Help!! What Do You Love About Your Backyard!? - Studio DIY
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Help!! What Do You Love About Your Backyard!?


The Home Depot Garden to Grill Event

As many of you know, we have a BIG backyard renovation to do. It’s actually largely unusable right now, with a pretty disgusting giant unusable hot tub, a kind-of-falling-apart pergola and a few dead trees. And as we approach Arlo *hopefully* starting to walk, we gotta give this kid some space to MOVE!

So lucky for me, The Home Depot and Popsugar invited me to their Garden to Grill event last week where they had seminars on gardening and lawn work, fencing and decking and grilling. Uh… yes, yes and yes!? I came away with some great ideas and inspo so I figured I’d share them with you and then beg for your help/opinions!! Haha! Please!! We are just starting the process of chatting with designers and contractors and tree removers and it is overwhelming. Ready!? GO!

The Home Depot Garden to Grill Event

Decking + Fencing

The first thing we chatted about at the event was decking and fencing. The DIY segment (I’ll talk about that in a bit!) was held on a deck they constructed with Veranda Decking material. It was nice to see it in action as we’re currently looking at options for replacing our crumbling patio/pergola situation. The material is environmentally friendly, made with premium recycled wood and polymers and it’s mold and mildew resistant. BAM! Do you all have a deck or patio? Is it covered? Do you use it often??

Fencing-wise… guys I hate our fence. It’s ugly and bleh and I want it to go away! They also built a fence as a part of the stage with Alta Fencing and it looked like it’d be such a nice upgrade form what we have now! It resists warping and it’s pre-stained and treated to protect against termites, rot and decay. You gotta help me convince Jeff now! Our next debate will be… leave it stained or paint it?? Thoughts!?

We actually got to use another material, Mendocino Fencing, which is made of solid redwood, to make these mini herb gardens with Erica of P.S. I Made This!!! Yes, if you’re all thinking “aren’t you afraid of splinters?” you are correct. But look! I MADE THAT! I faced my fears. Still probably won’t be the one installing our fence though, gonna leave that to the pros! 😉

The Home Depot Garden to Grill Event

Gardening + Live Goods

I’m affectionately known as “The Girl Who Kills Air Plants” by my friends, so I could use even more help here. YOWZA! We’ve actually chatted with a landscape designer who’s been immensely helpful. We’re hoping to fill our yard with some lush, but easy-to-care for plants. In addition, I’m now wondering if we should consider a small herb garden? I had no idea there were herbs like chocolate mint (EHM! What!) and was thinking how fun it would be to involve Arlo! Do you have an herb garden? Do you LOVE it?? Convince me!

The Home Depot Garden to Grill EventThe Home Depot Garden to Grill Event


I have no photos of this portion because I was too busy eating what the guys behind John & Vinny’s were making so… oops! 😉 But one of our biggest goals with our backyard is to extend our living space since our dining room is so tiny. That means, outdoor kitchen!!! And we’re hoping to go BIG! Have any of you built one? Do you love it? What do you use the most?

In addition to an awesome grill, we are thinking of doing a pizza oven for Friday pizza night since LA pizza is a sad state! Gotta make our own! And if we have an herb garden we can pop some fresh basil right on there. You guys… GARDEN TO GRILL! You with me here!? I swear they threw this event for me exclusively. Haha!

The Home Depot Garden to Grill EventThe Home Depot Garden to Grill Event

Ok, I’ve asked you so many questions but above anything, I’d just love to know what you LOVE about your backyard?? What do you use most?? What’s the best decision you’ve made?? I feel like I have a great handle on the interior of our house but the exterior feels like a whole new world. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!! And once I gather them and make a real plan, don’t worry, I’ll be sharing that too!

Thank you so much to The Home Depot and Popsugar for having me! The day really got my wheels turning!!

This post was created in partnership with The Home Depot. All content and opinions are that of my own! Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep the Studio DIY party going! Read more about my editorial policies here.






  • Jessica S. Irvin

    We have a vintage glider (it was actually my great-grandmother’s!) that my husband and I stripped, repainted, and bought new cushions for. We LOVE sitting on that glider while we working and eating dinner on the patio!

    As far as herbs go, I can’t keep them alive. But I’ve had better luck in my vegetable garden with more hardy plants like tomatoes, watermelon, onions, bell pepper, etc.

    • Kelly

      WOW! That’s so amazing to have that from your great grandma!

      Noted on the veggie success! It would be so fun to have a vegetable garden!!

  • Casey

    Beware Chocolate Mint!! At my family’s old house we tried to plant a little near a pond in our backyard…and it went on to cover feet of ground and spread to the entire pond before we eventually moved (I’m sure it’s still there!). It smelled amazing but there was no room for any other fun plants when it was on the move 😂

  • Kate Swarthout

    One of the biggest things we love about our outdoor space is having both a dining area and a lounge area! The biggest investment we had in our outdoor space is our patio lounge furniture, but it is so worth it. Side note: invest in shade as well! Either a big umbrella or something! A fan is a plus. You need to feel comfortable, or you won’t use it!

    At our old house I planted a huge veggie garden, and well it all died and the next year I just had a huge dirt pile. I learned for me that I love cute pots that I can plant a couple of fun veggies or herbs in. Then if they do die… well the whole thing could be dumped out and you don’t have a dirt pile!

    Also, we have a deck that we used metal wires to create the slats so that you can see more of the outdoors!

    • Kelly

      Oooh a FAN! Never thought about that but that is so so smart. It gets SO hot here in the summer/fall.

  • Beth

    I have a quarter acre and I love gardening! We have: a wood deck (stained, not painted for the best water absorption), a patio slab with modern wood-stained pergola, a BBQ with two concrete slab counters on each side (also under these counters are hidden propane tanks), tropical plants under the pergola, native plants along the sides of the backyard (I love apricot and yellow mallow plants and “egg yolk” Matilija Poppies, mexican primrose (it spreads), golden California poppies). I also have a giant rose garden of 25 hybrid tea, David Austin, and shrub rose bushes that do well in my climate. I have fruit trees: kumquat (taste gross, but pretty tree), two peach trees, one mexican lime tree, one dwarf patio apple tree (honeycrisp), and a small veggie garden (the best things that grow: 12 different tomato plant varieties, onions, and chard). I also have a giant jacaranda in the back center of my yard, a few palm trees (I hate these because the roots spread and are so hard to plant anything near them), and I have giant flax and tons of succulents (easiest to grow because they don’t need fertilizer or attention). I should also mention that I’m part of the San Diego Rose Society, and I get all the monthly emails and tips on gardening which has definitely given me the green thumb! I was never into gardening before last year, and now I am loving it as a stress reliever!

  • Rachel Young

    I garden as much as possible in Brooklyn, and use just about all of my free time daydreaming about what my *next* true backyard will look like. Unfortunately, the green thumb I’ve inherited from my dad (and Pop!) isn’t put to great use in a city sans yard, but I’ve come across some adaptations that would probably work well for someone without a green thumb! So for gardening and green outdoor life, here’s some ideas!

    – pick a central place, maybe around a tree, to focus on some perennial florals. They’ll come around on their own each year, kind of marking their own tradition & season, and it’s easy to landscape around! Growing up, we had daffodils lilies (which have their own DIY moments when the stalks harden into a bamboo-like stick), and a small pond for tadpoles installed by Home Depot.
    – chose a mix of flowers and hardy veg’s. I suggest this because…you’ll learn what output means the most to you! Maybe you find that focussing on hydrangeas and ranunculus to make glorious bouquets drives you, or maybe the satisfaction of home grown tomatoes and basil is invigorating. Either way, you’ll learn what makes you want to take time and invest in your yard!
    – Planters! If you’re not ready to commit to a ‘garden’ section, or if you want to test run some plant options, pick up some terra cotta pots, potting mix, and definitely some paint (c’mon decorate, live loud!!) so that you can see what works for you and where it grows best. This also controls the growth of certain herbs (mints, rosemary) that will take over your entire yard before you bat an eye.
    – re: fences…growing up, we had a custom designed farm-style wooden fence with posts and 3 slotted bars between posts. There was coated chicken wire as an enclosure (was had dogs) and I have to say that I LOVE this fence; it really helped the yard feel open, we got to know our neighbors, and were still able to landscape right up against it. I haven’t seen too many like it, but just have to recommend because it made our normal size yard feel much bigger.
    -last, overall, growing up my yard felt so magical because there were little pockets of different ‘rooms’. An area with a fish pond, a flower garden, two nearby trees supporting a hammock (also, a tent depending on how you use it!), a small shed, temporarily a chicken coop, etc. It was all sort of haphazardly designed but felt like a museum of greenery to explore – I can’t wait to recreate that for my own family. Hope some of this helps you out!

  • Kelly

    These are such good tips!! I especially love love the idea of outdoor planters so we don’t have to commit to a garden just yet and I love what you said about all the different “rooms”! That is totally what we are going for and I’m so glad to hear you loved that!

  • Christine

    We have a paver patio with a comfy couch and hammock underneath a pergola covered with passionfruit vines. Having a nice shaded place to hang out while watching our girls play in the backyard is so nice. Also we get more passionfruit than we can eat from just one plant.

  • Erin

    You must get a screened porch! It’s my favorite room in the house!

  • Sophia Dunkin-Hubby

    Some of the best memories from my childhood involved gardening with my mom. We would go to the nursery together, but plants (both flowers and vegetables) and come home and plant them together. As I got older she let me pick things I was curious about, even if we didn’t really have the right amount of sun to grow a lot of them (like strawberries). The other thing I loved about our backyard was having nooks and crannies to hide in and explore. I spent hours gathering gravel, or picking different leaves and pretending I was making medicines, or playing house. We had a big cement area surrounded by big trees and bushes. A swing set and playhouse came and went as my sister and I got older. But there was always space for imagination.

  • Michelle

    I wish I had a backyard to decorate! I do in fact have a small garden that can be used by all tenants, and since May I have to beehives there. So I guess that’s what I love most about my backyard 😀

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