April 19, 2013

Backyard Landscaping Days 2 and 3: Bye Bye Lawn

On the second day of our big landscaping project much of the lawn disappeared.  Progress on the aspen root barrier halted while they waited for the Plexiglas to arrive.  I'm glad we are doing this project early in the spring while my trees are still dormant, since they should be less stressed by being buried by giant piles of dirt than they would be in midsummer. 

The landscapers did a nice job on the curves of the remaining lawn.  I set out rocks in the shape I wanted, and they spray painted the outline in the morning before starting to dig.  Laying out the rocks first worked well since I was able to easily make adjustments to the outline before getting it right.  I'd recommend rocks and paint over using a hose, which can be hard to adjust to the right shape if it's cold and the hose is stiff. 

On the third day of the project the Plexiglas arrived and was installed.  The trench was filled and my fears of kids falling into it and breaking bones were put to rest.  Tomorrow a friend is coming to take the old swing set away.  Hopefully the next one will arrive next week so it can be installed by the landscapers before they're off to the next project.

It's just as well that the landscapers work four long days a week and take Friday off, as it started raining last night and continues today (Friday).  Since my sprinkler system is now mostly torn up, I'm especially grateful for this perfect timing by Mother Nature.  Despite the rain, I set out a sprinkler to run on each of the trees by the back fence to help their roots get settled back into the deeply disturbed soil.  I'm hopeful that the updated sprinkler system will do a good job of providing the right amount of water to the lawn, perennials, shrubs and trees.  It will be a combination of drip system and spray heads. 

Here is the current view of the East side of the backyard near the house.  My children are all aching to roll around in the dirt, dig trenches in the dirt, build dams and flood the dirt, throw and eat the dirt (that's my toddler), and otherwise enjoy this haven of dirtiness.  I'm trying to keep them inside as much as possible. 
Coming up next week will be the sprinkler adjustments, placing five basalt boulders, building the encircling flagstone path, edging the lawn in steel and installing the new swing set.  Hopefully the landscapers will finish before Friday so my husband and I can start hauling and spreading many cubic yards of premium garden soil, planting the fifty shrubs that are sitting on the patio in pots, and covering all that weed-welcoming bare earth with a good layer of bark mulch.  I'm not sure if all that can be accomplished in one weekend, but we'll try.


  1. Hi VW,

    Not sure if I should be saying it's looking good or not??!! heehee.
    Certainly the landscaping team have achieved a lot so far, and hope the rain doesn't make the ground too wet to work next week!

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  2. "Haven of dirtiness!" LOL I love the new curves of the now enlarged beds. Good job!

  3. Oh my! My back aches just thinking of what all you have to do on your own. But you will be so gratified once it is complete. Well, is any garden ever complete? Nice to have this all documented in photos. I rarely go into the garden without a camera since blogging. Happy Garden Creating!

  4. What a transformation! I look forward to seeing more of the changes. I see your trees starting to come back.


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