Bob the builder: Fullers turn their yard into art

Winter is a frustrating time for Bob Fuller because he likes being outdoors. But now that spring is in the air and his backyard is in full bloom, home is a place he likes being.

Fuller and his wife, Shirley, have turned their backyard into a work of art. She likes flowers, and he likes to build things that complement them, like birdhouses and fountains.

Walking around his yard on a bright afternoon, he points to his latest creation, a birdhouse in the image of a golf pro shop with a set of clubs by the door and a bucket of golf balls.

“I’ve made just about everything you see out here,” he said.

He’ll see something in a home supply store or garden shop, and “instead of buying it, I’ll just come home and make it,” he said.

Fuller, 80, has been doing it for about 20 years.

He and Shirley “spend a lot of time out here,” he said, and it’s obvious. Great effort has gone into making their home off Lexington Road at the edge of town a showpiece.

The Fullers have lived on Caudill Lane since they married in 1987.

A sign in their yard tells the tale: “Love began in a garden.”

Shirley was originally the one with the green thumb.

“When we married, I had one little flower pot on the front porch,” he said.

They’ve got more than that now.

Beneath a flowering dogwood tree are red tulips and toy cars Bob collected.

Nearby is a Japanese red maple with a log cabin birdhouse in the center of it.

Climbing roses are starting to bud on a trellis he built.

Black-eyed Susans and marigolds will soon add a dash of color to the John Deere garden with its little green tractors he rescued from somebody’s rubbish.

On the back side of the house is a goldfish pond, and next to the driveway is a cactus garden with a Southwestern theme.

When Bob cut down three dead pine trees, he left the stumps, and Shirley topped them off with totem pole sections she found.

Using tobacco sticks, Bob made four chairs like the one sitting in front of his workshop in the backyard.

Hanging from a tree in front of the big shed is a black chandelier they weren’t using in the house. It lights up. So does the fountain, which looks like fire from the house.

“This whole yard looks like an airport runway at night,” Bob said.

He later added a second fountain he bought.

“I sold my high school graduation ring and bought that,” he said. “I think I got $2 more on the ring than I gave” for the fountain, he said.

Working in their yard is more recreation than chore for the Fullers.

“It makes a difference if you like getting out here and … doing this kind of stuff,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy it.”

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at

email author More by Randy