Regrading the Yard

Last weekend, some of you may have seen that I posted the following photo on Twitter:

12 cubic yards of top soil

This is what 12 cubic yards of top soil looks like.

This is 12 cubic yards of top soil, dumped on my front yard, waiting to be spread across the yard to fill in all the low spots and to make sure that water would drain away from the foundation rather than towards it. KP had a blast nibbling away at it.

KP eating dirt

KP discovers 12 cubic yards of top soil, eats it.

My wife and I worked all Friday afternoon and evening, and most of the day Saturday, but we finished it up.

Here’s what the yard looks like now:

Backyard. This dirt is like 8"-12" deep.

Backyard. This dirt is like 8″-12″ deep.

Drainage towards garage valley gutter.

Drainage towards garage valley gutter.

Old tree stump hump.

Old tree stump hump.

Draining away from foundation.

Draining away from foundation.

Backfilling around walkway.

Backfilling around walkway.

Our lot is so flat, that most of the positive drainage away from the foundation is subtle at best, but we just don’t have any other options. It will have to do.

Here’s a nice before and after that demonstrates our progress pretty well. Back in 2012, I posted about doing some work on the flower beds  in front of the house. I posted the following picture – notice how much of the stone pavers are showing. At least 6″ – Maybe 8″.

little wall

little wall

Then a couple weeks ago I posted some photos of the new concrete walkways, and pointed out how high the new walkway was poured compared to the ground and the pavers. Notice that the pavers are just totally eclipsed by the walkway, and the front edge of the concrete is completely visible.

New sidewalk. Notice how high it is compared to the ground.

New sidewalk. Notice how high it is compared to the ground.

Now here’s a similar angle after spreading all the new top soil around. Notice we removed the pavers (and stacked them up next to the house since they weren’t doing much anymore now anyway. Also notice that we’ve completely backfilled around the walkway.

Final grading.

Final grading.

Again, the drainage is subtle, but it’s all we can do without either raising the house up, or lowering the street elevation, neither of which is going to happen.

Oh yea, I also pulled a muscle and can barely move my arm now, lol.

Defining the Flower Beds

You guys know that the real reason I write this blog is so that I can convince myself that I am actually a productive person, right? I know nobody really cares about every dumb chore I do around the house, but it makes me feel good to write a post about it so I can say, “See? Look at all the things I’m doing!”

Anyway, this past weekend was all about yard work. We spent pretty much all day Saturday digging, pulling weeds, stacking blocks, and other stuff.

You might remember a few weekends ago, we gutted the front flower beds. We pretty much just took a reciprocating saw to everything in sight.

We went from this:

Before.

To this:

After.

This past weekend, we took it a step further and ended up with this:

After.

We added a little stone wall around the left side. Ideally, that concrete sidewalk would just actually be that high and we wouldn’t need the wall, but everything on our entire lot has sunk 6″+ (other than the house, strangely). For now, the wall will work pretty well.

little wall

On the right side, we sunk the pavers into the ground so that we could run one wheel of the lawn mower over it to avoid having to trim the edge of the grass (because honestly, we’re never going to edge stuff – ever). The chunk of dirt outside the flower bed will just be seeded for grass, and we’ll plant some flowers and stuff in the beds.

ooh so fancy

Right now we’ve just got some  ferns that we transplanted from the back yard (I’m pretty sure they’re dying though) and some hostas that our neighbor gave us. Honestly, it’s pretty cool to live next door to a lady that loves gardening because anytime she sees us outside with a shovel she’s like, “Hey, let me dig up one of my plants and give it to you so you don’t have to buy it.”

Or maybe she’s just tired of living next to our ugly yard and figures that’s the only way things will change. Dunno.

Anyway, that’s it for now. See? Look at all the things I’m doing!

A Little Yard Work

We spent a few hours this past weekend doing a bit of yard work. The reciprocal saw is definitely my favorite gardening tool.

Before.

During.

After.

I like how you can see the shadows changing as the day progressed. It really did take all day for us to finish this, but we also found time for some canoeing in there, too.