10,000 Square Feet

We live in a small town in rural Alberta. I love it here. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful.

I love the sound of coyotes at night, the sight of the horses grazing in the field behind us.

It’s a pain in the ass when I have to drive to the next town over for the occasional Starbucks fix. But not enough that I’d want to move.

What I really struggle with, though?

I have a love/hate relationship with our 10,000 sq foot backyard (that’s about a quarter acre if you prefer).

I know. Most people would kill for that sort of space.

For Vista’s first birthday we had several big tents set up, several plastic play structures, and two pony rides and still had a ton of room. The yard is beyond huge.

But I have a black thumb. Blacker than black. I don’t have a single living plant in my house. Plants see me coming in the garden center and start wilting.

The one tree we had in the back yard? Died. I know. I wish I was kidding.

So now the yard is a dead tree, Vista’s playhouse and her slide, and… that’s it. *hangs head in shame*

Well except for the 10,000 sq ft of grass. But don’t worry. That’s dying too.

The only thing that’s not dying, but is thriving? Flourishing in fact? The weeds. *starts banging her head on the fence repeatedly*
Three guesses what I was out in the hot sun TRYING to kill today?

So yeah. Yard = dead, dying, or plastic.

I would desperately LOVE to do something with the yard, but what?

I have a dream of meandering paths, raised beds (with actual live plants in them), and a central fire pit area.
Bil wants a stream or a pond, but I’ve veto’d that idea. I’m realistic enough to know the dogs would just use it as a giant bathtub to play in. And wet dogs smell? *gag*

But it never seems to happen. I just don’t know where to start and I get so overwhelmed at the whole idea, I give up before I begin.

If there’s a bored landscaper out there looking for a great before and after project, this would be it.

Oh, and in case you think I’m joking about the yard:

sod1 10,000 Square Feet

When we first laid down sod. This is about a third of our yard...maybe.

snow 10,000 Square Feet

I blame the snow for killing everything. This is still only about a third of the yard you're seeing

 10,000 Square Feet
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

18 Responses to 10,000 Square Feet

  • Wow killer yard! With three boys, the open space would be awesome. I have no plant advise though, I too, have the black thumb of plant death.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Jenni Williams,

    OMG, so glad to hear I’m not the only one who kills everything. lol

    And bring the boys up. We’ll turn them loose in the backyard while we kick back and sip margaritas.

    Jenni Williams Reply:

    Hells yeah, I will be there in a second, er how long does it take to get there from Florida?
    Yeah I kill every plant. My kids are growing flowers from seeds and I am not allowed to touch them.
    .-= Jenni Williams´s last blog ..Disney and Special Needs =-.

  • Not sure what kind of community you live in it but here there are several garden clubs. There are all kinds of classes offered to help people do landscaping and grow things.

    I am trying my hand at this, this year. So far, nothing has died. I have a container garden that is doing pretty well. I am learning how to do an above ground raised bed for my backyard for next year.


    and yes, I would love to have that much space!
    .-= Kim @ Beautiful Wreck´s last blog ..Loaves and Fishes =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Kim @ Beautiful Wreck,

    Oh, now that is such a smart idea. I can’t believe I never even thought of a gardening club. There must be some around because this can be such a hard area to grow stuff.

  • Carrie says:

    Wow! That is a HUGE yard…I can’t even imagine having that much space. For where we live WE are considering to have a big yard…you could possibly fit about 100 of our yards in yours :op

    Wish I could help on what to do…I suspect you might need some professional help to landscape that place :)
    .-= Carrie´s last blog ..Lions and Tigers and Bears…OH MY! =-.

  • Pgoodness says:

    Definitely need some professional help with that (or at least a lot of episodes of HGTV!!). But wow, what great space! You need to get on that show Yard Crashers!!

  • Leigh-Anne says:

    Hey – if you need a good landscaper, let us know! We, as you know, have a huge backyard too. He did some amazing things for us… and promises me that it will be very low-maintenance.

    Come see it (hint hint)

    I have wine.
    .-= Leigh-Anne´s last blog ..Being a COOL Mom =-.

  • Michelle P. says:

    Jenn, I’ve got a gardening book specifically for this area of Alberta. Cause it is hard to grow things here. The chinooks fool everything into growing and then the cold kills it off. Invite me for tea sometime and I’ll bring it over. Maybe we can think of some ideas. I’m a big fan of mulch, cause I think grass is overrated. There are some trees and shrubs that would do well here, I can help you look into that if you want. I love gardening with other people’s money.

  • Heather says:

    I say— slap down you some concrete and pave that puppy! Leave a little spot for V’s stuff and cement the rest!

    Clearly, I, too, have a love/hate relationship with grass..no, weeds, no…plants. Whatever.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Change My Heart =-.

  • Angi says:

    I have a backyard that rivals yours in size. It’s green…there aren’t weeds because I hire a lawn service to come take care of that. I know how to mow. I plant annual flowers in containers every year and each year in July, they’re pretty much dead. I’m going to work on remembering to water them this year. Keep your fingers crossed for me, and if you learn something…SHARE. :)
    .-= Angi´s last blog ..Happiness is… =-.

  • Pres. Kathy says:

    I am the same exact way. I have a total black thumb. I admire everyone’s landscaping as I drive by. Then I look at ours and think how horrible it looks. Unfortunately, I don;t do anything about it!
    .-= Pres. Kathy´s last blog ..Spring Giveaway Winner! =-.

  • avasmommy says:

    1. Put in a patio to take up some space.

    2. Eighty-six most of the grass. Put in stone walkways, and do beds with lots of mulch.

    3. For the grassy areas? Go with a synthetic lawn. It’s come a LONG way since the days of astro-turf. Around here, the million dollar homes are putting it in. I mean, what millionaire wants to spend his Saturdays mowing and edging? This one is local, but I bet you have a company there who does it too: http://www.synlawn.com/
    .-= avasmommy´s last blog ..Dear Avacakes: The Better Late Than Never Edition =-.

  • avasmommy says:

    Actually, these guys are in Canada too: http://www.synlawn.ca/
    .-= avasmommy´s last blog ..Dear Avacakes: The Better Late Than Never Edition =-.

    Jenn Reply:


    Dude. I totally love you for that link.
    That stuff is now my goal.
    Lets see… 10,000sq ft times $8 a sq foot… carry the one and it equals… HOLY CRAP…. uh, yeah, I’ll be right back after I buy a lottery ticket.

    avasmommy Reply:


    Dude, don’t do the ENTIRE back yard. LOL Like I said, patio, mulch and THEN fake grass. :D
    .-= avasmommy´s last blog ..Things I Don’t Miss About Twitter =-.

    Jenn Reply:


    ROFL… but that sounds like work. It’s so much better if someone comes in and then *poof* you have a nice yard.

  • uthostage says:

    I so want your yard. But I would absolutely positively no doubt about it kill it. If I’m ever lucky enough to have a yard like yours, I’m putting in astroturf. LOL
    .-= uthostage´s last blog ..Still Quiet =-.

Find Me


I’m Connected