epic backyard landscaping project: the TILLING

DUN DUN DUNNNNN. (Insert dramatic theme music here.)

This is the part of the project that keeps me up at night.  Literally–I haven’t slept well in almost a week!  Andrew’s dad has a beast of a tiller that is older than dirt, heavier than crap and covered in rust.  I’ve used it before, so I knew tilling up this much surface area with it would be quite the undertaking.   Continue reading “epic backyard landscaping project: the TILLING”

epic backyard landscaping project: the prep

Yesterday, I started what will likely be the biggest landscaping endeavor of my life. I’ve been dreaming of this day since we moved into the house, and now that the fence is in, I can finally begin. Continue reading “epic backyard landscaping project: the prep”

summer project

a.k.a. What’s taking over our lives.

Seriously.  We’re losing our marbles, one 2×4 at a time over here.  I’ve had just about as much landscaping as I can take (see previous post), and I still have one. final. bed.  DOn’t get me wrong; I’m super excited to pick up our MAGNOLIA tree/shrub thing, but after that, I’m DONE.  No more planting for me this summer.

Andrew, I’m sure is just as frustrated as I am…  In true house-project fashion, everything takes way longer than you think (especially when you have not one but TWO engineers working on your projects), and EVERY option must be explored.  Andrew’s dad is the planner, Andrew is the do-er….and I think it takes three times as long.

Our existing deck and patio were pretty sad; the deck looked pretty worse for wear, and weeds had all but taken over whatever ‘patio’ we had.

  Shortly after returning from our France trip, in a fit of extreme motivation, I took up all our concrete pavers.  And all the flagstone.  BY MY SELF.  Seriously, the entire time I was lifting and rolling those giant pieces of concrete into piles, all I could think was ‘Is this a crossfit workout, or what?!’
  Between the paver removal and all my landscaping efforts, I might have sustained permanent wrist damage.  For real.

Andrew also completed deck demo, right down to (and including) the existing concrete supports.  Note the rusty bilco doors to the left (uncovered when we took the deck down); instead of simply replacing them and calling it a day, Andrew and his dad took a month to, essentially, make a roof for it.  No wonder this project is behind schedule; our totally unused, UNSEEN cellar entrance has a fancy schmancy roof.  End rant.

  Once all the pavers were up (squares got sold, flagstone is STILL in our garage…), a friend came over with his tractor to dig up and level the area for our new patio.
  Andrew even broke out his grandfather’s old survey equipment to ENSURE the ground was level. Our tractor friend got a good chuckle.  A few days later, we had someone come dig all the holes we needed, 20-something in all. So glad we hired THAT ONE out.

Nine new concrete supports for the deck as well as beams and joists, fence posts in and (in the foreground) our trench for the french drain.

Andrew and I spent the better part of Labor Day weekend digging out a giant trench for a french drain.  Seriously hard work.  Wrists are still sore a week later.

Inside the trench, we lined it with the black landscaping fabric, then inserted perforated tubes and filled the space with gravel.  We then folded over the fabric and covered it with soil.

 This weekend is pretty rainy, so we’re taking a bit of a break and binge-watching the newest season of Longmire on Netflix.