30th.

Landscape plan

Landscape Plan

This plan is ever evolving.

front walls

Lower wall plants were added last weekend. Upper area still needs to be leveled out before we can add plants. 5.8.24