Sunday, May 30, 2010

the latest project...

We had friends come over tonight.  They've been friends of ours for the past 7 years.  We invited them over to have a BBQ on our new deck over the garage.  As I lead Roberto up to the deck, walking on a couple of carefully placed boards that were in the middle of a sea of newly laid grass seed, he said "This has been a perpetual job - you are never done...never, never, NEVER!"

That is the truth, it seems.  We b!tch about it all the time...we are NEVER done.  We've been working on this house and yard continually for the last 5 years (well, it will be 5 years in about 15 days).  In the middle of jobs, Jerome likes to remark about how the neighbors aren't out working in their yard - they must be out having fun.  Well, if you know Jerome, he just can't go out and "have fun" all the time, it would drive him nuts.  He also can't stay inside "lazing around" (another thing he likes to remark about when we are in the middle of a project; he presumes that a lot of people do this), he has to be doing something nearly at all times.

Well, with that being said, here's some shots of the latest project we've been working on...in the yard that is never, never, NEVER done.

When we first moved in, this location in the yard held two ponds.  The ponds had fish, which is nice and calming - but this was not a very good location for a pond.  It's right under several trees; one being a messy Magnolia.  The Magnolia leaves never seem to compost and so we decided that we'd move the ponds from under the tree.  So far we've only managed to remove the ponds and rocks and fill the holes with dirt.

These stepping blocks were left here by the previous owner.  They were all over the yard when we moved in.  We picked them up and stored them for the past 5 years.  Two weeks ago, we decided that we'd make a shaded sitting area under the tree.
We framed out the general area using 2X4's that were left over from the garage construction.  We used the 3-4-5 rule of measuring for a 90 degree angle (If you have a triangle with one 4-foot side, one 3-foot side and a hypotenuse (diagonal) of exactly 5 feet, then the angle opposite the hypotenuse will be exactly 90-degrees...it's nice to be married to an engineer!) We made sure that the 2X4's were level so that we could use another 2X4 to measure the height of the blocks; making sure we were always level all the way across.

We used a couple of paver bricks as spacers to keep the same distance between the blocks.
Once we were done laying the blocks (we brought in a bunch of dirt to raise the area in order to keep everything level), we filled the area in between the blocks with more topsoil - sort of like grout.  Then we watered the area so that the dirt would settle and then brought in more top soil.
We had decided that we would try to plant grass in the area between the blocks.  We'll see if it works, since this area almost never sees sunlight.  We haven't had the best of luck with grass in this area.  The second year we lived here, we had the whole yard sodded (paid big bucks), by the next spring, grass only grew in certain areas.  In other areas, it seemed like it just didn't take.  You could still pull up the rolls of sod nearly intact.  And the Magnolia leaves killed off the grass underneath it.
We purchased several bags of Scotts PatchMaster, which has grass seeds mixed in with a paper mulch.  One bag is supposed to cover 300 sq. ft.  Once the paper mulch gets wet, it makes the seeds more stable and they don't fly/blow/wash away.  We've used it on the area that was trenched up last year to bring the electricity to the garage.  We are so far pretty happy with the results.  If it doesn't work under the Magnolia tree, in between the blocks, then we will consider using moss.
After I was done laying the grass seed paper mulch between the blocks, we needed to seed the rest of that area, since it was totally torn up when the garage was built.  Here's Jerome making sure the sprinkler gets all the newly laid seed.
This is not the only area that will need to be seeded.  We are doing it in smallish sections.

If you enlarge this picture, you'll see the boards that I led my friend Roberto on when bringing him to the deck this evening.

We are not done with this project.  We still have to remove the wood frame and pour the quikrete  around all four sides - hopefully this will keep it tight...at least the outer blocks.  We bought the quikrete at Lowe's on Saturday night with the hopes of doing it on Sunday...this didn't happen,...but it will this week.

1 comment:

dynochick (Jan) said...

Your soil looks like it is really nice to work in. Our is hard and very rocky.