After last summer's house addition project, the backyard was in pretty poor shape. It hadn't been in great shape before that, and now one swath of it was worn down to dirt. The sprinklers that used to water the lawn and planter bed had all been disconnected (and pipes removed) as part of the addition. Dana and I made an effort early on to manually water the lawn, but we know from experience that this doesn't last.
So, we figured, what we needed was to do a minor landscaping project to bring back the lawn. Would have been simple enough, but we decided to take care of one other thing first: a fence.
The previous fence was still serving a purpose, but it was not in great shape. Nor was it attractive. We've figured for a while that we'll probably need to replace the fence someday in order to get a maximum selling price for the house whenever we do move; might as well take care of the fence now and enjoy it ourselves. The timing was good: the houses on both sides were temporarily vacant, so there would be minimal inconveniencing of others. A new fence and/or vegetation could also address the privacy issue created when the homeowner next door cut down the large trees last year.
So we had a new fence installed, took out a couple of unruly bushes (and an old clothesline post), and added new sprinkler lines, some new plants, and some more grass. No, we didn't do any of this ourselves, I'm sorry to say. We're pretty happy with the results. See before and after pics below.