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The Conception & Birth of a New Backyard

When you last heard from me I told you about my becoming a gardener - sort of.

I suppose, technically speaking, if you have plants and you've put them in the ground or some suitable container with soil you're a gardener. Not a good one, perhaps, not an experienced one or a Master Gardener. Just a generic gardener. And that's where I'm at.
My herb garden in a box is doing well and I actually used some of my herbs in a spaghetti sauce. Wow! "Look Ma, I used fresh herbs!" A definite first for me.
"But - - - what about your yard?" you're thinking. "Have you fetched home your plantlings from 'day care'? Have you put in flower/herb beds?"
Well, that's turned into a whole other story.
Once upon a time, Hubby & I bought a little house. The house had a back yard with drop-offs on two sides which are full of trees and bushes giving the yard a nice "country" feel. It also had a wood deck tucked into the "L" shape formed by the back of the garage and one side of the house. A nice deck which the home-maintainance challenged Richardsons didn't take good care of. In the sixteen years since we bought the house, the part of the deck that is always in the sun has suffered greatly. The yard isn't exactly pampered either.
The time has come.
I found I was seriously stressing over the whole "where to put the flower beds" and "what to do with the backyard" issue. Added to the situation is the fact we're on architectual land fill (all the bricks, cement, floor tiles, various fixtures, etc. from the old St. Clara's Hospital).
It is not fun digging in our yard.
Raised beds? Where? Edged with what? How deep should they be? Etc. Etc. Etc.
Finally, I brought Bruce in on this. He lives here too and should have imput into changes.
"Well," he said once we were outside looking at the current yard arrangement, "the deck has to go. I'd like to replace it with a patio using those patio blocks."
All Right! That was exactly what I was thinking we should do. How cool is that, we had the same idea.
But wait - there's more!
Bruce proceeded to walk around and with grand gestures described his dream yard to me - and I loved it.
Behold the plans for the new backyard (drawn by me).

 I'm sorry it won't get bigger than this. The area that reads "15'X15' Patio" is located where the wooden deck was. Off of that will be a gravel path with landscaping rock and container garden areas (I'll be putting a modest sized fountain in there somewhere as well :-) ) which will lead into either the open part of the yard or to a second patio.
Way more involved than anything I imagined! Bruce is way cool!
Work has begun. Of course the only photo I could find that really showed the old deck well is a winter shot, but you can get an idea of what it looked like. (The circle in the snow is a ring for holding a firebowl.)

Here is Bruce with the bench and the fence gone and a few of the "floor" boards gone.

By the end of the day Saturday June 9th, it looked like this - about half the floor gone.
Bruce got the bench and fence out all by himself, I didn't work on the deck until he already had three of the "floor" boards out. (I had been burning brush from trimming the trees and stuff along the ravine.)
We have a long way to go and I'll be posting the story and photos whenever progress is made.
Till then, hope things are progressing for you on whatever project you are working on. :-) Let us know about it so we can all be cheering you on as well. :-) 


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 12th, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness! How wonderful!

Are you going to use cattle troughs for your raised beds, or get them from Square Foot Gardening, or make them yourselves? Are you going to have the patio poured or use concrete pavers? It's so fun to plan and do landscaping.

Some nurseries and home improvement stores have classes and workshops on that sort of thing.

I'll look forward to seeing your progress!
Jun. 12th, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
Isn't it though! I was so amazed that Bruce thought of it all.

I'll be using troughs and other various containers here and there. I know they usually need more watering but I like that they need less weeding. :-)

Both patios will be pavers, that way if one cracks it won't ruin the whole patio. I'll buy some extras and keep them in our shed.

I'll look into the classes! That's a good idea. :-)

Jun. 13th, 2012 12:06 pm (UTC)
Great progress! You're going to have such a lovely area there.

My "project" is finding the discipline to stretch and exercise a bit every evening. *creaks and groans*
Jun. 13th, 2012 12:55 pm (UTC)
A most worthwhile "Project", m'dear. :-) I've had that one several times myself and seem to always let it slide into oblivion. LOL I hope you do well with it and ease the "creaks and groans"!

Jun. 14th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
Hooray for water features!
Jun. 15th, 2012 12:38 am (UTC)
You got that right, Christopher! ;-) I love fountains. I'd do a pond, but they're a lot of work, and who needs more work. LOL

Stay cool!
Jun. 18th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
This is excellent! I'll enjoy watching your progress. I love stuff like this. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )