Thursday, September 1, 2011
Landscaping bed 1
We are finished with our landscaping except for a small piece of rr tie which I cannot cut myself. Due to my chainsaw being burned up in the fire. Oh, and my lack of desire to use a chainsaw. I am not fond of them. We obtained a landscaping quote, and it was unmanageable so some help from a friend for tree cutting and removal, Tad and I started a long 10 days of (literally) muscle pulling labor. This was our back patio. After some of the work, the weeds between these stones were over our knees. The bed along the house was an old creeping evergreen that had long since died, and under that was a myriad of ground cloth, weeds, and heavy small rocks.
This area is under the deck steps and it is north of the patio just mentioned, still on the back of the house. Dirt and weeds were growing nicely under here.
Why I didnt load the tractor bucket... I do not know. I had to dig out this bed by hand fully, unlike the front bed (not pictured and much more work), I couldnt scrape any of it with the tractor. I dug it out, put it in the this poor old rusted thing (the tire stays flat) and hauled it off (after sifting it for trash) to the tiny tree line we have. The rocks will keep down weeds there for a couple more years.
Mulch, we bought this by the scoop-bobcat scoop and paid 20$ a scoop. Our total landscaping needs were covered by 7 scoops so 140$ in mulch. I made a total of 3 trips to the small town 8 miles from us to pick this up as well as ground-cloth and pins.
Previous post to this one showed pictures of Tad and Eric trimming back this bush. It was much eaiser to work with the bush trimmed, and it will come back much nicer next year.
I laid the ground-cloth. It was at this point, after hitting my thumb with a hammer putting in pins, that it occured to me that I possibly had not googled landscaping enough yet. Maybe I should have read a few more articles. I felt suddenly unsure in this territory. Doesnt this qualify as something pretty, decorative? Purposefully artful in a way that doesnt produce food or functional clothing? This is not my area. Deep breaths. Saving 4000 $.
Once again, working by hand. My tractor bucket cannot scoop it out of the truck bed. I filled the bed with mulch, making sure I kept it below the rock edge and covered the ground-cloth evenly. I began to spread mulch around the AC and the trimmed bush, but these things had no proper edge. Back to the decoration issues.
The fatal error of this small tree was to grow inside of this bed. Tad did away with the small tree.
My little daughter does poorly in the heat, and cannot handle bugs. In spring and early summer, she works well in the yard but we dont often see her mid/late summer. She keeps the house in a constant state of clean, keeps the meals cooked and laundry done and brings us water regularly. This evening was a cooler than average evening, and there were no bugs so here she is happily sweeping. With a broken broom. The good broom was in the shop. Now its still in the shop I assume. Or it went where all good brooms go?
We found the square end shovel to be wonderful for removing the weeds. The dirt somehow piled up on these stones over the years, I do not know why but there were large piles of it on top of some stones and IN the dirt grew nice grass.
The under the stair area after work, I edged/weed eated the edges, scraped out the weeds and dirt and the children swept and clean farther back. oh and we sold our stock pile of 55 gal plastic drums so they are not longer cluttering that area. So I MADE money while I saved the 4K in landscaping costs...
Finishing up the clean up. The area around the AC and the bush now has a nice rock garden surround. I found enough flat paving stones on our property to go seamlessly from the edge of the patio stones, right around the AC and bush. I made this rock garden, on my own, and we will not eat it, it will not produce something useful so I did a very good thing, though it was outside of my comfort zone. My children were astounded that I could do something so, not useful. Tad said, it is a nice rock garden. I said, maybe if we water it it will grow rocks for us and we can sell them and make money. He said, oh you want me to pee on it? Wow. My children need more civilization.
Side view of my rock garden. I am so proud of it! The old plastic furniture was here when we moved in, somewhere in the back field or something. We drug it in and sit on them, or sometimes they provide tent holdings when the children build tarp tents.
And the final view. This bed was a lot of work, though nothing compared to the front (west) bed. This bed is one of the eastern beds, the next one over will be shown as soon as I get the photos up. The north bed is has three tiers and then a flat top portion with stones, flowers and it used to have weeds. We have eradicated those and mulched.
There was a total of 4 beds to work. I have pictures of all of them, and my total cost came to 200$ and some change including fuel to pick up the supplies needed. 10 days of hard labor for a 10 yr old and myself, I am not sure if that translates into 4000$ but either way, we saved it, we learned a lot, had fun, a pulled muscle, a deep feeling of pride and you know, despite the fact that the only function is pretty, I do like them...