Home Improvements #3

Finishing the rock garden took a little while, but Hubby made it back to his uncles house to get another load of free rocks. While we were waiting for a reason to go there, I was slowly driven insane by the dogs’ persistant digging exactly where I didn’t want them to.

Bad Dogs
Apparently they were trying to dig UNDER the garage.

But evenutally, we got the rocks, and I was able to finish my project completely!Finished Product

We also had a super crazy wind storm here, which almost NEVER happens, and our two pine trees were looking a bit hazardous in the wind. I have ALWAYS hated these pine trees, so I was glad to have a reason to cut them down, other than, “they are useless, they put out no shade, they litter all over the yard, and they are taking up precious real estate in the backyard, that could be filled with beauty!” And we got a really good deal from the guy who trims our trees, so it was pretty perfect.

Here are a couple photos of what the yard looked like when we moved in:

The Pine trees are against the fence, and the shrubs were ugly and useless.

The Pine trees were against the fence, planted by squirrels and allowed to propogate for the last 20 years, and the shrubs were ugly and useless.

The yard was full of vegetation, but it was full of those ugly, builder shrubs that don’t bloom, and look sticky and sick their whole lives.

These vines were climbing everything, and were eventually going to kill our amazing oak tree!

These vines were climbing everything, and were eventually going to kill our amazing oak tree!

The vines climbing up the tree and garage are where the rock garden is now. Apparently a strangler vine was the only thing that would grow in this spot, which is why it is NOW a rock garden.

So now, after we took out the ugly shrubs and finally took down the pines!

A Blank Canvas

Now I have a blank canvas to plant my baby Loquot trees! I am waiting until it is offically spring, even though it’s 80 degrees today. I am sure if I put them in the ground we would get a freak snow storm. At the moment, this is all I can do until the days get longer. I only see daylight on the weekends at my house, so yard work is not always an option when I get home. But soon I will have my loquots planted, happy, and fruiting, and I will probably be giving away baby loquots for the rest of my life! So stay tuned! It might be sooner than you think!

Hondo laying on the rocks enjoying the sun, and watching for squirrels.
Hondo laying on the rocks enjoying the sun, and watching for squirrels.

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Home Improvements #2

(Disclaimer – this is the first time I have tried to use the WordPress App with my phone, and upload the pictures. If they look weird, it’s because they EXPLODED in size, and I had to shrink them down manually. Sorry ’bout that. Still learning.)

There is a space in our backyard that the grass will never grow. When we bought the house the area was covered in an awful ground cover vine that was making the garage rot, and would eventually have killed the oak tree it was climbing up. We ripped out the ground cover, but then we were just left with dirt. I found some awesome flag stones in the front flowerbeds and turned them into a walkway in the backyard so we wouldn’t have to walk in the mud, but the area was pretty much useless, except for our redneck dogs that decided to dig holes all over it. So, Hubby and I came up with an awesome idea – lay rock in the area. The dogs wouldn’t dig there, it would be a nice flat space for me to put my potted plants, we wouldn’t be tracking dirt into the house constantly, etc. So we decided to gather native rocks from Hubby’s uncle’s house in the hill country. There, it’s easy to find nice big, flat rocks, and they were…what’s my favorite word?

FREE!

Now, I’m sure Debbie Downer would say, “you had to pay for the gas to get there, so they aren’t free rocks.” Except for the fact that we were also visiting family, which was a great, fun trip, so we would have probably done it anyway, even if we weren’t getting rocks. So there. FREE.

When we starting scoping out the property for rocks, we saw the biggest, flattest rock we could manage, and I HAD TO HAVE IT.20121205-122630.jpg

So what did Hubby do? He hooked up a chain and dragged it out!

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(Ok, so that’s actually a picture of his uncle pulling out the rock, but Hubby hooked the chain around it)

We loaded up our small trailer and the bed of the truck and headed home. We only had an hour to work before we lost the light, but I HAD to get some work done!20121205-122908.jpg

I arranged most of the stones the way I wanted them (more or less), and with the Super Mother Rock as the centerpiece, I mosaiced around it.

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I ended up not having enough rocks to finish, but we will be going back to his uncle’s house soon so we can get the rest.

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To fill in the gaps between the rocks, we spread pea gravel.

That way, we (hopefully) won’t have water pooling around the rocks, and it will drain better. That’s the idea, anyway.

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So…Ta-Da! (Sort of) finished product! (This was right after it rained, it it was covered in oak leaves). Actually we will probably really and truly finish this project this weekend.

Next on my list of this to do to make our backyard even more awesome: see that dart board on the garage? I’m going to paint the plywood backdrop for it with chalkboard paint so we can keep score and write dirty jokes. Because that’s how we roll.