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Backyard Design Reveal + Kitchen Garden Update

took some photos of our backyard right after completion around fall, maybe a few days after my big 40th birthday soiree, and I never got around to posting it because I thought I could take better images later. I had mentioned back (in this blog post of backyard before photos) in August we were in need of plans. Well, I’m kind of moving on to sharing other projects so I guess these photos are perfect and ready to be shared! Done is better than perfect, right? *wink*

If you see the original renderings of the backyard, there are a few things we didn’t do. We might add a few steps eventually but unfortunately our sprinkler station thing (not sure what to call it) is in the way. I’m beyond frustrated and didn’t want it in there but – I’ll just stop there. We might have to get creative.

Thank you again Kami, our landscape designer for turning this design around so quickly and making us both so so happy!! Kami also designed our front landscape and the kitchen garden. She is worth every penny.

The main backyard

I’ll share a few before photos at the end of this post.

orchard area in backyard grandmillennial traditional backyard

Benjamin wanted less grass. That was a huge heated debate in our household which is why we needed Kami to come and help us! But now that I look at it from the orchard side, wow it looks great! We still have enough grass. Sometimes you just can’t envision it so when you can’t, you think it seems like a bad idea, but that’s why I insist a designer is worth every penny. Every single penny. You’ll actually save money in the long run by hiring a landscape and interior designer. Also, add the landscape lighting with your plans and do it!

The railing for the orchard was made by Hill Farm Design, our friends who also built our open air car garage and harmon hinge door.

Depending on the way you enter our backyard, through our kitchen garden or through the patio covered area by the photo studio this is your first look! Benjamin has been wanting a brick patio for a while and I used to fight him saying it would bounce red light everywhere for my brand shoots and then I got to the point where I thought, no, we’re going to do it because it’s our home and I want it nice and to enjoy it. The work stuff can work around it. I am so glad we went for it and it really completed the space. Who knew brick could do that? Clearly Benjamin! I tell you, he’s got some taste.

You can see we didn’t put the railing back up (below photo) between the posts and corner. I felt like it wasn’t airy and we left them off here and I’ll show you where we put them later in this post.

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^^ Sorry didn’t take off the grill cover by our outdoor waste bin. By the way isn’t that outdoor trash can pretty?? It can also hide pool supplies or whatever you want in there. It is so much better than basic trash cans even though pop up ones at parties. I thought about adding a cut our Circuit label to say “Waste bin” but by now our friends know it’s trash.

Landscape Lighting Tip

Have landscape lighting drawn into your plans and plan accordingly. When we build the back focal point, I knew I wanted a seat light so I bought the appropriate lighting supplies from VOLT Lighting and made sure my brick layer knew it so he planned for it and for the wires to go through under the seat.

Lighting at night changes the vibe of your home. Yes, you do need it more than the bistro lights. It should highlight walls, between plants, trees, pathways it’s magical and worth it! It can come on when the sun goes down and be on a timer. I love seeing the lighting from inside, it just looks beautiful and not like a black dark scary backyard.

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It looks like we have a fountain but I didn’t want to deal with water and I didn’t think it was necessary. We are often asked what this space is it’s more of a seating area and small patio. Another way to take up grass and look pretty, another sitting area and maybe fire pit area? Also, thank goodness that lined up with my neighbor’s attic air vent eh? I don’t think that was on purpose because we did have to move the patio to the right a bit due to our poorly planted Ash tree to the left the roots were jetting out due to poor planting. Always make sure you make the nursery come back and replant if it’s not right. I mean it!

The planters are soooooo great they are from my friends at Gardeners.com and you can put in a self-water insert! I spray painted the planters black. I also love these urn planters.

Focal Point Tip

I told Kami I wanted a focal point from inside the house. After looking through so many garden design books I learned pathways through a garden should be intentional and to have a focal point to look at from inside the house. A fountain, a scene, something great. Kami delivered! I found this design on Pinterest but modified it a little and Francisco was up for the challenge.

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The Talavera wall fountain planter was from an Estate sale find a well. I had another space in mind but it didn’t feel right floating on the wall and this was perfectly made to fit! That’s why I say buy what you like and you’ll find a place for it!

The vintage table set was an estate sale find with a lot of elbow grease of removing rust, sanding it off and also spray painting it, it is so worth it! I love it so much. The large Connect 4 is from my friends at Tosso.

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This is the area you see if you first entered through the kitchen garden area and toolshed. Now what I did learn is that not everyone wants to walk on grass (my mom doesn’t like to walk on grass). Kami understood this and had a pathway drawn in the plans. We didn’t understand this (now we do) and wish we sucked it up and did it.

So now we’re in a place where we need to figure out how to create a walkway. But we still love it. I just think Kami was so intentional with her design with functionality we should have listened. Now you don’t need paths to everything but just high traffic areas or areas where you often walk.

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Those chairs were $40 at auction for the pair and the table was a $30 FMP find! Again I just used some spray paint!

Now if I look back to the house from the seating area by the wall (the focal point, here’s the house).

Landscape design: Kameran of K Design

The Kitchen Garden

You’ve seen our kitchen garden space before, but what looks new is the fence railing! It has been moved from the back patio to being used to divide the open air car garage! I also share the breakdown cost of the kitchen garden.

You can see it below to the left right behind the rose bushes. It used to be open and we weren’t sure what to do with it yet until it occurred to me to move them and they fit! Thanks to some help with Hill Farm Design.

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The vines are growing (to the right of the photo). I can’t wait for my zinnias to grow again, I will forever plant them in the summer season, so easy to sow the seeds and they can withstand the crazy heat! I miss the colors it made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. I have added some seed recently but I think my real go time to sow them is when it’s so hot my artichoke dies back for the summer.


I’m not sure how before we want to go as we have 10 years of photos but I’ll go pretty far back, like 5-7 years. Here’s our old grapefruit tree that died, and the pathway that lead to the alleyway that I always hated. But what it did provide for us was an area to keep our garden and it became the orchard. Again thanks to my friend Jill Green for recommending that!

These are the stages of home. Live in the space, work in your budget and save until you know what you can envision and afford. And always hire a great landscape designer!

I hope you enjoyed! Thank you for reading! If you have any questions I’m always answering the comments so feel free to leave them below.

Landscape design: Kameron of K Design/ Concrete: Imagine Concrete / Artificial grass by AZ Luxury Lawns / Orchard railing: Hill Farm Design

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Diana Elizabeth is ready to head back to the nursery and get more flowers. It’s an addiction and worth every penny!


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Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.

1 Comment

  • Kate

    What a transformation! I really love how it turned out, it’s such a beautiful green reprieve in the desert!


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