Thursday, December 13, 2007

Send 'Em Out Back

Home projects are never as simple as you imagine them to be. They take longer, cost more, and involve more decisions than you plan for. Last weekend we finished up work on our backyard, capping off a project that began eight months ago in the spring. The area behind our house was highlighted as a "natural area" on the flyer when we bought the house. That's real estate-ese for "unusable, densely overgrown Sweet Gum jungle with approximately 1,000 ticks per square foot." So realizing that we were about to have 3 kids under the age of three and that we would desperately want to be able to extend our usable space (translation: be able to boot the kids out back when they inevitably get too wild inside), Amy & I began planning to fix up our backyard.

We tackled the erosion problems, the brush undergrowth and tree stumps, and we added grass, a retaining wall, a small patio and play area. Finally we reached the point last weekend of adding the finishing landscaping touches. With their green thumbs Amy & Elaine picked out scarletta bushes, ferns and gardenias to go around the patio. I got well-acquainted with my wheelbarrow, snow shovel, and 10 cubic yards of mulch. When all was said & done we were really pleased with the result. Eventually we would like to add a play set for the kids and some more landscaping. But for now the simple pleasures of running up and down the steps, digging in the mulch, and jumping in the leaves make the kids happy which is fine by us. We have plenty of time down the road to add to it.


Prior to clearing out the undergrowth, the ticks outnumbered the mammals 10 to 1 in our backyard.

After clearing out the trees we had to tackle the drainage issues that had eroded the topsoil and most of the grass.

Fill dirt and a retaining wall were added to level out the area where we put a small patio and a mulched play area for the kids.

The back of the play area is normally sprinkled with dumptrucks, buckets, and shovels as the boys have a grand time digging in the dirt & rocks.

1 comment:

Melrutl said...

Wow, you guys did a fantastic job. I can't wait to sit out on the new patio with a beer and watch the kids run themselves silly!