Main Backyard transformation

he main backyard isn’t complete yet, if you’re wondering ha! Don’t ever think anything I show you is ever 100% completed, it’s just what I recently completed *wink*

I thought I’d pull up some old photos over the past 10 years of living in our home and show you some changes we’ve made which is almost everything from light fixtures to the paint to removing all the trees (they died) and adding tons more. I want to say something too –

we have always been content with our home and all the stages. We had big visions and dreams but we didn’t clearly know what they were yet, and so we moved very slowly with our upgrades until we realized what our lifestyle needs were.

Now that we are where we are with our home it seems a little crazy to look back and see our before photos because they are drastically different but then I think – how crazy we still loved our home at the time. I look at the before and wince a bit because it’s nothing like it is now, and I’m just happy that we were satisfied with what God gave us and saved to make it what it is today. Loving and appreciating every stage of your home is important and I want to encourage you where ever you are that even if you have big renovation dreams to work on them slowly, besides, it’s not fun when you’re done! Then what?


I was going to do a before and after section but I’d rather just throw them up one after another and I know you can tell which is which because of the quality. The afters aren’t ones I’ve taken this week or anything but the are as close to what is “now” but you know me, I’ll share a photo and I’ve already changed something else about it anyway!

raised garden beds in backyard cute blue umbrella, about fall gardening in phoenix arizona

^^ This is where the garden room is now (the expansion) which replaced one of the patios off the dining room. We lost the two windows – both bathroom windows which were located to the right of the dining room patio and gained 425 square feet of entertaining space and a bathroom. I am glad we didn’t lose any yard space.We placed a bathroom right on the other side of those bathrooms – made it easier for plumbing. We hired Form 180 to help us with space planning and we highly recommend Celeste!

Phoenix scottsdale home expansion general contractor

^^ And there is the expansion right after we completed it! I love a good rain photo.

This was also when our house was blue. It was this shade when we moved in. We added the railing detail and just matched the blue for convenience but I always disliked it…but I knew one day I could paint it how I wanted – I waited 9 years!!! Eventually the blue became either black or white – facia boards black and the rest of the main house white.

There’s our old grapefruit tree, half of it fell to the ground and that was left.

raised garden beds in backyard cute blue umbrella, about fall gardening in phoenix arizona

Also the massive raised garden beds I had – which is now the orchard and only fruit tress.  It was a lot of kneeling and such but it was so nice to have this space and Benjamin built it for me! That’s how I really got into gardening. We flattened it and moved the garden to the new kitchen garden area.

Here’s a look at our grapefruit tree in all her glory – if you’re new here, we live on a former citrus farm and all of our neighbors have some type of citrus tree but many are dying because they are old and fruit trees don’t live nearly as long as regular trees. Or back wood fence was also just wood (I later painted it white).

And now onto the vine wall which I worked on immediately when we moved in. There was a huge mesquite tree behind us oh, and this wall was actually just plain cinderblock. It’s not my favorite when it’s not finished with smooth stucco. So we took down that messy mesquite tree which shaded our backyard and fixed the cinderblock wall to this – and then I added my vines.

I was also very resourceful and used old bricks I found in the alley and pounded them into the ground to make my own messy brick planters – they worked for economical purposes until we had the money to do more.

backyard harvest thanksgiving get together blogger diana Elizabeth phoenix

teak trellis panels

This is as far as our backyard went – so that’s the photo studio, and this is the are that became a bunny area and what you now know as the kitchen garden!

Here’s what it now looks like from the other side – minus the gate since it fell apart and we don’t really need it any more.

  brick garden beds - lots of AFTER photos of new garden area, progression photos using artificial turf grass #garden #vinewall

Ok I realized I wrapped you around to the kitchen garden, but that’s where we will end :)

So what’s next for the main backyard?

I think we need to consider a new wall to replace the back fence that is falling apart – the wood one. We would love to have another cinderblock wall like what we have but since that is a shared wall, we will discuss it with our neighbor who will be our forever neighbor and see what we can do!

We have new patio furniture plans (see post here).

We also want to remove the pavement path that divides the yard and put in a brick one.

Maybe install a gas fire pit.

All things to think about and plan.

Diana Elizabeth is hoping the new patio furniture she ordered will also make her love that space again – she finds spaces she doesn’t particularly enjoy (or lost the love) and she spruces them back up and loves them again! 


Receive updates and my hostess checklist

One email sent per week.

Diana Elizabeth Steffen setting the table for her annual garden party


Never miss a post!
Get my hostess checklist in your inbox!

One email sent a week, I don't like too many emails either. Read our privacy policy.

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.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *