Outside Tour of the Pretty Little Portico

The yard, the yard. We had big dreams for the exterior of the Pretty Little Portico since we first laid eyes on it just over a year ago. But, it has taken a full year to make significant progress on it. And there is still more to do. But, before I share all we have done in the yard over the last year, I wanted to share where we started and give you an outside tour of our house so you can get a lay of the land and see what we were dealing with.

One of our main priorities when looking for a house was great outdoor space. This house fit the bill completely! Screened-in front porch, good-sized front yard, expansive backyard all on a fairly private lot. We were elated to find such a cute house on such a great lot! So, here is the yard we saw when we first visited the Pretty Little Portico:

Rachel Winchester outside tour pretty little portico

The yard itself was in great shape in that it had grass and is mostly flat. It dips a little to the right of this picture where there is also a large bush. But up close to the house were shrubs. Shrubs on shrubs.

I don’t have a picture of it, but to the right of the house is a large bed with a pecan tree and all sorts of bushes. It is the more organic side of the house that we loved from the start! And a path goes through there to the back of the house.

Then, here is the back as it was at first:

Rachel Winchester outside tour pretty little portico

Again, lots of shrubs up close to the house and not much variety. Also, the siding is a bit dingy though this was a particularly overcast day to start with.

You can also see that on the left side of this last picture there are some tree branches. There was a huge, beautiful, and half-dead oak tree in the backyard when we bought it. (If you go back to the first picture of the front of the house, you can see the tree stretching above the house half dead and huge.) Unfortunately, we had to have it cut down immediately for fear that the first gust of wind would take it down on the house!

And, here is the rest of the backyard if you look away from the house. It is huge! When we recently bought mulch to spread in our flower beds, Jesse told me that the square footage to cover our flower beds adds up to just about the same square footage as our house. So, we have as much indoor space as we do flower beds! And then a bunch of yard to boot!

Rachel Winchester outside tour pretty little portico

You can see the fence was not in great shape, so we removed some of it to open up the backyard a little bit. But, we didn’t take the whole thing down because it has jasmine on it and is so beautiful year round, but especially in spring.

We also had to deal with the driveway when we first bought the house. We had an encroachment issue to work through which meant we had to have the driveway leveled and moved over a smidge to make sure it was completely on our property and not our neighbor’s.

Rachel Winchester outside tour pretty little portico

You can see in this picture, the oak tree is gone from the back yard. Instead, there was a huge mulch pile! We used a bunch of it to mulch around the house one time. Otherwise, we waited for it to decompose and grass to start growing on it which is slowly happening.

Rachel Winchester outside tour pretty little portico

Rachel Winchester outside tour pretty little portico

And that brings us back to the back porch. The guys who graded our driveway took the liberty of bringing the driveway into the backyard more than it originally was. We often talk about wishing it continued a little further along the carport, but we weren’t at the house when they were working so we didn’t get a say. So, we make it work as it is.

So, there’s the outside tour where we began! I’ll be sharing our vision and then some of the work we’ve done in the next few posts. I am no landscape architect. But, in the process of having a home, I’ve found that I really enjoy getting outside and doing yard work. Not on crazy hot summer days! But, especially in the fall when the days are cooling off. Can’t wait to share the next part with you!

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