Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Front Sidewalk

This is the sidewalk to the front door. It's much lower than the ground surrounding it, and completly broken up and grown over. I was worried for my parents whenever they walked up this way..especially Mom since she doesn't walk so well anymore with her bad knees. Muddy too, in bad weather.

 After we scraped off the dirt, this is what we found. What a mess.
Joe and I have been using our respective talents to help each other out lately. I designed the landscaping for his house, and he has been a huge help on the labor on my yard. Here he is taking out that old sidewalk. We didn't even have to bust it up, because it was already so broken. Look at how thin that concrete is. No wonder it cracked up!
 Joe came up with this solution using large patio pavers from Ace. Works out perfectly because we are hosting a party for Colleen's graduation, and it will be done in time for that! I think the landlord may pay for the supplies since the sidewalk was in such bad shape.
 Much better! We put a course of concrete edging along the sides. Hopefully that will keep the dirt from washing back down on to the sidewalk.
View from the porch. So much better!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Have a seat......

A place to sit and relax. It's looking rather inviting!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Getting Ready for a Garden Grad Party...part 2

This is how I'm trying to solve the mud problem outside the back door, without spending like crazy. I got some edging and bark and landscape fabric. Joe and Mike came and we outlined an area outside the back steps.
 We edged all around. I'm so glad they came to help. This area used to be used as a drive and there was lots of would have taken me ages to bust through all that by myself. We used the dirt to level things out a bit, and I sprayed Roundup on the grass, before we put landscape fabric down.
 Mike is going around tree roots here, and as he got closer to the house he switched to a pick-ax to get through all the gravel. He busted through it in no time. Ah, to be 25!

 Joe and I were working on getting the edging down.
 Oops. I didn't purchase enough bark! Looks like another trip to Big R.
You can see where it's headed though..I think it's going to be a big improvement.
This morning after a trip for more bark, we have the area filled in! This is the view out the back door. No more mud! Hope this works as well as it looks like it will.

I hope that second tree makes it. It looks a lot browner than the other ones.
We dug all these bricks out of the yard. They might make some nice edging around a flower bed!

Getting Ready for a Garden Grad Party ..part 1

I can hardly believe it, but Colleen is graduating from college this spring! It seems like yesterday she was going off to kindergarten! We're getting ready to have a family party for her graduation here at the house. Luckily, I have plenty of help...the whole family has been lending a hand.

This is the back of my little rental house. As you can imagine, when it rains, that dirt patch turns into a nice big mud pit for the dog to run though on his way inside. Yuck. He's pretty smart though, and now he knows the drill...he stops to get his feet wiped before he goes past the porch.

 If I owned this house, I'd probably build a big deck or porch right across the back of the house, but since I don't own, I came up with another solution that you will see soon.
This is what you see if you stand just in the back door. It's a long narrow lot that stretches back tot he railroad tracks. Never mind that old door, it will soon be part of a display at the shop ;)  If you look to the left of the big tree, you see:
 the cement floor of the old garage. I would like to put a garden shed here. It would give me a place to store my tools and bikes, and it would also hide my trash cans and the neighbor's trailers.
If you divide the back yard into thirds, this would be in the middle third. The neighbors to the right have a nice fire pit way back on the last third by the tracks. I decided to put mine in the middle third, because that way our pits would not be side by side. I was just going to use an old truck wheel for the pit, which Joe was going to bring over, but when he showed up he had this! Much fancier than the truck wheel! I got some plastic Adirondack chairs at Walmart, and it's a nice comfy place to sit. We tried it out that night for Mike and Jill's birthdays and it got the thumbs up from the kids. It comes apart easily too, so if I move, I can take it with me.
 Looking back towards the house. See the bushes leaning against the tree? Those are from our old house. Jill and Mike decided they didn't want them, so I took them.
I planted them in a little curve outside the back door. They form the edge of what will be a nice little patio area.