Creating a Welcoming Entrance to the Backyard

The old entrance into our backyard lacked any character. It was just boring old grass, so some changes needed to be made. We added an arbor, a planter edged with DIY curbing and a path cut into the grass.
Here's what we started with. This picture was taken in March, when everything was looking pretty awful.
We wanted an arbor and get really strong canyon winds in our backyard, so we made sure to pour footings. Luckily, we have pretty sandy soil where we wanted to put it, so digging out two foot holes for the forms wasn't too hard.
We mixed concrete in the wheelbarrow and poured it in the forms. It looks a little uneven in this picture, but we did make sure each footing was level with all of the others.
We needed to put in pavers and had Henry, our trusty helper right in the thick of things. :)
Once the pavers were in, we then moved to the next part of the entrance.
We dug out the grass along the house. We intended to hire a crew to install the curbing, but we only needed about 30 feet and that's just way too small a job for a professional crew to deal with.
We used fence boards from a big box store ripped in half, then hammered into place for the forms.
We mixed the concrete in the wheelbarrow, then shoveled it into the forms. We used a trowel to smooth it out.
We waited a couple of days, then pulled the forms off. If I do say so myself, our curbing looks just as good as the professional's on the other side. And, ours cost $20 in materials!
This is how we laid the pavers in the existing grass. It was a beast! Cutting the grass around each paver, keeping it level, keeping them equal distance apart, etc etc was a big job.
The grass is starting to fill in around the curbing and the pavers.
Here's the finished project. The grass has filled in around the pavers, the 'stepables' have filled in under the arbor and the plants on the left have grown quickly. The ground cover in the rocks on the right complements the new additions very well. We think the entrance is now much prettier!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Smooches
    on Apr 14, 2017

    how do you cut the grass btw those pavers? reel mower, weed wacker, self propelled?????????????
  • Jena
    on Sep 6, 2017

    Did you put down grass seed before all pavers were in?
    Do you plant new plants each season?
    Are you seeding the flower bed and grass?

Join the conversation

2 of 123 comments
  • Smooches
    on Apr 14, 2017

    i want pavers like those; worried about over grown grass
  • Judy
    on Sep 6, 2017

    Beautiful...what a difference, and you did it yourself..Congrats!
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