Operation Backyard continues …

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Okay, just to give us some perspective, here’s the action two weekends ago.

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We moved the shed and were left with this delightful pile of concrete rubble. Awesome. Lovely. (By the way I was perfectly content to let all that rubble lay there until September. Jack frowned severely, called me a hoarder and declared it banished. You have to feel a little bad for him. He’s got OCD.) We moved it. By hand. And oh, my aching back!

Now, we’ve got …

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…. a cleaned up and leveled plot. I can tell you, there was a trip or two to the dump. And it took two yards of dirt to fill the hole left by the rubble. Now we’ve got a little bald plot that sets the stage for phase MXIX of Operation Backyard coming up soon. Stay tuned for that.

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Here’s the poopster. She is a great hiking dog. She’s a terrific beach dog. She is NOT a good landscaping dog. When she sees you pull out a wheelbarrow, shovel or rake she immediately trots rights back into the house to lay on her pillow. Or she sits in the truck and watches us do all the work. She is not at all interested in manual labor. Does she offer to pick up her own poop? Move a tree? Maybe dig a hole where we actually need a hole dug? Noooooooo.

Anyway, next we returned our attention to our little alley side yard.

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Here was the plan that I posted several moons ago. Veggie garden on the right. Ferns and hostas on the left.

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This is what we started with.

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Thick clay mud. Ugh.

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First we put up the fence and got the veggie garden in.

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This past weekend we (when I say we, I mean mostly Jack) tackled the ferns and hostas. It took Jack almost two days to rototill and amend the soil. It was unbelievably hard packed. All that clay had turned into something resembling cement. Then we put in a border using a thin plastic substrate from Home Depot. Jack really wanted to put a steel border in, but it was simply cost prohibitive so we went with this poly-based stuff. Had we a chance to do it over again we would have purchased a similar border material from our local rock yard where it’s sold in long straight sections versus being rolled up like the stuff from Home Depot. Unrolling and removing kinks was a pain the rear and you end up with weeble wobbles and a fight against the curves. Anyway, we don’t love it, but worked it out.

And here’s where we’re at now …

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We need another 1/4-yard of gravel to fill in the rest of the path, but we got pretty close. We’ll finish it off this weekend lickity split.

We set down weed cloth where plants would go and geotextile where the path would go. Then we planted the borders and filled everything in with mulch. There’s a nice variety of fern, Irish moss, ajuga, fuschia, hostas, and a rhododendron.

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There was a little tree all the way down here at the end of the alley. We dug it up, transplanted it elsewhere on the property and rounded off the alley path in preparation for a water feature that will eventually go in that circle. As you can see to the right there my veggies are coming along. (Yay!)

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Hello, my sweet spinach. You are looking so fantastic! That’s spinach on the bottom and beans on the top.

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And I’m not sure if you can see but I put in a wave pattern of stones that runs down the pathway. This weekend I’ll go back in and add more stones to the wave pattern, it doesn’t look dense enough yet.

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I’m trying to use up all these stones. We’ve got 10 boxes of stones that we pulled out of the front yard last year. I’m always looking for creative ways to get rid of them.

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We’ve got more ferns coming from friends who are thinning their gardens out and then we’ll be almost done. On tap for the upcoming weekend: finish the path, add the remaining plants, install the drip irrigation system and build bean lattices and tomato cages. Oh, yeah. And study for finals.

Phew.

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One response »

  1. Wow! A lot of hard work! Your yard really looks great. Can’t wait to see it. The two of you could go into the landscaping business!

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