Yard Work, Yard Work, Yard Work

That has been our theme lately.

Ever since our addition, we've been doing a lot to recover our yard. The machines that were driven back and forth tore up the yard horribly. We did a lot of grunt work filling in low spots, spreading grass seed and clover, and even resorted to putting down sod.

Our next step was to put in flower beds. I had a nice bed right in front of the porch, but we needed something on the right, in front of the right "wing" of the house, and in front of the left "wing" of the house. I put a row of hostas on the right because it's shaded by a massive oak tree. The left side was harder because it's a bigger bed and partially shaded. I planted a few things last Spring, then a few more last Fall. I even resorted to transplanting some pretty-ish plants from our field, just to fill in some space.

After getting home from vacation we were gung-ho to get started on the yard, but we had a solid week and a half of rain. Once that dried up we could get started. We decided to tackle The Beast.

The Beast is the side yard between the addition and the driveway. It's been a pain in our backsides for 2 years now. At first, it was just dirt and rock. Nothing would grow here. That's how poor the soil was.

We were able to bring in some good dirt and spread that around, but we had so much rain that we struggled to keep the dirt from washing away. Finally, we had some dry weather so we put more dirt down, dragged a huge log over, and even put down some sod up at the top just to keep it from all washing away. That Fall I'd picked up a few end-of-season plants and just planted them randomly at the top. Weeds and grass, but mainly weeds, began to grow and we were so grateful to have something to stop the soil erosion that we just let it go.

The sod we'd placed was in random spots and therefor difficult to mow. Ben doesn't do much weed-eating so it grew up straggly and ugly. It was such an eyesore!

Finally, after vacation, we decided to tackle this area. I decided to do plants and mulch at the top and garden beds at the bottom. Home Depot had a great deal on garden beds so I got 2 4x4 beds for $40 shipped, right before we left for vacation. Once home, Ben put the beds together, leveled them out, and then put weed barrier down.

We had a food-grade barrel floating around that we decided to cut in half, spray paint, and then fill with dirt to act as planters. The boys helped us fill/top off all of the planters with the trailer of dirt we picked up and pretty soon we had this:

It's still ugly, but it's progress! More planters will go behind the beds in the bottom picture - Ben has one build already. Smaller beds will go in front. We'll spread pea gravel between the beds on the lower half and much on the upper half. One day, we'll put in a nice fence to keep the deer at bay. This year we'll just see hope for the best.

So, we've still got a long way to go, but it's coming along! With a yard as large as ours there's always something to be done, but it will be so nice to have this ugly area cleaned up and looking pretty and producing veggies and herbs.


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