When we bought this old house three summers ago, the backyard was a nightmare. I remember standing on the back porch with the realtor and saying, "Wow, this could be beautiful." She looked at me as if I were out of my mind. ;-)
The side yard before shot. The old retaining wall and fence sat at least 2 feet onto our neighbor's property. They are grand folks, and would never make an issue of it, but it was clear that any new fencing/walls needed to correct it
The view of the backyard from the south side of the house. And it is already missing the very, very sad 'privacy fence'--a failing wooden mess that our lab found himself running right through when chasing a ball!
The side yard as it looks now. All fencing is repurposed and was purchased off of Craigslist.
There had been some attempt to deal with the slope. The timbers were quite well rotted and collapsing in places.
This the west end of our yard as seen from just inside our alley gate.
Gate from side yard with upcycled (what a nice way to say we hauled concrete rubble from the dump) pathway. There was a gate of sorts here, but nothing more than a muddy path.
Flagstone stepping stones lead to a lower patio. Steps take you to the upper patio and the back porch.
An old view from the neighbor's backyard. After demolishing those rotting timbers, we found a collapsing cement retaining wall behind it.