How We’ve Redeemed Our Ground … and Will!


Winter is a unique time of year for those of us who enjoy spending a lot of time outside in our yards.  This is a common time for organizing our tools and cleaning things up, but it’s also a great opportunity to reflect over the past year’s projects, while looking forward to the next.  As I reflect on some of the things we’ve already done to redeem our ground, I realize I have a bit to catch you up on.

Here are some of the ways we’ve already brought a bit more life to our family…

  • Renovated our 1960s ranch with the idea of giving greater access to the outside both visually and practically.
  • Transformed our front yard so that: a) you could actually see it from the street; b) it had more “playable” space and was more visually balanced by building a 7 ft. retaining wall; and c) it would be a bit more welcoming to our guests.
  • Reclaimed our backyard from the poison ivy and wasps…creating spaces that were both lush with plants and functional for how we wanted to live.
  • After breaking up the last 8 ft. of our driveway we added an attractive raised bed vegetable garden.
  • By moving our AC unit and adding a pergola and hanging daybed, we made what was once the last place you’d find us hanging out to one of the places we most love to rest and contemplate our navels.
  • Perhaps most transformative was turning our side yard into what we now call “Scott Family Farm” – complete with a potting shed, bunny hutch/chicken coop.
  • Not wanting to have your run-of-the-mill play house, we created a treehouse that our girls could enjoy beyond their elementary school years.
  • Hosted a number of special occasions and dinner parties.
  • Our latest project was to move our play-set to make room for a fire-pit.  Although it’s pretty basic you can make s’mores there until your heart’s content.


As I look forward to next year…

Here are some projects we’re planning for next year…

  • Creating some sort of removable canvas wall system to better enclose the coop/hutch during the cold weather months.  I need to do this “yesterday”.
  • Building a potting bench complete with a rain barrel watering system for “Scott Family Farm”.
  • Adding some finishing touches to our Ladies’ chicken coop and run.
  • Decorating and adding some “accessories” to the girls’ treehouse.
  • Changing our approach and adding to next year’s summer vegetable garden.
  • Planting our first winter garden.
  • Address our critter problem…who tend to enjoy our veggies before we get do!
  • Adding a zip-line…maybe?
  • Re-landscaping the front yard where we’ve had to remove turf under our oak trees.
  • Making a mirror and other things out of an old fence and some driftwood I’ve picked up.
  • Figure out a lighting solution for “Scott Family Farm” – series of candles & lanterns vs. hanging tea lights.

This is just a starting point, as I know that Britt and the girls will have some ideas of their own.

What do you have on your ground redemption list this year?

Let us know, we’d love to hear.

It’s going to be a great year…we look forward to redeeming our ground along with you redeeming yours.

Take care,
Doug initial

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  1. alan on December 10, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Doug –

    I have actually seen and love your redeemed backyard!! You ain’t a blowin’ smoke here.

    As we think about our backyard, we’d like to redeem a bit more of life. However, our kids (youngest is 12) are moving a bit past a tree house. We’re wondering what to consider. Outdoor theatre? Fire pit. We’re curious as to the many options.

    Love this blog and website. The RYG video is amazing.

    Blessing On Your Work AND PASSION!


    • Doug Scott on December 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Alan: Thanks for your words and your question my friend. The options you suggested are great ones…outdoor theater and fire pit. But you’re right…there are so many more. It all goes back to really how your family wants to live outside…then with that in mind you need to layer on the context of your yard and budget. And if you’re budget is limited, that doesn’t mean you can’t still do what you want to do…but you might need to do it differently.

      So as for what other options you should consider, I’d focus on 2 areas that I know run deep in your family – community and music. Both the outdoor theater and fire pit would be great settings for building deeper community…so I would think about how you might be able to layer music on top of both…so that they could play double-duty. For instance, consider the location of both in terms of giving you access to what you need to provide a venue for playing music or listening to music…making it easier for you and your family to do what they are passionate about. If you were to do an outdoor theater, you might consider how it’s sound system could be hooked into Wire Method’s. As for other options…there are so many – but don’t let the plethora of options distract you from what your family is uniquely passionate about. Let’s talk further…I’m certain we can come up with the perfect option for you.

      Thanks again…and take care,

      PS: By the way, although our girls are younger than your kids…our tree house was built with the intention of providing Britt and me a studio space or relaxing place to hang once the girls are “too old” for a tree house. I wrote a blog about our tree house…check it out at:

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