Our new, greatly enlarged back yard

Our contractor has been working hard for the past ten days or so, putting up a new privacy fence around our newly acquired property behind the house, knocking down and removing the old fence that separated it from our home, improving the drainage, and generally putting everything together.  (We’re using the same contractor that enclosed our porch to form an office for me before we moved in.)  I’ve felt very sorry for him and his men, working hard in 100-degree-plus heat, but they seem to have survived it OK, with the help of copious quantities of water and soft drinks.

Here’s how the back yard looked previously.  In this picture, the window nearest to the camera (with the air-conditioning unit) is my office.  For scale, the garden shed on the far side is about 7½ feet square.  (Click each image for a larger view.)

Here’s the view from the other side of the house, between the corner and the garden shed, looking back towards my office.

Here’s how the expanded yard looks.  It’s almost three times larger than it was.  The first two pictures are taken from the same positions as the two above, but the expanded yard is too big for my cellphone camera to show it all;  so the third picture is taken from a central point, to show the part that doesn’t fit into the previous shots.  You can see the strip of bare earth where the old fence used to stand.  (Most of the houses visible over the fence in the first image below are about 100 yards or more distant, on the far side of a street.  Only the one on the right, visible above the garden shed, adjoins ours.  We have open land to that side and far behind the house, making it feel more rural than suburbia from those perspectives, if you know what I mean.)

The last picture above shows, low center-left, the bare patch where the garden shed used to be.  We’ve moved it down to the bottom of the newly expanded yard.  It’s a home-built unit, knocked together (rather poorly) by the previous owner.  In due course, we’ll replace it with a larger, better-built shed, and perhaps also a writing hut for me on the other side of the yard.  Miss D. is also talking about a paved patio, with a fire-pit and pergola, and some raised beds for square foot gardening.  We’ll put everything on the agenda for further down the road, when we can afford the next round of upgrades.

I’m very glad we got the opportunity to buy the extra land, particularly at so good a price.  It’s transformed our back yard.  Once we’ve finished with it, it’ll enhance the whole property – and it’s probably already added three or four times more to our home’s overall value than everything we’ve paid to buy it and fence it in.  It was a very good deal.



  1. I'd be even more sympathetic with folks doing hot asphalt roofing – and most sympathetic to folks doing hot asphalt roofing in the Florida keys in August.

  2. With the extra room you might consider a few fruit bearing trees or even a berry patch.
    Seven years ago I had about 20 feet of ornamental holly bushes pulled out and replaced them with blueberries. Pretty bushes with small white flowers in the spring and now that they're mature I get a pint or so of berries every other day from early June through mid July. Raspberries or Blackberries might be another option. Your county extension agent should be able to tell you what is native or compatible with your area.

  3. Awesome work Peter. Like you said, that one added a whole bunch more than it cost to the value of your place. Looks great. I love the idea about a blueberry patch, cuz I like fruit and food growing in my yard. Well done.


  4. Wow, it is night and day. Really opened things up there – nice ! You could shoot air rifles in that space with no problem.

    I'm sure Ashbutt has already been looking outside with approval.

  5. I hate to ask on a comment but when is book 5 in the Maxwell saga coming out. I read hard copy's not a digital reader. I have read all your books looking forward to number 5. Thanks

  6. @Anonymous at 5:22 PM: It should be soon, within a month or two, God and Castalia House willing. They're republishing the paperback editions of all my Maxwell books, so I'm dependent on when they can get their ducks in a row. They're working on it, I know. Thanks for your patience.

  7. Great addition! Soon to become Gentleman Farmer. You can never have too much land. Enjoy!
    ~ ron carter

  8. excellent! ever heard of Farm Daddies? Irrigated tubs that cause veggies to grow like crazy! my sister uses them in greenhouse in CO.

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