Deciding what to do with the back yard has been the biggest problem of all. I originally wanted to put in a similar tier system with the same bricks as the side yard, but that would have cost over $2000 in material alone, not even counting any plants. So I sat here, year after year, staring at an ugly mess of a steep hill with no idea of what to do with it. I can't even take a picture of it from the house because it is at such a steep angle. The photograph below shows the hill from the bottom with the one rather large tree (which I kind of like, and the hummingbirds love), the cascade of rocks where I dumped them, and the general messiness that I can no longer stand. The hill ends at the bottom in a chain-link fence, but continues beyond that into a small canyon with a stream. Deer live in the canyon and sometimes come into my yard looking for food.
So what is the plan? Instead of spending crazy amounts of money using nice bricks when I already have stone - free - I'm building the tiers out of stone. It seems like the obvious solution, I know, but I resisted it for a long time. The stone wall also plays into the rest of my plan: I'm building a Certified Wildlife Habitat.
There are four parts to creating a certified wildlife habitat. The animals, large or small, need food, water, shelter, and a place to bear and raise their young. My back yard will focus on butterflies and hummingbirds, but I will also be sure to include some plants the deer like to eat. But first, I need to get the soil level by building these walls!