Friday, May 11, 2018

Adventures in Home Improvement Day 9,452,761

Or at least it feels that way. Thing is though, I’m not actually complaining about doing all of this stuff. We brought it on ourselves on purpose. Maybe we didn’t anticipate the scope within each phase, but the number of projects, yeah, we wanted this life.

There are benefits to spending so much time and money personalizing our spaces, like keeping a few middle-aged pounds at bay and being able to make our home a personal reflection of who we are as people.

As a girl who briefly spent a lot of money on a degree she never got in Interior Design, I appreciate the beauty in a personally functional space. It works for us, how we live, what we enjoy, and I love that. I spend a lot of time in this place.

Life and work happen here.

Conversely, I’m not kidding when I say the end (of projects) is almost upon us and my instant reaction:


Only a couple things to finish inside the house, and the yard is getting closer to the final phase. For now. Because, of course we have more plans for the yard. But this phase gets us our one newly remodeled space and a little more organized everywhere else.

And we are so close to finished with this I can’t even stand it! Like I did with the last couple updates, I’m telling the story with photos.

But before we get there, speaking of past updates…

If you’re new here and haven’t read about our yard adventures you can start here: Our Journey to a Sparkling Clean Pool, or the first part of the yard re-do: Backyard Landscaping like a Boss.

Or, keep reading to see where we are now.

All brick moved by yours truly.
This is about half what we have stacked all over the yard in brick, retaining blocks, and rocks.
You'll see...

Matt moved the stack of retaining bricks in the background,
then I had a great idea: create a riverbed out of all the large
stones strewn around the yard.
Okay, to be fair we thought of that together but it was my
brilliant idea to do it now. Like we don't already have enough to do.

This isn't even the final tally of brick and blocks we moved.
Also, note the gravel because that gets raked and moved later...

We're trying to eliminate lawn in all but the 2 locations on the other side of the yard.
Matt tilled over here then I got to digging/turning/raking.

Oh look, more huge rocks! AKA: places for weeds to hide.
And ground bees. Matt moved all on the nearside due to that,
I moved all on the far side into our new dry creek bed.

We raked back gravel where we planned to put rocks, then worked around
the existing pile of rocks until it freed gravel.
Which we raked out as well. And filled with more rocks.

Full disclosure, this isn't even finalized, we just needed something
"good enough for now" because the other side is the priority.
When finalized we're adding a water feature and weed block.

I finished raking out gravel, digging out rocks (yes MORE large rocks) and
grass. Next step: add dirt to level out the spot and tamp into place with a 12 lb tamper.
Again, no weed block yet. Frankly, there may never be block here.

It rained earlier in the day (well, hail and rain but we'll get to that)
and I didn't want to track that around the house. Improvise.

After two full days of moving dirt and rocks and grass I think she
looks freaking incredible (if I do say so myself, pat-pat-pat)!

Finally finished brick removal over here as well.
Now Matt can get his half of this project done.

Once again, the before picture.

His second round with the tiller helped get even more grass out.

Tilled, loosened, raked, and ready for plants!

It looks like a tropical jungle, with Matt hiding out in the back.

After returning home on day 1 with the load of plants we realized things were sparse.
Also, unbalanced. So back we went for more.
Day 2:
We added other species that will bring color and all are on the same water schedule.
As we checked out and loaded up the plants in the back of the car I noticed the sky getting darker...

Traditionally, Phoenix's dry months are May and June.
Of course, we planned to landscape on the one weekend where temps
weren't supposed to climb out of the mid 70s so obviously
Mother nature decided to give us Phoenicians "spring" for an hour.
Deluge. (Not complaining though, the backyard flooded just enough so I
knew where we were light on dirt and gravel and it made my job much easier.
Plus it all ended as we pulled into the garage! Perfect timing!)

If you look really close, yes that's hail outside and on the floor at Harbor Freight.

First plant in the ground!

Matt watering the first planted plant!
A little out of order here, this is actually end of day on day 1.
Plants placed so we could see what gaps to fill in on day 2.

Action shot!
Yes, this is day 2. Yes, that is Matt's favorite landscaping outfit.
It makes an appearance in just about every post about our yard re-do.

All plants in the ground and irrigation lines run.
All that's left now is weed block, sand, gravel, patio pavers, and a fire pit.
The weather likely won't cooperate like this again now that summer has arrived.
Slow and steady is the name of this game now. We have until September.
But it's time to get out of here because tired is an understatement...

Thankfully, I pre-schedule posts so Matt and I are already gone to (and back from) a four-day weekend in California. We earned that mofo. And it was awesome.

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

1 comment:

JudisJems said...

Looks awesome. Can't wait to see it in person. xo