Saturday, July 25, 2020

All dressed up..... Part 2... THE REVEAL!

Hi friends and followers......

Here's the "reveal" finally, of our backyard gravel project.....as far as we've gotten anyway. We're not done yet!  

Photo heavy, so grab your tea or coffee.......

OUR PATIO AREA:

Fresh, new, 4" deep gravel.. and best of all... no dirt and no weeds!
 Remember, it was like this before:

And though you can't see it that well in the photo, it is MOSTLY DIRT! Very little gravel.
Now, it's clean and new....



We did run out of gravel for our "patio" area, as I said in my prior post.... so hubby spent a day digging what was left from the driveway area that the guy in the loader couldn't get with his bucket. He/we also dug and brought a few wheelbarrow loads from our "back 40" as it was pretty deep there and we didn't need it so deep. We dumped as much as we could scrounge, onto our "patio" as that is what we use the most.

We still haven't finished our "alley" by the garage where the catio is. Hopefully we can do that in the Fall when it cools off again. I'm really not in the mood to have another big pile of gravel in our driveway!


Iris in foreground that I transplanted from our front yard in April!


I wanted to transplant the flowers OUT of all the plastic tubs (blue and green) but I could not find ANY that were even similar (and affordable) to match our nice wood cedar planters. We may have to build our own.


See the Iris in the blue tub? Those are the ones I dug up earlier in the year, in April, and transplanted hundreds (well maybe 50) of them.




Ran out of gravel for under hutch. Will get more in the Fall. This reloading bench, now garden "hutch" will get stained and sealed to protect it in the winter months. And of course, we  had to leave room for the kitties to sleep on the bottom. I'll put new and fresh beds for them there. They love sleeping there!

Decorated with some pretties. I've used the hutch for planting flowers for the summer, so now it's mostly just for looks - but comes in really handy to set our small tools on, watering can, things we use in the flower beds.


I planted two strawberry plants earlier this year, and finally just now getting a few strawberries! They are the hugest strawberry plants I've ever seen!

Love the fountain. It still works! I stored it in the garage all winter so it wouldn't freeze. LOVE the sounds of the trickling water.
NOW... FOR THE "BACK 40" REVEAL..........

Nice new fresh gravel... and no weeds! We're not quite done raking and leveling it yet. We ran out of steam. 
Remember, it looked like this:



Our problem now is.... instead of weeds, we have to deal with LEAVES! There are two huge Chinese Elm trees in the neighbors' yard, and whenever the wind blows (which is always)... the dried up leaves fall in our yard.. and I mean.. there are piles of them already!

Future flower bed will divide the lawn/weeds from the gravel area. Hubby reseeded the lawn, but it's not doing well no mater how much we water and feed it... but of course, the weeds love it.

We bought a leaf blower for the leaves, thinking we could blow them into a corner and then pick them up. That was a big FAIL. All it did was create a tornado of leaves... flying all over the place, into the neighbor's yard and back over on our grass! So we need to find another solution....... any ideas?


When you live in town, and not on acreage, you don't have the luxury of being able to have a big brush pile and a place to put all the leaves, branches and twigs that blow into your yard.

We have a burn barrel (sort of) but there is a burn ban on now. Oh no! weeds coming up already in the "flower bed"!!

We need a place for our tools.... need another shed..... in time I hope. The Golden Chain tree there has died. It didn't like being transplanted.

Spotty lawn. Sod would be best but not in the budget.
One final look..........  we are happy with what we've done so far. We're taking a break for awhile. All flowers are planted that I want to plant for the summer.  The back lawn "weed battle" will continue. I go out almost every day and try to dig up at least 20 weeds. Weed killer does not work as it kills the little bit of grass that we  have!


The front yard is looking good and the shrubs are growing by leaps and bounds. Our Quaking Aspen is awesome, and the crab apple tree has grown at least 4 feet. I need to remulch the little potted flower area as it's been 2 years (or 3?) since I did it last.  I did get the garden bench painted white again.  Still a few more things to do in the front.









I've managed to continue with my paper crafting in between all the yard work.... that is my solace and my Haven and peaceful place....... love my craft room! I can just go there and "bury my head in the sand" and not think about what is happening in the world today.

And of course, now I have a nice little oasis to sit at outside.. by the fountain...... which we have been doing more lately.

Until next time.. hope everyone is safe and well.

~With hugs and blessings to everyone.....~
~Marilyn~







Thursday, July 23, 2020

All dressed up.... Part 1.

Hi friends and followers!
It's been too long since I posted. Life is busy! We've been overwhelmed with getting all the gravel laid down, leveled out, moving things back to where they were, and adding some new plants to our yard (and continuing to fight the weeds!). I've been wanting to give an update on our yard/gravel progress and she finally has her new clothes on and is ready to show off a bit!



So here goes. I'm going to post pictures (alot) and try to keep the words to a minimum! Grab your coffee or tea, as this is a LONG.G.G.G. post!

Some "befores"........ (what can I say? They are all pretty self-explanatory! It was a big mess and lots of weeds!)........


This is supposed to be our "patio" area!

Tearing down the old white hutch - I really loved it but it had weathered badly.



Our early spring yard didn't look too bad. The weeds  hadn't taken over yet.

Junk everywhere (that we had moved from other places in the yard.

Digging the trench where rain always comes off the roof (even with gutters) and floods that area. P.S. How do you like our gutter clamps?? (duct tape!)



We moved this VERY  heavy reloading bench from our garage - just to the two of us. Did I say it was VERY HEAVY??? It will become my new potting bench (and a kitty bed on the bottom).

The old white hutch.... now gone.

We call this "our back 40" although is a small area. It will be turned into all gravel. We can't keep the weeds out.. so will hopefully have raised garden beds there and a couple of fruit trees.

"Back 40" is home to the weeds.

"Back 40" - weeds be gone!!! Soon.... very soon.........
THE WORK BEGINS - IN PREPARATION FOR THE GRAVEL:

This will be our patio area - redone - cleaned up and all the dirt covered up! and hopefully weeds won't grow here for at least a couple of years!

Stapling down the tarp - everywhere - hard on the knees.

Trench to catch gully washer rains - moved all this river rock from the other side of our house!




This is part of our "back 40"  where all those  yellow weeds were! Removed them all mostly by hand digging.. and smoothed it all out (all by hand... just the two of us old folks!

Digging another trench at the back of the house... to catch run-off from the "back 40".


Using a long 2x4 to smooth and level the dirt.

"Back 40" done and smooth.. and hubby dug us a new flower bed down the middle. We plan to put a white picket fence on the side where the rocks are... with an arbor in the middle..... shrubs, flowers, climbing roses... sigh.....


Hubby taking a rest in the shade. Thank goodness we did most of this work in May when it wasn't so hot.

Transplanted our Golden Chain tree, but I don't think it has survived the move. Note: I'm sure you're thinking.. why don't they just plant grass there? Well.. we've TRIED every year to plant grass.. raked, dug, pulled weeds, seeded, reseeded, watered, reseeded some more..... and the weeds just take over, no matter what we do! We gave up on a lawn there. The soil is very shallow, only about 2-3 inches before you hit the hardpan, so grass just won't grow (but the weeds sure love it!).

Ready for the gravel! Tarp laid by us and stapled down everywhere - as this time of year (May) it gets VERY windy.


TIRED feet!

AND THE RAINS CAME..........(and hail... and 75 mph winds.........

Anchored everything down with tools, wood, rocks so the wind couldn't come underneath and blow it away like a big balloon.


Flooding in lower right corner, right next to our garage. Guess that trench didn't work!
Our garage door was still off it's hinges, as we had to take off the door to get that big huge reloading bench to the outside. So we stood there holding the door up as best we could, as the gully washer rains poured off the roof - that trench was useless unfortunately. Since then, we have had gutters installed in that area, but the guy said even with these "gully washer" type rains, gutters don't work either. At least the door is back on so the water won't run into the garage!


AND THE GRAVELING BEGINS.............

12 yards delivered on May 8th.


I laid string so I could keep the gravel to an even 4" deep.






Little by little - wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow - back breaking work.


This is as far as we got doing it by hand ourselves. After this, we got some help!





At this point, we had our gutters installed, and in talking to the owner of the gutter company, I think he felt worry for us seeing all the work we had been doing, so he offered to bring over his little loader and haul the rest to the back yard for us! Boy was that ever a Godsend.


Stop and smell the roses.........
AND THE WORK CONTINUES... WITH SOME HELP!



He could just fit along the "alley" by our garage, and just get by our little catio!


Our "back 40" gets all dressed up! No more weeds for awhile anyway.

He dumped into piles.. we had to rake it all and smooth it out.

What's left of our poor "lawn" (if you can call it that) gets ruined.

He got the "back 40" all done, and only had one load left to dump in out "patio" area. We'll have to ordered more gravel.

Almost gone!



Yay! Gravel all gone, moved, dumped....... and driveway back to normal! We had to park our car and van on the street for two weeks, and move one every day in the morning so the mailman would deliver our mail. Pain in the neck for sure.

Stop and smell the roses again!  These gorgeous apricot roses have been giving us a real show in our front yard this year.
NOW... FOR THE REVEAL!  Coming in Part 2 in a few days! Sorry, but my post already is too photo heavy and I'm afraid I'll crash it if I add all of the "after" photos. So sorry... please don't "boo" me too much!

Well OK.. here's a sneak peek.....



I'll put up the "reveal" post in the next couple of days!

Hugs to all... I'm off to rest..........

~Marilyn~











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