Friday, July 31, 2015

Landscaping project: the backyard

Basketball Court/Cement Pad
First, we took advantage of a March Madness offer through Blueprint Basketball and purchased a Goalsetter system. Our goal was to have an adjustable in-ground hoop that our kids could play on from age 5-20 and would also withstand being a meeting place for (older) neighborhood kids. It's an investment for sure, but so far we've been really happy with it. Since the promotion came with free NCAA pole pads, we have some UNI Panther Pride going on as well.

We had a 20'x30' pad of cement poured behind our garage in early June. The goal for this piece was to have a place for kids to not only play basketball, but also ride their little toys, set up a kiddie pool, do side-walk chalk, drive remote-control cars, etc. that was in the backyard and not on or near the street.
Boys loved watching the skidloader work.
The dirt piles was the favorite hangout of the neighborhood for more than a week.
Ready for cement. They had to use cement buggies to fill it, but the grass grew back eventually.

Adam and his dad installed the Goalsetter (and it was HEAVY!)
Inaugural shot.
 Because of the grade of the lawn, we needed a retaining wall built at one end and decided to go ahead and finish it off with some landscaping around it. This is when it's handy to have 4 summers of landscaping experience from college. Adam was able to do the entire wall and surrounding landscape himself.

We did bullets around the outside and decided on rock on the lower level with mulch on the upper level.

Placing plants
 Here are the plants we chose, all purchased from Ground Effects:

Finished landscape
The dirt area behind the wall is currently seeded and growing grass nicely, although the boys, frankly, preferred the dirt pile.  It's a nice view from our kitchen window, has provided days of play in various forms, and has even seen a few neighborhood basketball game (even when our kids were in bed). Success!

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