When we moved in to our house eleven years ago, the backyard was nothing but a pool surrounded by patches of dirt and a few weeds. It stayed that way for about five years. Until one day when hubby got the notion to make it into something special.
First he landscaped the area around the pool, digging out the massive overgrowth of mother-in-law tongues. Then he started buying plaster benches from a local woman as we could afford them. Bit by bit, he added ornamentals and shrubs, raised beds for seasonal vegetables came next. Then he tried his hand at building arches out of recovered lumber.
When we'd have people over, they started marveling at his work. Since it came together so slowly, I didn't realize how incredible it was until one day I stepped back and took it all in. He'd made a fire circle surrounded by benches and reclaimed fence panels around the edges that created an intimacy. We'd hung colored wine bottles from the trees (something I saw in a movie) which gave the whole yard a magical feel. We... rather than tell you how awesome it is, I'll show you with pictures. It's something for which I am grateful every day.