My Backyard Tour {Pea Gravel Patios, Flagstone & Secret Garden}

Onerror Blog - Backyard Design

If you are just catching up in blogland after summer vacation, here’s the scoop: our family is in the process of moving and trying to get our new life and son’s school started in a new home in Seattle! We are very excited to be here, but logistics are sometimes challenging in a move. You can catch up on the news of why we decided to moveour moving day and our house hunting adventure.

Later next week I’ll finally be sharing a little video of our new house! I can’t wait to show you where we’ll be hanging out (for the next few years!) and share the vision (and projects!) we have for each room. It’s going to be fun. :)

But first, I thought I would catch up on a project I promised to show you earlier this summer from our old house. Our backyard makeover! You might remember our backyard when we first moved in. It started out as a barren, boring new construction space. No landscaping. No trees. No plants. No planting areas. No patios or walkways.

Backyard Tour - Pea Gravel Patio - Onerror

Well, little by little, layer by layer, we added many of the things that were missing! While we didn’t complete the yard entirely and it wasn’t yet “perfect” (we still had plants we wanted to plant, and lots more rocks we wanted to bring in to finish lining the gravel patios and walkway, among other things we had planned), I’m excited that at least you can see the vision we had, and see how far it had come!

I snapped a few quick pics before we moved so you could see it!

Onerror Blog Backyard Tour

Our yard wasn’t even fully fenced when we moved in; there was just one neighboring fence along the back. When Jack came into our family, we fenced in the whole backyard for his safety and enjoyment.

The fence was really our initial starting point. A fenced in yard really helps to define borders and gives a good backdrop for plants and furnishings.

Onerror Backyard Design - Conversation Area

After the fence, our goal with our backyard was to divide the space up into different zones. At first the expanse of yard felt a bit overwhelming, even though it wasn’t a very big space. When you have nothing really to work with, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Onerror Pea Gravel Backyard

DIY Firepit

You can read more about creating backyard zones here, but the first big “zone” project we completed was the big pea gravel patio near the middle of the yard, designed as an area for a firepit and furniture. From there it became easier to create more defined areas, connected by pea gravel and flagstone pathways for my secret garden, vegetable and herb garden spaces, a dining table, and our BBQ grill.

You can see one of the progress reports on the pea gravel patio here, to see what it looked like in process!

Onerror - Backyard Tour with Pea Gravel

Backyard Tour - Onerror

We also had added some fun non-permanent decorative pieces like antique metal trellises, plant stands, pots, and of course furniture, which (most of them) we were able to bring to the new house. It was nice to feel like I didn’t have to leave everything behind!

Backyard Arbor - Onerror

It was really hard for us to leave our plants, though. We had planted fruit trees and so many pretty flowers and shrubs. My husband said it felt like he was leaving his babies, ha! It’s funny how attached you become to a garden. Fortunately there are lots of established plants in our new yard so we won’t be starting from scratch this time! You’ll see the new house yard soon.

Onerror DIY Firepit - Backyard Tour

Onerror Backyard - Pea Gravel Pathway

I so enjoyed creating this little “secret garden.” It smelled like heaven, I had planted quite a few scented plants. It was still getting established, but it really had blossomed in this last season. You can see my post about the garden earlier this season, here. I will miss it so much, but I know I can create new little gardens in our new home.

Onerror Backyard Corner - Adirondack

Onerror - Backyard

Onerror Backyard - Secret Garden

This was the view out our family room window. I was always delighted to see the garden from that angle. It felt so inviting! I enjoyed bringing my coffee out there in the mornings and just breathing in the fresh scent of the plants and flowers.

Roses in the Backyard - Onerror

Onerror Backyard Details

Onerror Secret Garden - Backyard with Adirondack Chair

Onerror - Backyard Hydrangeas

These hydrangea trees were getting so big, I bought them at Costco a couple of years ago when they were just tiny! It was fun to watch them grow and become established.

Adirondack Chair - Onerror Backyard Tour

Onerror Backyard Tour

I really loved my roses, they smelled divine and it was fun to have some cutting flowers for bouquets.

Onerror Backyard - Flagstone

I usually filled this cement table by the fire pit with overflowing plants and herbs. It was pretty empty by the time I took this photo as we were moving, but I wanted you to see the flagstone walkway we had on the border of our pea gravel patio. We really loved the natural, unmanicured yet still charming feel of a pea gravel and flagstone patio.

Onerror Flagstone Patio

My son laid this flagstone for us in the pea gravel. It was fun to have our family out there working on it with us!

Onerror blog - Backyard Tour

Outdoor Space - Onerror

We enjoyed a few evenings this summer huddled around our fire pit, making s’mores and memories! Now that this season is coming to a close, we are grateful for the time we had to spend in our pretty backyard.

And now, onward to new backyard adventures!

PS. You can see another area of our yard, our back deck makeover here!

Related Posts:

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How to Design a Backyard (4 Essential Zones)

Four Lovely Outdoor Rooms (Takeaway Tips)


Wow, the garden has really started to progress and mature. Beautiful! I know you hated to leave it, but it will be fun to start again with new dreams and ideas. Blessings at your new home!

I think I see a little (big?) Jack butt in one of the first pictures! Or is it a Lily? Good luck on your new endeavors. I wish we lived closer so I could dog sit for you during the moving chaos!

It looks so peaceful and your secret garden is very quaint. That was wise to make your garden somewhat portable. Look forward to seeing where your new adventure will begin.
All the best to you and your family Larysa,

Sincere Regards,

Larysa, the transformation of your yard in your old house was magical. So beautiful…I can feel your pain having to leave that special place you carved for yourselves, but I can also feel your excitement about beginning to plan your new special,outdoor space in your new home…I just know you will be loving where you will be abpnd will be blooming where you’ve been planted! God bless! ❤️

We, too, have moved into houses with no landscaping of any kind! I like to call that “a blank slate”! I’m in a gardening group, + some of the die-hards do take plants with them when they sell. The only plant of ours that I am going to miss is a very wonderful oak leaf hydrangea. You don’t often see them in garden centers, :-)

It’s such a friendly garden–just beckoning a couple of people to sit down together and enjoy the beauty and scents while chatting together. I enjoy your taste. Thank you for all the ideas.

Larysa, what I lovely garden! I imagine it’s very hard to leave it–but it’s fun to start a new garden, too. We did that a year ago, building on what was there and then tearing some nasty found cover out (the plant equivalent of swine). We made a lot of progress this summer, but there’s lots more to do. My favorite things that we planted are three green-flowering hydrangea bushes. I love hydrangeas, and the pale green flowers are gorgeous! Just a question if you have time to answer–what kind of rocks did you use for the borders of the garden beds? They all look similar, so I’m guessing they weren’t random rocks you collected. I would love to use some similar rocks in our garden. The size is just what we want. Thanks, and best of luck with your move!

I adore this! You’ve given me so much inspiration for my own little backyard. Thanks for posting this in the midst of your move.

It’s such a beautiful and serene space. I would love to know how did u care for the garden… watering, pruning, fertilizing, weeding?

Hi Larysa!Your back yard space turned out really Nice!! I’m glad you were able to take photos of it before you moved. I love your cement display table that you have against the house. It gives your space the welcoming feel of an indoor entry way, only outdoors. Beautiful gardens all around! And that little garden box you have on the end table tucked in the corner of your yard. Adorable! :)

Such a beautiful garden! I know it was herd to leave it. We also had a great place with a cute garden we made with our own hands, and then we had to move. It was two years ago, and I keep photos too. Now we have another small garden to care of and it looks different, but though so beautiful. Greets!