Wednesday, May 7, 2014

backyard (partial) makeover

And even that is a super generous title considering the dust bowl still making up half our yard. Which isn't the worst, especially for little boys, but since we spend much of our time under the blue sky it's starting to get to me and blah blah I already talked about this

But! Progress is progress and I've never been one not to toot the proverbial horn, so let's humor each other (me) and oooh and ahhh together at the 26% of accomplishment we've so far achieved in the backyard/dust bowl. 

So I know it's pretty sparsely landscaped (ha!) but for a terribly untrained eye like mine I think it merits at least one gold star. We have big plans to deck the yard out in palm tress, green green grass, a wall of flowers and of course the collection of sun bleached yard toys. Because we're classy. Or classay. 

But let's back up and talk about the mere 3 months it took to get to this point. 

The tramp. Or should we call it the pit of h-e-double hockey sticks? Because man, we will never repeat this DIY again. 

All in the name of frugality and inflated self esteem we dug the 13X4 foot hole by pick ax and shovel. We did wise up about half way through and hire two young men from our church congregation to help dig. Let's call them Thor and Captain America. Thor and Captain America bulldozed their way through 1/3 of the hole which helped us with the final push to get it dug out. 

And then this happened. 

Hell hath no fury like a trampoline that won't fit it's hole.

Not laughing.

If this doesn't make you want to run, grab a shovel and start slinging dirt then I don't know what will. In two dozen words or less, we didn't quite measure right and needed to chip away at the dirt in some areas to get the frame to slide in. Funnnnn.

Oh yeah. We framed the frame of the trampoline out with sheet metal and 2X4s as suggested by the ingenious Brooke of All Thing's Thrifty. Her documentation and photos were life savers so check all that goodness out. 

I don't think I captured the colossal amount of dirt we had left over. We ended up dumping tons of it back into the trampoline hole (definition of insanity...?) to help brace it and filled the raised beds and leveled out side yard and still had enough dirt to make a 87 prairie dogs very happy. So we offered it for free to anyone who wanted it and had some saintly takers, but still had way to much. So we called in the calvary ie the missionaries from out local area. In less then 2 hours the dirt was loaded of to be (legally) dumped in the desert and I've never been so grateful for freely given service. 

What a fun, long post this is becoming. Let's pick up the pace. More pictures less wordage. 

We are probably too proud of ourselves with the raised beds and fire pit. Granted the beds need a lot of TLC still and the fire pit still needs chairs...but we love using it and Rhett always wants to roast "mushrooms" (marshmallows). I'll share some more details about it in a few weeks once we make some small changes to it. 

And because of my need for your admiration, I would like to point out that each of the bricks for the raised beds weighs 24 pounds. (Subtlety flexes faux muscles...)

So basically here's the game plan for the next couple of weeks. 

1. On the 17th our sprinkler/irrigation system is getting installed. (Yes we are hiring that out. #winning) 

2. On the 20th the sod is getting delivered and laying it. (We're doing it ourselves. #failing)

3. Sometime before then we're going to pick out the palm trees and other foliage that will be going back behind the trampoline. We scored an awesome deal on river rock that will be surrounding the trees etc. Like 2500lbs for $50 from Lowes.  Bada bing, bada boom. 

4. We picked up some trellis for the bougainvillea and purchased a few more to help get the wall filled in a little faster. The plan is to have a wall of hot pink flowers that will help drown the brown. (1, 2, 3)

5. And a few of the less fun updates will be switching out the old brass lighting (we already did this for our other outdoor lights), getting a flood light and lastly choosing gravel for the side yards. 

Don't worry, we're done. Post is over and...


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  1. I love the progress you are making!!!!!!! I love the fire pit and the raised beds. Very beautiful. You both are doing a great job at increasing the value of your home. Big shout out to those missionaries that helped out. Have a smore for me. Sounds yummy. Tell Rhett I like roasted mushroom, too. What a cutie.


I really appreciate all of your thoughts and comments! They bring a smile to my face!