Monday, September 2, 2013

Backyard Makeover

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't have titled this post "Backyard" Makeover, because we didn't really change the whole backyard. Most of it looks pretty good. We just needed to fix this little corner. 

Oh my barf. 

What an eyesore! This spot was a parking lot for trucks, a boat, trailers, weeds, and things that didn't have any other place to go. We had put gravel here right over the grass (big mistake) years ago. I was constantly weeding the gravel. Ugh. We could never really make it look nice. 

And this is the view from my kitchen window too. Eeewwww. Who wants a view like that whilst washing dishes?? Not me.
Yes, the kids are in the pool, fully clothed. Cuz that's how we roll.
So in mid-June, we got started by cleaning it up a bit. Kevin had poured some leftover concrete from a job here, knowing he'd eventually break it out & throw it away. Let me tell you, that was fun.
We met with Kevin's friend Troy, the concrete guy. He came out & measured, gave us an estimate, and said he could come out in a few weeks. So we started the prep-work. Kevin wanted to make a rock-water feature. We took 2 big boulders from the barn in Wyoming over Memorial Day weekend, and Kevin rented a drill to make the holes in them. 
Thanks to Frank & Kelly, our neighbors, for their help. They really did a lot to help us on this whole project with different heavy-lifting things. And drilling holes in giant rocks.
I couldn't believe how fast Kevin got the fountains up & running. From start to finish it was only a couple of days! I didn't take pics of the huge barrel of water he buried underground, or the construction of the fountain, but he did a great job!

So before the concrete came, we wanted to move the shed to the corner of the yard. We emptied it out and our friends helped Kevin move it over.

The guys enjoying a cold Root Beer after their hard work...

I planted some boxwoods behind the fountains, and some annuals in front of it. Kevin installed lights & sprinklers.

We ripped out some of the grass and re-routed the sprinklers, and added some power lines & speaker lines as well. I really did help, although I'm never in the pics. Kevin did most of the work of course.
Looking much better already!
After the concrete guy came & put in some of the forms, we put landscape fabric down, with compost on top. That should help keep the weeds down.
This is the point it was at when I had to leave for Pioneer trek, from August 7-10. So I missed the pouring of the concrete. 

Kevin was nice enough to take pictures for me though. They had to pour the border first, then come back a couple of days later to pour the rest of it.

The stamp is called "Roman Slate"

After a couple more days, we got to wash it off. We had to power wash it 3 times before we could seal it.
We sealed it on August 14.

And here's the (mostly) finished product.....
That "rock" in the lower right corner of the picture (below) is actually a speaker. Kevin put 4 of them back there.
We planted lots of different things, like a Forest Pansy Redbud tree, 2 Forsythias, 2 Lavendar plants (not seen in pics since we planted it from seed),
Black Mondo Grass...
A Weeping Cherry, Karl Foerster grasses, 
3 Dogwoods...
& a Limelight Hydrangea....
I have plans to plant more things in the spring, but I'm happy with how it's looking so far!
We love to come out here on warm summer evenings.
And one more before & after, just for the fun of it...