Friday, April 29, 2016

DIY Yard Project Day 7

Well, the hardest work is finally done.  Yay!!  I know it still looks sort of dumpy but there is plenty left to do.  What's done though, is the tilling, seeding and topdressing.  Most of the sand is in place and most of the recycled bark along the fence.  I decided not to hang the lattice behind the lawn swing.  It looked nice there, but I decided a much better use for it was a "not in use" cover for the kid's sand box.  Perfect solution to keeping the dogs & cats out, but still letting the sun & wind get to the sand to keep it nice and dry. When it's in use, we'll just hang in the fence behind the sand box.

What's left to do:

Fill in the rest of the sand
Fill in the rest of the bark
Re-paint the picnic table
Paint that last chair
Hang the solar lanterns on each fence post

And... possibly replace the fire bowl.  I really love this one here at WalMart.  It's very similar to the first one we ever had that was destroyed by a falling tree in a horrible ice storm, just two months before we moved into this house.  When we went shopping for the one we bought to replace it, our budget was extremely tight, so we opted for the less pretty one with a lower price tag.  It has served us quite well for 3 summers now but it's looking pretty beat up these days.

I still haven't decided where the cute little bridge our son-in-law built for us will go.  It was custom built to fit across our pond at the old place but since we don't have a pond anymore (yet?), it's just been sort of sitting at the edge of the yard. I'm still tempted to put in a pond because I really miss having that running water sound & loads of birds in the yard :)

If I do decide to be over-zealous about yet another project, it'll be a small pond like this one here. Deep enough to build up birdy landings with slate & stone yet not so big it takes up more space in the yard. Pond forms are 100 times better than pond liner kits (we've done both before) and we already have a really great pump for it.  Just a matter of digging a hole and dropping it in! Voila, itty bitty back yard pond.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

DIY Yard Project Day 6

Well, after a couple of days of rainy weather and being super busy doing other things (one of which was resting my back since I accidentally over-did it), I was back at it today!

First, I finished laying all the weed cloth where either sand or recycled bark will be going.  Bark along the edges of the fence and sand from the picnic table all the way to the fence, under the lawn swing.

I topped the sand area with as much sand as I had but I still need more for the lawn swing area so that's on the list for tomorrow.

I put a decent layer of topsoil in the back corner of the yard where the grass just never wants to grow. I'm hoping with it being freshly tilled and nice new bed of topsoil, this will be remedied.

Then finally I moved all the chairs & stuff onto the sand, so the yard is all ready for me to seed & topdress tomorrow.

I still have a bit of work to do in the lawn swing area.  It's not level where it's sitting so I'll have to fix that.  That white pvc lattice sheet is going to hang on the fence directly behind the swing just because it looks pretty and beachy :) We still need to put the top shade on the swing, and I'd like to replace the cushions this year with matching colors to the Muskoka chairs but I'm not sure if I'll get to that.  I still need to paint that last chair that gorgeous turquoise blue and then re-paint the table top and seat tops of the picnic table. Still have a few more loads of recycled bark to lay, and then finally lay a load of pretty red bark over the top.

I still haven't decided where these lovely ladies are going, but they've been with us for so long (despite the fact some of them have broken wings, or arms lol) they deserve a lovely spot.

So tomorrow will be seeding and topdress, more sand & more bark. Hoping to get all that done in the morning as we have rain coming later in the day.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

DIY Yard Project Day 5

Well, I have a hunch my massage therapist is going to shoot me not only 1 stink eye, but both. You can't really tell from the picture but before I layed the sand, I raked, and raked, and re-raked the entire yard to get it as level as humanly possible. And to get out all the big rocks, twigs and anything else I didn't want there. I'll probably go over it all one more time before I seed & topdress.  Yep, I've decided to seed instead of sod. More on that when I get to it. :)

As for the sandy area, I underestimated and need about 4 more feet of length at the end of this, so I'll run another strip of weed cloth tomorrow and pick up another 3-4 bags of sand for this section & then that part is done. Once the picnic table is out of the way, the area between the fence and the fire bowl will also be getting a section of weed cloth and roughly 6 bags of sand.  I'll be moving the picnic table back there when it's finished and putting a new coat of paint on the table top and seat tops, just to freshen it up.  So, the entire sandy section of the yard will be from under the picnic table all the way to the fence, roughly a 20'x8' section.

Because... I love sand!

And on a hot summer day I can sit out back with an icy cold beverage and do this, with my tootsies :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

DIY Yard Project Day 4

Well, the weather cooperated for me today so I took my 4 bins and made a trip to Bark Mountain! :)

It looks a lot bigger in real life, but this is the gigantic pile of recycled bark at the local yard waste depot.  It's not the pretty red stuff that comes neatly bagged (or back up your trailer and buy in bulk) but it does exactly the same thing.

Unfortunately I don't have a trailer so I will have to make at least 2-3 more trips to get as much as I need, but I was able to get almost half of the work done today.

The recycled bark is fairly light-weight so I'm going to want to double the thickness of what's here.  It still looks rather yucky, but once the lawn is in, it'll look a lot better. I'm also considering purchasing a few bags just to add a layer on top and make it look nicer.

The other project I had to work on today was leveling out and raking through the area that will be covered in sand.

Currently the sandy area stops right about where those piles of sand are by the leg of the picnic table.  I had to pull it back to uncover the edge of the weed cloth since that's where the new weed cloth will start and run all the way out to the area just at the bottom of the picture. It's roughly a 10'x10' area where the new sand will be and the picnic table right in the center of it.  It'll be roughly the same square footage as the sand box so that will take approximately 10 bags of sand.

The more I work the yard the more I go back and forth between seed and sod for the lawn.  I've done both before, and they both have pros and cons.  The big disadvantage with the sod is the cost and the labor (if you do it yourself).  The big bonus is *instant lawn*.  While grass seed is much easier to apply and far less expensive, it takes a while before it looks awesome. So I'm still undecided on that part of the job.

In any case, it's coming along exactly how I wanted it to.