Sunday, June 27, 2010

Backyard Do-Over - Beginning To End!

For the past year, we have been doing a complete renovation of our backyard. This is the post that gives you an idea from start to finish what we did and how it looked and now looks. Our yard was a lovely yard, with trees, bushes, a dry creek bed running throughout with lots of rocks (the big rocks cemented in), and a very small manicured lawn that took less than five minutes to mow. It was very picturesque, but not a kid-friendly yard. It also required a lot of maintenance!

These first few pictures are from a few years ago to give you an idea of what it used to look like. (You can notice the cute kids as well...:)

Here are two of the three Liquid Amber trees that were in our yard; great shade trees, but very messy because they dropped "pokey balls" everywhere! Also, the root system was very dense and spread throughout the yard, damaging our porch and coming up through the grass.

Here is a small portion of the rock creek bed that ran all around the yard.

The other tree, and more rock....

More rock and bushes throughout...

Brian took a sledge hammer to the entire creek bed, breaking it up. Then over the next few months, we carried the rock over to the far side of the yard. When we were ready to get rid of it, we invited the Fletcher's and all their big boys to come and help us load up. Then men formed an assembly line...

Here was Jason Clarke with his truck where they tossed the rock.

Conner, Brian and Mark handing off rocks.

Seven truck-loads that day! It was very tiring for them loading up the truck, driving to the Fletcher's and then unloading all the rock! Doing that seven times made for a very long day! Even then, that did not get rid of all the rocks, just the biggest ones. It took quite a long time to get rid of all the small ones!

Next came the chopping down of the three trees. This was very nerve-racking for me because the trees were quite tall, and I was afraid of home damage, fence damage, and worst of all - body damage of Brian or Russ...our wonderful friend who helped get these trees down. Thank goodness for Russ, who had done this many times before and lent his expertise in helping us!


All three trees came down without any problem at all! To me, it was a miracle and an answer to the many prayers I was praying the whole time they were working on them!

Here is Russ working on one of the trunks.

Here is the HUGE pile of debris that we had to haul out to the street. The kids were great helpers!

This picture actually skips quite a few steps. After getting the trees down, there was the stump removal with a stump grinder (that was a nightmare!), digging the roots throughout the yard, removing the old sprinkler system, getting rid of all the weeds that had taken over the entire yard, roto-tilling, and then leveling it. Most of that was done by Brian and an incredible friend, Brent Last, who spent many a Saturday working alongside Brian. This picture was taken after Brian and Brent planned out the new sprinkler system and mapped it out with spray paint.

Here are the supplies for our new sprinkler system.

Here is more of the mapping out of the sprinkler system.

Here are the trenches dug for the pipes.

Look at those beautiful control valves!

And look at those beautiful pipes!!!

Ok, so I again skipped a few checking the sprinklers, covering them up, leveling the yard again and laying down compost to help the grass grow. We decided to seed the lawn, and within two weeks we started seeing this beautiful green coming through the dirt!

Here is the grass at it's early stages...not much....but so exciting to see color out there instead of brown dirt!

Ok....drum it is! After the first mowing! Isn't it gorgeous?

Another view...

I can't take enough pictures of this beautiful grass!

Here is the view from our sliding glass door...nothing but green! I can't say how much I love this yard! Nothing but grass and a small area for a garden! Now my children can run around without tripping over rocks! Now we can throw a tennis ball to our dog and she has room to chase it! Now we can spread our blanket out and have a picnic or read a good book together! Now we can run through the sprinklers without tripping. I LOVE THIS YARD!!!
To end this very long post, I can't say enough about how proud I am of Brian! He did this whole project over the span of about 1 year without any professional help! With the help of some very dear friends, we turned our yard around, a task that I thought was pretty near impossible. He gained lots of experience through this, and lots more muscles!
Now, I'm going to go run my bare feet through the grass.....

1 comment:

jennifer said...

that was a HUGE project! way to go guys - it looks beautiful!