Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July! Now Grab a Shovel & Get Busy

You know what the blog has been missing? News about an actual "project." One where we get our hands dirty over several days, toiling away toward a goal. Lucky for you, Dear Reader, we have just such a story to tell. With a nice four-day weekend on tap, we decided the time was right to undertake a little landscaping.

You may remember last summer when we were given a little stack of pavers. We worked a little on the area next to the northwest stoop then stacked the pavers for use another day - which nearly one year to the day later - finally arrived.
And look what else arrived! My baby brother, Tim, in town from home in Sioux Falls. While Teresa and Karli were off shopping Saturday (July 1) afternoon, he volunteered to come over and watch us work. It wasn't long before he grabbed a shovel and started helping.

The "project" is creating a a paver-bordered walk-way from the north side of the garage, around to the west side of the garage, then a flower bed from the northwest stoop around the corner, along the west side of the great room, ending at the south patio. We started out small on Saturday, choosing to concentrate on the flower bed portion. Scott figured out how many pavers we would need to purchase, and I found the bargain price at Menard's. We toted 100 pavers home in the Subaru.
The worst part of the project is digging the grass out to create a trench for the pavers. Scott and his trusty hoe made cutting through the roots seem so easy! My job was to collect the chunks of grass and knock off as much soil as possible. (We don't need to fill the burn pile with dirt, after all.)
The design incorporates gentle curves to create beds for perennials; most likely hostas on the north side and cone flowers on the west. Still to be determined! Scott placed the bricks "downhill" which will create an easy surface for the lawn mower to ride along (and eliminate the need to use the trimmer.)
Scott started small with a little cut, then created an eight-inch wide trench for the pavers - and he and Tim endured it all during a hot and humid afternoon without whining.
Thank you, Timmy, for your wonderful hard work!
Here's a quick shot of the completed flower bed on the west side of the great room. In addition to adding some much-needed backyard color, the plants will help disguise the big egress window wells.
Today (July 4), Scott started the walk-way portion of the project by mapping out a 4-foot wide strip along the west side of the garage. (Wilson inspected everything before granting his approval and finding a cool place to nap.)
The sidewalk in this photo will give you an idea of what we're creating. We will finally be using some of the river rock in the giant pile next to the barn! We're using 16"-square pavers for the stepping stones and more pavers to line the outside border (just like we did for the flower beds.)
Once again, the labor intensive portion of the project was digging up the grass to create the pavers' trench. Lucky for Scott, Bibbers hung out with him most of the day which makes working in high humidity/heat almost bearable.
By the time he made it around to the north side of the garage, a dark rain cloud came along with a cool breeze...just the relief he needed to finish. (We only got a few sprinkles but it gave us a good opportunity to take a break.)
At about 4PM, Menard's delivered 210 more 4x8 pavers and 40 16x16 pavers. We figured it was worth the extra $60 not to have to make six trips to pick up this much weight.The delivery man was super nice and wanted to buy noTTafarm. (Who doesn't want to buy noTTafarm? It's an awesome place!)
The day's work came to an end with the placement of black landscaping cloth to (hopefully) discourage the grass from growing. We plan to start back up after work tomorrow.
Stay Tuned for More Progress!


  1. I need to thin my coneflowers. I could dig some up for you if you want.

    1. I have some on the west side of the barn that I could thin, too. But I can always find room for more! Will you deliver? :)

    2. I'll take them if you don't mind messing with the transport! Daisies, too :) Thanks for making noTTafarm more beautiful!