Our Walk Out Basement

When we moved into our home, our side backyard looked just like this…

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Nice right? Right behind where I took this picture was a shabby little 3-foot chain link fence/gate that was practically falling down. We decided that it would be fun to cut a door out of that window and make this whole area a walk out basement with a rock wall – so we got busy and dug a big ole’ hole!

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Then we had a TON of rocks dropped on our front lawn and stacked them up into a rock wall.

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After the wall was in, Spencer got busy and cut out the window into a door frame and we installed French Doors – Then it sort of sat that way for a about 2 years – Last November we hired out the cement and finally had the pad and stairs poured and installed a white vinyl guard rail and 6-foot white vinyl fence.

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It looked a lot better than what we started with but I have been itching to get some fun plants in between the rocks and pretty the area up even more. I mean, check out those weeds – and all that nasty dirt – and cobwebs – YUCK!

The problem is – I am no good with things like this so I had no idea what I should plant.

On Sunday’s we take family walks and were walking by a neighbors home that has a rock retaining wall in their front yard and they had all these pretty and soft plants growing in between their rocks – lucky for us, they were outside so we asked them about their plants and they gave us advice on what they loved and what they hated and what they thought would work for us. They were so nice and wife (Tami!) said that she was going to be clearing out some of her plants and would drop some by. A few days later she showed up with a huge tub full of ice plant!!

I got some fill dirt and one afternoon spent hours and hours pulling weeds and sticking all those little tiny strands of ice plant in between the rocks. Not to mention that some dumb bird decided to make a nest in the soffit right above the cement and kept flying in and out and her babies were freaking out and trying to fly… and I am sorry but I hate birds – I would never harm one, but I do not care for them at all – Even my 2-year old calls them “yucky – yucky birds” So I was sort of freaking out a little bit the whole time – and almost crapped my pants and called it quits when I found (and by found I mean stick my hand in between the rocks) a dead baby bird – GROSS!!

Anyway – when I was done, they looked a little bit shabby and limp… and I was worried that I had just wasted all that time (and scarred myself) and that none of them would take.

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But…. luckily two weeks later – they have perked up and started growing all kinds of purple flowers and I am just waiting for them to spread out and fill in – It will be so pretty when they start growing and spreading.

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I planted some flowers and chick peas at the top and am hoping for the same thing – that they will grow and spread and look great!

I also spread a lot of wild flower seeds all over the top and am waiting for them to pop on up anytime now!


It’s not perfect yet and I now we just play the waiting game and hope everything grows and flourishes – I will update you about it in the summer sometime and let you know if it is suffering or doing good – but either way, right now it looks so much better!!  It is so strange to think that door used to be window….

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Here is a shot from the front – and you can see our new lawn – which I will also be sharing shortly!! {Happy Dance!!}

Our backyard is coming together – slowly but surely!



Taryn @ Design, Dining + Diapers said...

Oh wow!!! You have been working hard! This looks awesome, what a difference.

Lettie said...

I love this (except you and the yucky dead bird - sorry that happened!). We are working on finishing our basement and we need to cut windows bigger and I think the idea of a walk-out basement sounds way more awesome than just windows. I'm marking this post to share with my husband. Thanks for the idea! And yours looks great.

Ashley @ Domestic Imperfection said...

I love that rock wall and it is going to look amazing when all the plants fill in!

Cynthia said...

Well look at you go! You did good on the plant choices- Ice plant does great between stones like that. The Hens and Chicks at the top will spread into a nice, dense mat of foliage and they are tough as nails. That's a HUGE improvement! It all takes money and time (lots of money or my yard would be finished too!)


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