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The Backyard Makeover

As I’ve added more and more trees to my Bonsai collection of the years, the backyard has become a bit if a dumping ground. The plan has always been to get things organized, but life has a way of putting higher priority things in front of you.

So I finally bit the bullet, rolled up my sleeves and get busy. Here are a few pics of the before state. I installed pedestals a few years ago along the back fence, but the grass growing around them made them a real pain in the butt. On the side yard, there was a makeshift bench made of a few planks laid across cinder block stacks. Once that space was filled-up, I started putting other trees-in-training on the ground along the fence. It’s my own fault. Every now & then I get the urge to go hunting for new material.

Anyway, here’s the project.


Yeah, you can see how the artistic aesthetic of such a zen hobby and artform could be lessened by an untidy, cluttered area. The first thing I did was prepare the ground for a little simplification. We removed grassy areas and leveled the dirt in preparation for landscaping fabric which would be the lining for the stepping stones and river rocks to go on top of.

Having help from crew NextGen is always a huge plus. Ruben and Marcos Masters helped Aden and & I make steady progress throughout the day. The 98 degree day!

I built a new bench to accommodate all my trees, with a little extra room so I could add to the collection over time. The new bench will span the full side yard length of fence, 53 feet!

Poor planning caused the fence boards behind it to rot from constant moisture. I replaced some of the fence boards that were rotted away, but later decided that it was best to replace the whole length of them. Afterwards, staining and Sealing them (which I should have done from the beginning) will ensure they have a longer shelf life.


The end result came out pretty decent. The auto-watering system line runs across the back of the bench, with dedicated microdrip lines for each tree.  The continuous bench enables adequate spacing for each tree, and makes for a nice backdrop for Instagram shots…

Once the rocks were delivered, the finish line was in sight. And though it took a good 6 hours to get them all shoveled into place, the end result was well worth it.


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