New Year New Dreams

New Year New Dreams

I don’t know about you but with the New Year comes life changes, dreams and the inspiration to make this next year something great. For some it might be a new addition to the family, a personal goal to get in better shape, eat healthier or dreams to make your living space feel refreshed and renewed. For me personally I am going to share my dreams and inspiration for a new backyard space.

Hello! My name is Annie and I am Al’s Fourth Generation. Al and Ann Bigej were my Great Grandparents. I like to believe that plants are in my blood… (sometimes my houseplants don’t believe that statement, a few of my cousins got greener thumbs than I did) but it is a good thing I have endless experts and resources I like to call friends at Al’s!

Jack, (Al’s Son) and Uncle (Mark, Al’s Grandson and COO) - Al's Garden and Home in Portland, OR

At the start of this year I am going to embark on an adventure of making my backyard some place that I can be proud of with the help of my Grandpa (Jack, Al’s Son) and Uncle (Mark, Al’s Grandson and COO).

It might not look like much to start (I call it a postage stamp) but let me tell you my two helpers already have ideas flowing just from seeing pictures of it.

When buying a new home, especially when starting out there is always the question of “What can I do to increase the value of the home?” For me, I did not really want a fixer-upper on the inside but on the outside I was game for anything. I knew my support system and my own passion would take hold and make any outside space somewhere that would “increase the value of a home” or a place that could be turned into a relaxing and enjoyable environment.

Here are some of the dreams that we have for the space:

  • Making the side “yards” if you can call them that more accessible. On one side there is a gate that leads to the front of the house so we want to make sure that it is easily accessible and you do not have to traipse through mud to get there. Uncle Mark had the great idea of using cedar stepping stones that are made from a cedar tree we had to take down (ice storm of 2021 damage) at my childhood home.
  • Constructing an outdoor covered area and expanding the patio so that a BBQ can sit under cover with some nice outdoor seating to entertain guests also known as Uncle Mark and Grandpa.
  • Planting some evergreen plants and flowering trees hopefully my favorite Crape Myrtle can be added. Grandpa has visions of these lining the fence to add a little bit of a buffer from the road noise on the other side.

As of right now these are just dreams and possibilities for the future. Stay tuned for updates throughout the year about how our backyard dream is coming along. Happy New Year wishing that you fulfill all your dreams in the New Year!


  • Linda M Thatcher

    This is so exciting to have a blank canvas and challenging light levels. I can see blueberries off to the right where that sun is shining & easily reachable for young kids and other guests, also known as Uncle Mark & Grandpa. The kids in the neighborhood grew up on our blueberries & we’d share with neighbors when we had a bumper crop, too, usually every summer. I have great new memories of grandkids standing & stuffing their faces; it’s the 1st place they visit in the backyard, no matter the month, just to check on “their” bushes. :) Can’t wait to see what happens in YOUR yard!!

  • Nikki

    I’m looking forward to seeing the yard in your new home progress. It looks like a challenging space to make your own.
    I have a big project too this spring, as I had the “jungle” I inherited hacked back last fall and hope to make my space into the peaceful oasis I always envisioned. I’m expecting to make Al’s a part of that process. Good luck to us both!

  • Elizabeth Neketin

    How exciting and looking forward to seeing your yard dreams come true!

  • Renee Pintler

    Even though I don’t know you, I’m excited about your new outdoor space. Your story inspires me about my own backyard. Good luck. I hope you will show us the end result.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.