In October 2002, I received the keys to a little bungalow in downtown Sacramento. That moment was pure magic. The gardens were a bit wild, and so,  the little piece of land quickly earned its name, Wildlands. When I first saw the backyard with its 100-year-old fig tree and art studio, I fell in love.

wild backyard
September 2004

For the first three years, I struggled with its layout and did my best to maintain some sort of control over the wildness. For the last two years, I’ve worked incredibly hard to landscape the backyard. As such, here’s a photo comparison between then and now…

March 2006

Nearly every component of the backyard that was present in 2004 is gone with the exception of that lovely fig tree. Many, many sore muscles, cuts, bruises, and curses, this is what it looks like as of today…

fig, path, stairs, redwoods on deck
July 2012

This summer has been very productive. Neal and I have been working on the stairs since early June. I potted the large redwood trees on the back deck, re-laid the pavers that provide the path behind the fig tree, installed an in-ground doggie poo composter, and planted several native and drought tolerants under the fig and along the fence by the plank table.

partial  backyard and studio
From backdoor 2004
Studio 2008.5.2
May 2008
from back door
July 2012

The yard is still a bit disorganized due to staging materials, etc., but pretty soon it will be a bit more functional. With the stairs reconfigured, I’m most excited about the gained space at a critical part of the yard. The area between the stairs and the plank table has doulbed in size, easing the foot traffic pinch point. I need to fill in pavers and sandstone where those solar lights are hanging, re-install some outdoor lights that had to be moved (where in the way of the stairs, and figure out what sort of railing I want for the stairs. As always, the projects continue…

Friday 6.1.12
June 2012, deck and studio stairs
90% done
July 2012
facing fig 2005.3.13
Post-yard clean out March 2005 with new lattice and more importantly, a very young Siddy boy.

I know what you’re thinking…. the lattice looks great. And it did. For a few years, then it just looked ratty. The area behind the doors was spider-infested and not really as functional as I wanted it to be. As such, opening up the potting shed happened two years ago. The studio deck simply was too large and with two hard rights to get into the studio, getting larger items up there was quite difficult.

Lights work!
July 2012
Hey, I forgot we had new stairs.
Siddhartha, my grey beard, July 2012