Backyard is 6' X 35', how can we make it look stunning?


As you can see by the pictures we have a real mess on our hands and because we are retired we can't afford a contractor, so we will have to do it ourselves. Ideally we would like to build a covered patio area and make it look like part of the original house. We would remove everything except a couple of selected plants after tearing down the existing deck, and put one step down onto this covered patio. Make a small grass area by the gate (for our Brussels Griffon) and use some type of paver on the remaining area. We are desperate to make this this unusual area to look stunning. In it's present state we can not use it. It gets afternoon sun on that side and we need something to keep the weather from beating against the patio door. Any suggestions on how to get rid of the Ivy that has invaded the gate area? We do not want to keep the trees. They do not provide any real shade and are not in our plans to improve our small, tiny, narrow backyard.

q backyard is 6 x 35 how can we make it look stunning

This on the right side of the back yard off the deck.

q backyard is 6 x 35 how can we make it look stunning

Left side off the deck. Can you beleive it, a tree growing out of a bucket!? The former owners did this. The pavers are sinking down in between each other and the ground is unsafe to walk on.

q backyard is 6 x 35 how can we make it look stunning

This is a big part of our problem. We would like to remove it but it is our weather protector from afternoon sun and high windy rain.

q backyard is 6 x 35 how can we make it look stunning

We are this close to our neighbor. No privacy at all.

q backyard is 6 x 35 how can we make it look stunning

We look at this ugly thing every time we open the patio doors.

q backyard is 6 x 35 how can we make it look stunning

This is the existing deck. It is about 7' long and 5' wide. Help!

  10 answers
  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Aug 05, 2018

    Hi Chris, I'd put the rocks at the edges of this space. Buy some stone to put around the tree, white preferably. Fix the garden hose so it looks neat. I can't tell what that is growing on the fence, but I'd remove it.

  • Katie Katie on Aug 05, 2018

    What is the climate where you live?

    • Chris Chris on Sep 30, 2018

      Rainy about 6 months a year. Avg. temp about 68°. I live in Oregon.

  • How about clearing out and start over from scratch. First I wold tackle the deck project with the cover as that is what is needed first. Then relevel the yard and plant grass where you want it and add a pretty border to keep it contained. Then add your stepping stone paver path and lastly add plants that will flourish in the space.

    Tell us where you want to start and we can provide sites with step by step instructions.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sounds good! Now is the time to do it before it gets too cold. Just know that replacing the fibreglass roof will make the area a bit darker. Consider replacing with new, just be diligent in the future to hose it off regularly to keep it debris free.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Aug 05, 2018


    This area is small enough that you should be able to get it into shape and keep it beautiful with little money and future upkeep. My front porch is 5'x 24' and it is stunning! Use some color!!!

    The first thing I would do is take everything out of here. Take down the tree and move the rocks to the end opposite the gate to be used later.

    The secret is to keep it simple...A nice size patio outside the door which is large enough to have company and a grill.

    Here is a site for custom free standing patio covers. This may be a bit more costly than a large umbrella, etc. or awning, but it would be more substantial. They even have contractors.

    This might be a bit more costly, but would cause a lot less upkeep and would last longer.

    After building a nice size patio and cover, leave space for the pup to have and then the other side for a grill which could set under the cover and be rolled out for use. A decorative fence could be put up to keep the pup out of the area.

    Put out landscaping fabric, cover with mulch, stack up the rocks for effect and set out some pretty nice big pots full of flowers. The Resin large pots are not that expensive and are easier to handle.

  • Rose/Miros Rose/Miros on Aug 05, 2018

    First, rake up all those cedar chips! Then power wash (special nozzle for the hose you already have) the moss off the fence. Personally, I'd get rid of the tree, shrub and rocks, since they're probably contributing to the moss problem. At least rearrange the rocks so they're flat. Your "contractor" for this part might be a teenager who needs money bad enough to work for it. I think you'd need a pro if you want to take up the concrete, but you might get away with a one day job if it's ready for them.

    Once you've got the mess cleaned up, you can figure out what you want. I think I'd put in annual plants that don't need mowing or low herbs on areas that aren't concrete, maybe one row of bricks/small rocks around dirt areas, a retractable holder for the hose.

    Honestly, I keep seeing a raked sand "painting" on that whole end. I have no idea how much maintenance they need tho.

    • Chris Chris on Aug 05, 2018

      There is no concrete out there to remove so that is one less job to do.Sorry but the rocks are more like bolders and have many different angles on them. I guess I didn't get a close enough picture of them. Yes the mold is another issue. But you are correct. The hose and nozzel should take care of that. Thanks for your suggestions.

  • Helen Helen on Sep 06, 2018

    Remove everything in the yard. Including the deck. Power wash awning above deck. Add canvas fabric attached to awning for privacy and romance. Either redo deck or bring in white stone for pathways in yard to give interest and dimension....less expensive... Have someone paint a mural on concrete wall facing your yard and finally add Perennials, fire pit and find inexpensive furniture and spray paint with bright colors. This should liven your yard up and brighten your day....! 🙋‍♀️

    • Chris Chris on Sep 30, 2018

      I have a patio set (2 chairs, 1 table) that we will spray bright colors. The tree is planted in a raised area and it will take two men and a boy to get it out of there! Lots of prep work too. But thanks for the ideas.

  • Lindas Boudrie Lindas Boudrie on Sep 06, 2018

    Get rid of your existing "deck" . Replace it with wide stairs and make your "yard" your deck! Potted annuals for color!!!

    • Chris Chris on Sep 30, 2018

      Perennials in pots. Less work. Yes I want to remove the deck entirely. Maybe put pavers of some kind where we do not have grass for the dog. How do we get rid of the ivy? Would get a free standing umbrella for shade, right?

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Sep 30, 2018

    Aldies has great umbrellas for a reasonable price. We got one of the offer ones, it is large and adjustable for angle, height, etc. You should be able to take down the tree by yourselves. Dig up the roots as far as you can and cut them off well under the soil level. Or you could leave it somewhat and make it into a pot stand, or level the branches and put something on it to hold plants. Find an older strong teenager to help move the rocks, perhaps around the back edges of the fence and put plants between them. Cut down the ivy right to the ground. Keep doing that until it no longer comes back, depriving it of light should make it die from no photosynthesis. Drowning it with vinegar wouldn't hurt either. Just don't get the vinegar on anything you want to keep, it will kill anything it touches.

  • OceeB OceeB on Sep 30, 2018
    • How about replacing the fiberglass roofing with a lattice type covering.
    • Take the stones and stack them and create a water feature by adding a solar water fountain with recyclable water to run through it.
    • Add some green plants that winterize well to keep some color going.
    • Take your old paver stones and add mosaic features to the top to add splash of color to them. Habitat Restore will have tile lots of times that you could use.

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Sep 30, 2018

    Here’s some photos from Pintrest that might give you visual help. Especially privacy! Most are DIY, but then there is that gazebo.