Working on the area around the deck this summer and looking for advice on:
1) If you squint, you can see that the legs of the deck are on concrete blocks which stick up and out. Very noticeable. We considered bringing dirt in to cover them but where told there wouldn't be any guarantees it wouldn't wash away?!? And that we would need a lot of it - too expensive, according to my dad, for something not guaranteed to work. There is a slop to the yard, water does run away from the deck, so i guess it's possible.... Any suggestions on how to cover those blocks, and maybe the corner legs?
2) What are opinions on small ponds? I've always wanted one, and IMO a small one would look nice in front of the hose. I'm thinking something small, maybe one of the cheap/simple forms sold at Lowes? Would it be okay in that area? Any negatives to this?
3) Dog safe perennials and shrubs. I have two as you can see in the photo, and two more i need to plan on the other side by the deck stairs) assured that they where all pet safe, but need to fill in a bunch of space (as you can see). Want something that withstands winter (shrubs) or that i don't have to keep planting (perennials). I like oranges, reds, and yellows as far as color but am open to any suggestions.
4) We are considering stone to cover the ground where the grass is cut away. Any suggestions? Are there different kinds of stone? Any drawbacks to it? Versus mulch? Again - which would be better with DOGS? Would piling the stone around the legs be plausible (see question 1)?
5) Don't know if this is the right spot for it, but stain for the deck. We stained it last summer and whatever we used didn't hold. The top of the deck is faded and scuffed and looks like it's aged ten plus years. The railing isn't as bad. I need suggestions on what to use to make the deck look nice, will hold up, etc that i will also use on the lattice underneath it.
We get the fence fixed this summer too, would like to be able to stain/paint it the same color (or close to) as the deck. Which brings me to another question i have about the yard itself. Not something we're going to "worry" about this summer but I'm curious what people on here think.
Other than the weeds outnumbering actual grass, which we can take care of ourselves easily enough, there are dips and holes and divots and bare patches (where trees and a shed used to be) that make the entire backyard difficult to maintain. Mowing the grass is particularly difficult and can be dangerous, every other step you have to be careful not to twist an ankle. Any ideas on how to fix that? We think (I think) that the numerous divots and such where caused by the previous home owner allowing the apples from the apple tree (long since removed by us btw) to fall and rot.
We had a landscaper out but he was more focused on the front yard (curb appeal) than back, and he didn't have many suggestions when asked other than tearing the whole yard up and starting over. Is that about the gist of it? We don't know how else to get rid of the divots..... and i would like to be able to mow my lawn without having to worry I'm going to twist an ankle.