For Christmas, we surprised Oliver with a playset for our backyard. Well, the popsicle stick version of it at least. It arrived in 4 boxes a few days before Christmas and we knew it would be a family effort to get this done. Not just with building the playset itself but with creating an entire play area for the playset to go.

In the back right corner of our property is the perfect location for a playset that will give it a treehouse feel. Added bonus: the area is shaded the majority of the day which will be amazing during the summer keeping the play area cool. At least as cool as you can get in the middle of Central Florida.

We “broke ground” a few weeks ago to start transforming this corner of the yard. What exactly are we doing? Since this corner is mostly shade and receives little sunlight, we’ve had the hardest time getting any grass to grow here. Basically only weeds survive in this spot.

Wanting a clean and comfortable place for Oliver to play, we decided to install turf in this corner with a border of rocks going between the fence and the turf and stone edging along the front. Here’s a very “professional”, hand-drawn look at what we’re aiming for! You will quickly see where this outdoor project is headed.

Here are the main materials we’re using:

Gravel border: 3/8″ salt and pepper granite gravel
Front border: Stone in veranda (will be buried to be flush with the turf)
Turf: Fescue Artificial Grass
Playset: Malibu Cedar Play Set

This is only the beginning! We plan to add landscaping around the play area to warm it up a bit and add dimension. I also really want to stain the playset black. We’re going to see how we like the cedar at first and then decide.

The biggest question that we’ve been getting is why turf? We decided to go with turf for quite a few reasons.

  1. Grass won’t grow here so we needed to do something.
  2. Mulch wasn’t an option because we didn’t want to have to replace/refresh it every year. And mulch becomes a comfy home to so many bugs and insects. Will there be bugs in and around the playset? Of course! But we don’t want it to be a bug hotel with the mulch inviting them right over.
  3. What about rubber mulch? It would have saved us about $300 to go with rubber mulch vs turf. Not too much of a difference but not the look we’re going for.
  4. We love the overall aesthetic the turf is going to bring to this corner and it provides a soft place for Oliver to land and hang out. And it doesn’t have to be replenished every year.

I can’t wait to share the reveal of this outdoor space. Hopefully soon! I’ll also be sharing a turf install tutorial. We’re learning a lot with this project and if you want to follow along behind the scenes, come hang out with me over on Instagram!

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