Many of you have probably already seen the pictures on Flickr, but Paul and I (with a lot of help from my dad), recently did a lot of work to our yard.
Our yard has been somewhat of an issue for a few reasons.
- Hazel likes to chew things up. Paul and I built a fence a few weeks back and she promptly ripped a giant hole in it.
- The oak tree, while awesome, is impossible to grow things under. It makes our backyard basically a full-shade all time time sort of situation. Also, oak trees drop tannins (in the leaves?) which kills most stuff you try and plant under it.
- The chickens eat anything green.
- We are dirt poor, and dirt (and other gardening things) cost a lot of money.
- We don’t own a truck or any reasonable vehicle for transporting landscaping things.
As of May year, our backyard looked something like this:
Still mostly dirt, but some garden boxes were built in the back (although it’s really too shady to grow most things in them), the chicken coop was built, and we threw up a fence to keep Hazel out of that general area.
Our yard still isn’t perfect, but I think we’ve got something significantly better going on now.
We know that the mulch doesn’t match. Half of it (the half under the oak tree), was picked up from the free SMUD mulch bin…in our Honda. Yes, we filled our entire Honda Civic with wood chips. It will never be the same (poor car). The other half was picked up from a landscape yard in my dad’s truck, which is a much smarter way to acquire mulch. We probably should have mixed them together or something, but Paul has some crazy theory about representing two different climate zones (or is it altitudes?). You’ll have to ask him if you want a better explanation. It’s hard to tell now, but there are a lot of natives and drought/oak tree tolerant plants planted under the tree. And the path is decomposed granite, which seemed to be way easier to install than I remember it being when I did it before. I didn’t help this time so I’m not the best person to ask. The new patio furniture is excessively comfortable hand me down from my parents (who are way too nice to us).
For not a huge amount of money and only a weekend’s work (plus a few evenings of prep weeding), I think it looks pretty damn good. Definitely better than the dirt we’ve been sporting the last few years.
So why are we suddenly in a big rush to make our yard look presentable? Give me a few days and I’ll get back to you on that…