Our landscaping "projects" continue daily depending, of course, on the weather. Actually, the prediction for rain has been almost daily, but often the rain has come in the evening and over night so our work hasn't been called on account of rain, to use a sports metaphor. The last week or so has been particularly productive, and thus I am filling in the details of our newest landscaping escapades.
We have been purchasing a few bags here, a few bags there of top soil to even out the low spots and create a swale in the back yard, but last week, we went to the local nursery and ordered fill dirt to be delivered. Three (cubic) yards of fill dirt, to be exact (or not so exact because I am not sure how they determine the correct amount to the cubic inch), to be used as we see fit.
With this much fill dirt, we figured we could finish off many of the projects we had planned, and for the most part, we have done just that. The first day we hauled wheelbarrowful after wheelbarrowful of fill dirt to the back yard where we created a swale that allows drainage away from the house. Raking, tamping, and shaping of the area took the better part of the day, and we finished that off with planting grass seed and covering it with straw. We also raised low spots in both the side, front, and back yards by adding fill dirt to them. To each of these, we also planted more grass seed.
To the areas that had been sprayed to rid our lawn of insidious weeds, we removed the deadened weeds, and added fill dirt and seed to these areas, too. Yes, at this point in time, there are patches of dirt throughout the lawn, but, on the other hand, some of the areas, in which we have already worked, are showing sprouts of green grass poking out of the dirt and filling in nicely.
We have also spent a day or two working on the landscaping in the front of the house. Two overgrown yews (taxus), an overgrown dwarf Alberta spruce, and a rickety old flowering plum were in need of being replaced; however, it was with trepidation that we tackled this area because we knew that the sparrows and other birds gravitated towards them. At one point we thought that, perhaps, the sparrows had built a nest or two in the yews; we didn't want to destroy any more habitat than we already have. Having checked out the yews, though, we realized that there were no nests and proceeded to replace them. As Rob lopped the branches off and removed the bushes and tree, I cut these branches into much smaller, workable pieces that filled at least five huge lawn waste bags. It took the better part of the morning before we were able to clear it all away before planting new shrubbery. In the yews' place we staggered three Green Velvet boxwoods, several Salvia plants of different heights and colors, and two dwarf Alberta spruce of different sizes. We also took one of the nicely shaped branches from the flowering plum and have planted it in the backyard. Whether or not it takes root remains to be seen. The following day we put black mulch around the plants and the designated area of the bed. It is a big change from what was there, but for now we are happy with the results, and it has certainly increased, in our minds, the street appeal.
We finished up with the fill dirt yesterday by filling in other low spots in the backyard. Again, we seeded those areas. All that remains is for the grass to grow in. We have a few more projects to complete, but it is, after all, a work-in-progress.
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Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association