Apr 4, 2013

Updated Backyard Layout

While we are spending so much time focused on the backyard, I thought it would be a good idea to share an updated backyard layout plan that includes the finished deck, patio, vegetable garden, plants, composter and future plans. (The most recent layout I shared was from February 2011!) I drew the original drawing from the official survey, so the house, driveway, garage and yard are to scale - but the deck, patio, garden, etc. are all guessimated.

In the drawing I marked where we are going to plant the new river birches along the fence, in hopes that they help with some of our water issues. I also added in the space we have reserved for a future swing set when Oliver is old enough - we don’t want to risk putting it in the way back if our water issues continue or come back. We are also planning on extending the garden bed next to the driveway (where the raspberries and blackberries are) all the way to the driveway gate. Currently the area is grass (and the trash pile) and very awkward to mow, so converting it into a garden bed with a few plants will be much nicer. I labeled where our edible plants are in the various garden beds to give you an idea of what is planted where. Lastly, we bought some new turquoise chairs (you can see a peak of them here) for the fire pit area in the driveway apron.

Note - the yard only looks sufficiently large in this drawing because our house is so small - our lot is only .25 acres, which is good for suburban NJ, but very small compared to most of the country.


  1. Hello there! I just stumbled upon your space and am enjoying looking around! You have been incredibly busy!

    Would you mind telling me what program you used to create the aerial view of your home and property? I would love to create one for our tiny space (we live on 1/8 acre). Thank you in advance!

    1. I drew the whole thing in Adobe Illustrator. I scanned a copy of our survey onto the computer and imported it into Illustrator, where I traced the main elements.

      You can download a free trial of Illustrator here:

      It's not the easiest program to learn, but you can probably pick up enough to create a yard layout if you read some online guides and or watch a few tutorials.

      Microsoft Visio is another program to try and it might be a lot easier to learn if you are familiar with the microsoft office suite. It comes with pre-drawn layout shapes (decks, furniture, bushes, etc.).

      You can download a free trial of Visio from the Microsoft website:


    2. Thank you so much, Alissa! Sounds like I have a new project on my hands! Thank you for the inspiration!