Jul 17, 2011

Outside - After(ish)

Tonight was the first night that hubs and I had the opportunity to sit in the backyard. As opposed to digging or sawing, or moving dirt around...

We started this project in April and we had some serious delays from mother nature. She was especially nasty this year, thwarting nearly all of our weekends that we had help from family/friends (to which we will reward for life with backyard mojitos) with torrential downpours, floods and the occasional funnel cloud (tornadoes??? there's no place like home...)

Hubs and bro outfitted for fencebuilding. And biblical floods.

Apart from stump removal, sod and dirt removal and delivery and levelling of loam and sod, hubby did the work almost entirely by himself. My role was to keep the kids away from the power tools and pick out prairie proof plants. Here's the lowdown.

  • Removal of a football sized portion of sod and dirt (dug by hand - hubby/friends)
  • Levelling, compacting and laying down of existing patio stones extracted from walkways and smaller patio - extending existing patio by a good 10 feet
  • Cutting out existing sod with sod cutter (which then died)
  • Removal of concrete pad by back door with concrete saw
  • Fence removal and building of new fence (still under completion) (and a huge thank you to hub's brother, dad and our neighbour for the help)
  • Stump removal - from every single tree/shrub we removed (they were decrepit and awkwardly placed trees)
Hubs removed sod and dug down to level out. I told him to just fill with water for a pool and call it a day.

Laying down of existing patio stones - we power washed these on the lightest setting. Turns out they are rainbow coloured!

I'm not sure what stage this is - big stinking mess though.

Progress - we have fenceposts. Time to celebrate with beer.
  • Bobcat guy - BG made two unplanned visits to our backyard, only because rain had weighed down all of the dirt. It was nearly impossible for hubs to move on his own. BG came back at a later point to level out the backyard for new sod
  • Sandbox (Grandpa's creation)
  • New side and front walkway using 2x3 concrete pads and pea gravel
  • Wood borders on all front and back gardens
  • New loam for entire backyard
  • Laying pea gravel for back parking pad and converting into raised garden beds
This is shortly after the sandbox was installed. Guess where the girls spent all of their time? Giant pile of dirt.

Spreading out the loam and the garden boxes going in.

  • New sod (thanks to help from hubs friend, it was complete in less than a day)
  • Planting (all Zone 3 plants - will describe in detail in a later posting)
  • Staining fence
Laying of the sod. Baby is busy rolling out the lawn.


Front Yard

BEFORE: Front of house

AFTER: Pretty perennial flowers and prairie grasses

BEFORE: Front and side walkway

AFTER: New walkway and plantings

AFTER: New rain barrel and pad to water south veggie garden behind.

Back Yard

BEFORE: Original backyard with narrow patio

AFTER: Extended patio and terraced yard

Patio space with new gardens against house and fence

This is the sandbox that grandpa built. Designed to echo angularity of patio.

View out to side walkway.

Thai Buddha we picked up for $25 because its head is broken. Score.

Flower vase, a turtle and the Karls (grasses in the background)

BEFORE: Back garden

AFTER: Fence was extended to include parking pad (now for all my raised veggie gardens) Hubby just has to build a gate.

We're so thrilled with the final results! We're planning to plant some fruit trees in the back to provide some shade perhaps this fall? And we intend to add some play integrated into the environment.