DIY yard makeover: front to back

A Bay Area couple learn the joys of sweat equity as they landscape the home of their dreams

DIY Yard Makeover: The front yard

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

The front yard

Traversed by a concrete stairway—that sleekhandrail is ipe wood—the yard is now home to veggie beds, water-wise plants, and “endlessmulch”—all of it built, planted, or spread by Lisa Wong Jackson and Nick Jackson.

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Front Yard Before

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Front  yard before

The house had no proper entryway— just three wooden steps—and almost no plants at all.

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Leave it to the pros

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Leave it to the pros

Though they did the landscaping themselves, Lisa and Nick knew they needed pros to pour the stairs.

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Edibles on show

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Edibles on show

Following plans from sunset.com/raised-bed, Nick built the frames with wood salvaged from old decking. The thriving vegetables, which Lisa started from seed on a windowsill, are the talk of the street. (The netting keeps the deer out.)

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Bringing the outside in

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Bringing the outside in

The house’s family and living rooms have glass walls to, respectively, the back and front yards. While decorating, Lisa and Nick emphasized natural materials and motifs.

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Nature-inspired art

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Nature-inspired art

In the dining room, a bouquet print (by Wayne Pate, $55; waynepate.com) sits on a top shelf; Log Bowls (by Loyal Loot Collective, from $68 each; loyalloot.com) and breadboards (from Lola, from $12 each; lolahome.com) adorn the table; Nick sits in a Green Leaf chair ($407; arper.com).

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Organic forms

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Organic forms

The period-looking biomorphic lamp in the family room actually came from West Elm.

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Back yard before

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Back yard before

The yard was plagued with weeds, invasive bamboo, and a not-so-retaining wall that was rotting away.

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Help with heavy concrete

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Help with heavy concrete

After spending their weekends excavating and moving five truck -loads of dirt out of the yard—and with rains threatening—the Jacksons realized they needed help with the concrete work in the backyard too. “One day Nick emailed me at work saying, ‘Forget it. Let’s hire back the professionals,’” recalls Lisa. “It was the best decision ever.”

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Backyard after

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Backyard after

The re-landscaped backyard now contains a patio for entertaining, a potting area, a raised bed for vegetables and herbs, a patch of Eco-Lawn, loads of native and low-water plants, and the house’s old mailbox (now a bird feeder).

DIY Yard Makeover: Front to Back: Maintaining the dream

Photo by Thomas J. Story, styling by Emma Star Jensen

Maintaining the dream

Having replaced the retaining walls, built the beds, and done the planting themselves motivates the Jacksons to keep it all looking good. “And if we hadn’t done it ourselves, we wouldn’t know how to take care of it,” says Nick.

Once a week, Nick hand-waters everything, using what’s stored in their four rain barrels (and sometimes Lucas’s bathwater).

They’ve learned through trial and error what they’ll plant again—and what issues they still face. “The kangaroo paws didn’t last, the wallflowers really thrived, and the gophers have been a problem,” says Lisa.

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/home/before-after/do-it-yourself-yard-makeover-00418000070027/