Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fixing The Back Yard Of A Historical House

The other day I showed you
the front of the 
 a wonderful old house we bought
in the historical district
in Astor Park, Green Bay, WI
several years ago (here).
The big old houses were built
close together with long ,deep yards.
The house to the left of 
the one we bought
was an eyesore as far as
the yard was concerned.
The fix?
A fence!
What's the old saying?......
Good fences screen ugly things
make good neighbors.
Here is one of the 
highlights when we were done.
When we moved in 
this is what I saw looking out our
breakfast nook window.
Now how cute is THAT? NOT!!!!
Look what a difference a fence makes.
This is from the back looking towards 
the back of the house.
This was before any landscaping was done.
We divided the back yard into
two "rooms"...and put a picket fence
across the back yard to divide it.
First we had to dig up the yard to 
trench utilities out to the back.
I stuck an arbor there so they
would know where I wanted
to place the fence across
The fence went up to make the division.
The problem was that the neighbor's 
old garage was built on the property line.
It looked like what you see above.
The neighbor allowed me to paint it
and hang a door and two windows on it.
I painted the back of the windows black
so that they looked like the real deal.
They are basically "decorations" 
hung on the side of the garage.
I eventually painted the shutters
white-sadly, no pictures of that.

Want to see what is behind the gate now?
Come on in!
Hard to believe it's the same place, isn't it?
New Dawn roses eventually grew up the 
arbors and scrambled right up over
the side of the garage.
sigh- Have I told you I really loved this place?
I did-oh yes-I did!
If I run away from home you might want
to look for me under the arbor
in my old 'secret garden'!
Shhhh-don't tell MyHero where I am
he might show up and want me to cook!
your photo name


Kirby Dunton Carespodi said...

ooo....this is beautiful! Our historic house has a yard full of ivy that the former owners planted so they didn't have to do upkeep. Now that our dog is gone (he was a digger), I can finally get to work!

bj said...

Omygoodness...what transformations took place here. It must have been a lot of work...but sooo fun. You are a genius in regards to decorating that olden garage. It turned out so cute.
Now, I'm ready to see the house and grounds where you live NOW. :)))
xo bj

Jennifer O'Brien said...

Hi Diana! This yard is incredible! I am blown away. I would run away & hide there myself:). My backyard needs BIG help, thank you for the inspiration! Have a great weeekend, Jen

DearHelenHartman said...

That is brilliant. It looks like the perfect place to spend a summer day.

FabShabbyRoses said...

Oh this is beautiful! And how creative of you to put the neighbors ugly garage to use to your benefit. Instead of complaining you fixed it! Awesome! I love it! You are amazing! This looks like such a peaceful relaxing place to rest!

Musings from Kim K. said...

Unbelievable transformation. Just amazing.

Linda said...

All I can say is, "WoW" Diana! Beautiful transformation.
Linda at Beautiful Ideas

Susie said...

Diana, All things need TLC. You worked wonders at that yard. I miss my house in town. I never dreamed I would. Many times, I wish I had stayed there. I want to move back to town in the next two years. Enjoy your weekend with all the kids. xoxo,Susie

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That fence certainly made a difference to your yard, Diana! Especially when you were fixing yours up all pretty and then having your eye go to that chain link fence and beyond.

Nellie said...

What an amazing transformation, Diana! I'd love an arbor here. Perhaps that can be this season's project.:-) My husband can hardly wait to get to the vegetable garden, but the ground is too wet to turn. This would be something to keep him busy while he waits for it to dry some.:-) xo Nellie

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

What a beautiful beautiful yard and garden, Diana! I love what you've done! Hanging the windows and door on the garage made it so much more charming, and the fence and arbor are just lovely!!! Now you have me dreaming about my woeful yard…..

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Oh Diana, that yard was so charming! I don't know how you left it behind!

Penny @ Penny's Vintage Home said...

That fence made all the difference in the world! Your back yard is just gorgeous Diana, thank you for sharing it with us...hugs, Penny

Mindy said...

Wow, so pretty!
When I bought this house, the backyard was also lacking privacy fencing. Staring at your neighbor's junk every time you walk out is not the most relaxing thing in the world. And therein lies the story of how I met The Dad. The "Fence Guy." :o)
You did an awesome job prettying up every corner. And that house - even the back - is just stunning. I'd be sneakin' off to hang out there when no one was looking, too. :o)

Shelia said...

Oh, Diana, I love it! What a pretty fence too with the scallops! I love that you were able to transform the building of your neighbors to look like a little guest house. Your plants looked so pretty too. You're amazing, Dear One. Have a great weekend and be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Donna said...

Wow, what an amazing transformation, Diana! And what vision you had! You took a really neglected and boring yard and turned it into an oasis! I love the arbor, your fountain, and fence. What you did to that ugly shed is nothing short of brilliant!!! I would miss it too!

Lisa Mangold said...

I can't believe you still have all of those photos to tell this story now! The garden & park-like atmosphere that I developed at our last home is something I really miss. Still hoping the house does not come back to us. . .


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Wow, your garden is stunning and such a huge transformation. Amazing and beautiful. Hugs, Marty

Nancy @ The Headmistress said...

What a fabulous transformation. I am in love with what you did with the garage...BEAUTIFUL!

Blondie's Journal said...

This was a great solution to your problem...the fence was beautiful and functional! And your garden...gorgeous!

Happy Saturday, Diana!


Kelly said...

That is the most charming little garden in front of that garage! I would love to have something like that in my backyard. You really made the best of a bad situation. You completely transformed your backyard and by the garage being on your property, I think it enhanced your garden area once you fixed up your side of the garage! You have a great eye to be able to do that and think outside the box. It looks like something you would see in a country gardens magazine.

Annmarie Pipa said...

oh my gosh!! remarkable!! send it to a magazine and get some $ for your ideas!!!!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

This is such a beautiful home and gardens and it would have been hard for me to leave all of that! I've always wanted a big house much like this one, but I suppose (oh heck, I know!) I'm getting too old to take care of it. That was a fabulous idea for the garage, too. You are so creative!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Lucille said...

Dear, dear Diana! I cannot get over the transformation and especially what you did to the garage! Just amazing! You have inspired me with my balcony. Now what can a procrastinator do with a balcony. Duhhhh! Maybe I'll be finished before the leaves that have not yet come out start to fall! Grinnnnnning! But then on second thought, I did manage to build a fairy garden last year and that was because of you. You introduced me to fairy gardens when you did one for your girls. Imagine, I had never heard of them. I'm ashamed of that, you know. At my age!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Diana, I love that house! To bad you had to move. You really did a wonderful job on the back yard. I love my back yard also. Always puttering around back there with my roses.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

What a beautiful garden!! love that arbor!! You are a woman after my own heart!!


Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

So pretty Diana, I can see why you miss it! Amazing yard, full of charm!

Ruth Kelly said...

What you did to that garage was just magical and the garden too.

Beth said...

The difference in that old garage is amazing.

Sherry at The Rusty Pearl said...

SISTER SUE !!! I love that house. I SUPER love it and that fence and I may just come rent a spare room from you I love it so much LOL .. JUST fabulous !!!!!!!! and yes ..don't you JUST want a bowl of cherrios or something for dinner sometimes.. HIDE RUN AND HIDE so they wont make you cook .. HUGS have a blessed week

Jill said...

Love this post so much!! It looks beautiful and one of my dreams is to restore an old Victorian home...someday ;-) Have a wonderful day.


Junkchiccottage said...

Oh my Diana the transformation is beautiful. What a lovely sanctuary you have made in the yard. I am so coming up there this summer to hang out!!!!

Anonymous said...

wow, such a big job but so well worth it!

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

what a great improvement! ...and I love the "trick" you used with the door and windows

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

It was so so beautiful Diana! So fun that you were allowed to paint the side of the barn and hang the stuff on it - that made the barn a very fun addition to your 'secret garden' in my opinion!

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME/Doublewide Decor said...

I would love it too! It is beautiful and I love the old garden wheel barrow.

pink*cherub*moon said...

I love the way this all came together! The fence and improvements on that garage make for a cozy, inviting and beautiful outdoor space! Hugs, Leena

Missy George said...

Looks wonderful..Big improvement..A warm and inviting space...Did I see this before :) ???

SavannahGranny said...

That neighbor should have been kissing your feet! Well, he needn't go that far.
I love your secret garden. I am still thinking your ARE going back.
xo Ginger

20 North Ora said...

Diana - Would you come do my back yard? I'll pay room and board!LOL
That back yard is just beautiful. Love the fence and your arbor! So pretty. Thanks so much for sharing. I really wouldn't blame you for returning there.


Celestina Marie said...

Diana this is outstanding. What a transformation. I could live in this gorgeous yard. I remember seeing this post with the redo of the side of the garage. Is this the same home? You are so right about fences too. LoL
Happy weekend with the grands.
Hugs, CM

living from glory to glory said...

Hi Diana, I just pray whoever has that home now loves it as much as you do! I have always enjoyed seeing transformations done on homes. Your post on your friend has touched my heart I am praying for her now. May you have a restful and sweet Sunday!
I love being a part of your blog family :)
Blessings, Roxy

Pamela said...

How fun to see your before/after pictures. What a difference a fence can make!

Debbie @ MeandMyDIY said...

Wow Diana! What a difference! That was absolutely brilliant to add those windows to the neighbor's garage and paint them black. They really look like the real deal. I'll have to remember that one!


Dewena Callis said...

Diana, you are amazing! What a transformation and you made a silk purse out of a sow's ear of the neighbor's garage--on your viewing side anyway. You would think it would have given them ideas to continue it all the way around. It must have been a lovely place to sit.

Red Rose Alley said...

You have done so much work on your home, and it has really paid off because it looks so charming. The fence and garden and the landscaping look very nice. I love viewing homes and front porches. It's one of my favoroite things to do.

Have a nice Sunday.

joanne said...

fantastic idea....I would never had known it was an old garage! Beautiful. You don't live there anymore??? You really are the crazy lady!

ImSoVintage said...

I love what you did, Diana and I am not sure how you ever left that house. I would have been dragged out kicking and screaming. xo Laura

Patty Patterson said...

WoW! I never realized what a difference a fence could make. The yard looks great.

Eclectically Vintage said...

You've got a great neighbor to let you decorate the garage! Looks great - and love rooms in a yard!

Pam said...

The fence was a HUGE improvement. I don't know if I could have ever let that house go, but having a lake in your backyard has to be fun too!

Laura said...

Diana, you are so clever putting the windows and door on the garage! and the garden looks picture perfect (in the after shots).. such a gorgeous home too!!