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New Beginnings

May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Early summer – a time of growth and renewal.  A time for new beginnings.  So might as well kick off the blog here.

This is our second summer in this house.  The last owners based their backyard design around lots of low-maintenance decorative perennials and two large lawns, split by an interlock path leading to an arbour (plus some larger trees, including a mulberry, a large red maple, and a few lilacs).  With a moderate grade to the property, it made the yard not great for any of the following:

  • kids playing
  • entertaining
  • growing food

Last year we started the overhaul with pulling out the perennials on the sunny side – orientation of house and surrounding trees is such that one side of the yard is almost full shade, but one side gets good sun.  We also put in some planter boxes to block off some useless sections of steps from the upper deck.  The stairs are pretty treacherous, but the big fix for those is still a year or two out.

This year, we have some major hosting duties for a family event, so out went the perennials on the shady side, and in goes a great big deck.  While we’re at it, a climber for the wee ones is going in as well.  With the grade towards the back of the yard, the back of the deck ends up a couple feet off the ground, and we end up with a pretty clear view into the neighbors’ kitchen and living room.  Losing the arbour also means we now have a clear view into their house from our kitchen – not ideal.  So not only do we have the deck and climber going in, but a lattice fence is going in for a privacy screen (doubling as a trellis across the back), and a great big planter box to act as an anchor and buffer between the deck and the fence.

This weekend’s project was the planter box – assembling and filling.  Two cubic yards of dirt hauled from the driveway out front to the farthest possible point in the back.  We had a bit of extra, so a few more beds have been made in semi-useless nooks around the old deck.  Next up: filling the beds with plants!

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