Friday, April 13, 2018

Backyard Landscaping Like a Boss

Matt. Seriously guys, there is no man on this planet more awesome than my husband. He loves the outdoors, landscaping, gardening, planting. And thank goodness for that because, in my world, the thought of even something as simple as mowing a lawn sounds horrible.

Not to say I don’t like the outdoors. I do. It’s just that most of the activities I enjoy doing outside involve water and relaxing next to it.

Put me on a beach, beside a river, lakeside, in my pool. Give me a canoe, floaties, a low-seated chair that allows me to dig my toes into the sand while I read a cheezy book.


Raking, pruning, hoeing, and tilling? Uh, no thanks. Nature is supposed to be about having fun, breaking away from the mundane life of a rat on a wheel. To me, landscaping, gardening, is not spending time in nature. It’s torture. Especially under the hot Arizona sun.

But, my husband enjoys taking on all of that stuff. He feels a huge level of pride when he completely transforms the front yard from ghetto weed garden to Zen-raked gravel perfection.

And he should take pride.

I won’t deny that it always looks great, but I also won’t deny that I’m thrilled I wasn’t the one who had to get it to that point.

But he’s a virtual rock star with a pitchfork. Or, in this case, a tiller.

So, our general plan is to break up the monotony of the backyard and install an area where we might actually hang out. Somewhere other than our covered patio. The grassy area in our backyard has been nothing more than a waste of water and excuse to use the lawn mower for far too long.

The time has finally come to put our money where our tiller is and get to work!

Just like the pool refill and bar project, this backyard story is probably best told in photos. Things are moving pretty quickly around here so by the end of this weekend we should have even more done out back. I’ll be sure to post another update when we get the rest of the materials installed.

You’ll see in the photos that there’s two patches of lawn, those will stay, and a whole bunch of dirt. Within the dirt areas around the outside, Matt wants to plant some small ground plants, some trees (palm and citrus) and then fill with a pea-stone sized, sand-toned gravel.

That same gravel will fill the outside edges of the inner rectangle of dirt, and set up inside that we’re building a concrete paver patio and fire pit.

Before getting started. Though, to be fair,
we already did a bit of retaining wall
and brick removal in the far back right corner
in order to have the block wall painted.

Not sure how this part of the process became my job.
A couple blisters and aching biceps later and
about half of the brick is gone. Most of it needed prying
out from under lawn, hence the 2 foot crowbar.

First pass with the tiller, a brand new tool for Matt.
He loves when I take pictures of him mid project!

Second pass (maybe more?) and lawn is finally
disappearing into soil. I really shouldn't
complain about my aching biceps after pulling,
like, 300 bricks. My husband is going to be jacked.

Oh yeah, did I mention that, because of the state
of the crabgrass type lawn, Matt had to rake out
after every pass and sometimes in between? Yeah.

Two days tiller rental and she's ready for digging!

Seriously, he totally crushed this job. There's a bit more to do to
even it out but we'll be out there digging, tamping, laying weed block,
raking out gravel, and building a fire pit in no time!
Please pass the marshmallows...

And, yes, before you ask, I do plan to help out with some of this (mostly the paver/pit areas because I’m a boss at that part). It’s far too hot out there already for Matt to try to do all of this on his own.

But, solar rings are already floating in the fresh, clean pool. So, you can bet your ass I’ll end my workday with a fruity drink and a swim!

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

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