Friday, August 26, 2011

Lovely Landscaping At Last

In this post, I wrote about our landscape plan for the backyard.  We did not stick to our plan.  We ended up renting a sod cutter on a Friday afternoon, and we were able to keep it through the weekend for the cost of a one day rental.  On Sunday afternoon, we decided to cut up the sod on the other side of our yard.  We made the decision not because the first side was easy, rather because the work was so darn hard.  Honestly, the prospect of renting a sod cutter next year to do it all over again wasn't something any of us wanted to consider.

We figured that it would increase our landscaping cost by about $400 for the additional edging, black dirt and mulch we would need, but that cost dropped to $200 when we had enough mulch on hand from our initial order to cover both sides of the back yard.  Where would we have put all that mulch if we didn't do the second side?  We had a nursery calculate the amount of mulch needed based on our landscaping plan, but our beds were a little bit narrower than the plan suggested to allow room for our play set.  We probably put the mulch down a little bit thinner than our mulch calculations allowed as well.  It all worked out in the end.  We did the bulk of the work over the course of 4 days and then did some additional work in the two weeks that followed.

Here is our backyard landscape plan:

Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures while landscaping.  I was in 'get er done' mode and didn't want to hold people up while I snapped photos.  I would have loved to have some images of our 13 cubic yard mulch mountain in our driveway, of Bill operating the sod cutter, of my dad digging mini-trenches for the edging to go into and of my brother planting the plants (sometimes using a drill to break up the rocky soil near the base of our house.)  Also, I would have loved a picture of me hauling the dirt and sod up and down the hill on the side of the house.  And finally, a series of each of us worker bees 'before a shower' and 'after a shower' would have been hilarious.  We got so unbelievably dirty!  I did take pictures of our work, however, so those will have to do:

Right Side Before:

 Right Side After:

Back Area Before:

 Back Area After:

Left Side Before:

Left Side After:
We're still working on getting a few adirondack chairs for this area.  We bought 4 unfinished ones at Home Depot and we're in the process of deciding whether to stain or paint them.

This area needs more plants.  We've added one hydrangea since this picture was taken, and I brought another hydrangea home two days ago to be planted.  

Herb Garden Before:

Herb Garden After:

Herb Garden Aerial Shot:):

Patio Area Before:

Patio Area After:

Landscaping work is grueling work.  And if there is anything I learned, it's the importance of using and wearing the right equipment.  We were smart and paid $120 for a sod cutter.  I wasn't smart about wearing the right shoes for the job.  Running shoes make wheel barrow runs from the front to back yard easier, but work boots would be best for everything else, especially shoveling.  Also, I only used work gloves that fit for the last day of our 4 day landscaping party.  I was so worried that a heavy wheel barrow full of black dirt was going to slide out of my loosely gloved hands earlier in the weekend.  We ended up finding a perfectly pink pair of work gloves at Home Depot for me for the last day of our 4 day project.   

We love our new backyard, and we're excited to take a break from landscaping work...until next year:). 

Here's an overall before:

And after:

We added solar lights to the new beds and they look so amazing at night!

And because there are already approximately 1000 pictures already in this post, here are a few more!!  Enjoy these 'Lucky Charm' pictures from the week:).

And with that, have a fantastic weekend!!  


  1. I LOVE that pic of Lucky with the purse and hat. Adorable! And Charm must just love his backpack...too cute. The yard looks fabulous. If you need hosta or hydrangea, I have an abundance - keep me in mind for next year. Free for the digging!

  2. Your yard looks beautiful. The kids look like they are having so much fun.