turning sweat and tears (and a few beers) into beauty…

many of you have been asking and wondering how the transformation is going in our backyard. the time has come my friends…to reveal our lovely garden before…..how it looked when we moved in….and now, lovely, clean, green and lush.

since david and i are now us +1 (we are totally loving our little ella puppy:-) we are so glad to have the backyard for her to play and run around in (she loves to run around like a maniac, it’s really funny…).

so with out further ado….before and after pics – enjoy!


here, we cleaned up the piles of garbage, beer bottles, rotting leaves and plants – heaps and heaps of rusting who-knows-what – painted the rusted metal sheets a cheerful green and watched the garden grow! we installed beautiful slabs of slate that we literally pulled from other places around the yard (they were totally going to waste!) into a colorful and unique patio space. this is one of our many seating spaces in the yard……


here, we re-furbished the cool benches left by the previous tenants, planted grass seed (we are still working on the grass, as you can see….it’s tough without a hose, if you can even believe we are doing all of this with multiple watering cans!!). worked hard and often on week-pulling and teasing the vines back into their original place…and planted lots of flowers!


here, we did tons and tons of weeding, pulling out dead and rotting crap, trimmed down existing plants and threw out heaps and heaps of dead, decomposing leaves. we planted flowers and were glad that so much was already in the garden for us to work with!


and a few extra shots for your viewing  pleasure :-)

amazing, huh? what a little effort, lots of sweat and a few cold beers can do!! :-)


12 thoughts on “turning sweat and tears (and a few beers) into beauty…

  1. mom

    what an amazing transformation….
    the before and after pictures are incredible!
    you and david worked magic to create
    a beautiful secret garden in the city!

    1. sans map Post author

      thanks! and thanks to you and dad for helping us so much in april!!
      you and dad have been such a good example of what effort you put in the garden – you get back double in enjoyment! :-) and we sure are enjoying our secret garden….
      miss you both,
      xoxo c

  2. Moon Zappa

    Corey—we enjoyed your backyard tremendously when we were in town…you’ve inspired us to attempt a similar feat of strength with our new backyard. We’ll keep you posted!

    Please throw the rope for Ella on our behalf!

    1. sans map Post author

      thanks moon zappa ;-P
      we had an awesome time too!! can’t wait to see pics of your new house – – i’m so happy and excited for you…what an exciting new adventure, it’s about to begin!! :-)

      [ella gives bosco a waggy-tailed hello :-) and she says thanks for the yummy treats!]

  3. jes

    that is an unbelievable change….it looks like something that should be feature on HGTV! That is such an amazing lil oasis in the city! now you have all summer to enjoy it….ahhhh!
    ps..ella is precious!

    1. sans map Post author

      thanks jess :-) we <3 our backyard!! :-) it's a lot of work but it's totally fun to get out there, get my hands (and feet) dirty and make things pretty! yay :-)
      (and ella is such a great doggie, we love her!) hope we can catch up soon?! xo

  4. Kelly


    It’s beautiful, you have always had the Wolowiec green thumb.
    I remember in 10th grade you bringing over bouquets of fresh spring flowers straight from the garden.

    Oh, I do miss you. When back in Michigan…Call me,
    The lake is ready and waiting…


    1. sans map Post author

      thanks kelly – i love my mom and dad’s garden….! fresh cut flowers in the summertime are the BEST! i can only hope my garden can be just as full of flowers as theirs! i’m not sure when we’ll make it back to MI next…? i’ll keep everyone updated when i do…hope all is well, take care! :-)


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