May 26, 2011

brick by brick

My arms have finally recovered enough that I can type, so I wanted to share what David and I did last weekend. Poor hubby had four days off, and I put him straight to work!

Since I've moved in here to the home that David occupied for many years before I came along, one of the things that I've whined about questioned the beauty of the most is our supremely low-maintenance back yard, which was fully barked over by bachelor David a few years ago in an effort to avoid lawn mowing and other garden-related chores. While I can understand the appeal of a low maintenance landscape, I also find the barren bark a little depressing and unwelcoming. Especially since the addition of a toddler to our family, I'm sure I've made my hopes and dreams to have a grassy lawn someday annoyingly clear.

Here's the region that causes the most whining to ensue:

As you can see, it's VERY low-maintenance. There used to be a giant evergreen shrub growing outside of the windows there, but it was creating a very cave-like atmosphere in my sewing room, so one night last week David surprised me with a giant saw and chopped it down. Still need to clear that stump somehow. Dynamite, maybe?

So anyway, David agreed that it would be really nice to have a safe place for Lincoln to play besides the un-fenced front yard that is too close for comfort to a busy street. We broke ground last weekend with a modest goal of adding about 500 square feet of lawn to augment the bark, pebble, patio, and vegetable garden action that is happening back there. To keep the bark that will stay there relatively contained, we started by building a retaining wall along the sloped side yard. It was wicked hard work, but I think it was worth it! Here's the progress so far.

The plan is to supplement the crappy clay soil with some compost and get it all tilled up this weekend and ready for sod. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks there will be a nice patch of lawn for me to park my butt on and get some sun while Lincoln runs around like a nut and does his boy stuff. Long term, we're thinking of turning that raised bed at the far right side into a smaller sandbox, and may add a second level of terracing to the back. Definitely will add some flowers outside of the window once we figure out how to get that stump out of the way.

Mostly though: GRASS!! I'm so excited. Thanks hubby, for sacrificing a four day weekend's worth of video game playing to do manual labor. You're the best.