Monday, April 8, 2013

Backyard work

Finally a sunny and warmish day. Snow one day, sun & 50F temps the next. That's what I am working with.

The sunlight lured me outside and I unexpectedly started raking. Actually, the initial inspiration came from Lucy ... refusing to come in (smart girl), shoveling pebbles and building a garden. When in Rome, join in...

This works two ways, she drew me out and my raking piqued her interest. Everything is fun for a three year old. And what a wonderfully keen helper she is, making up lyrics, singing a song while she worked by my side. "Mommy does the pulling, I put the sticks in the wheel barrow".

It might not look like too much, but this is years and years of vines (grape vines, but not grapes, perhaps) growing vertically up the fence and horizontally across the yard.  I got mad last fall and started tugging them out, across the yard tearing up the grass weeds. No gloves back on that day, so I accomplished not more then lots of blisters.  Attempt number 2 w/ gloves. Gnarly and done!

The entire backyard needs a huge overhaul. Problem is I don't know how to incorporate the little ideas I have into a bigger vision.  I may just start and see how it evolves.

Must do things on my outdoor list.
1) Fix this opening. Left open after last years stump crushing. I took the gate from the other opening and leaned it on its side here. It blows down and crushes my tree. Time to get some hardware and put it up on hinges. For the time being. I dont care for the high chain link fence but am undecided on what to replace it with.  A cedar tree line, I would love.

2) Deal with this opening (where the other gate used to be). In order to install the Parisian balcony, the steel post had to be shortened and the gate was now to tall to close. Here is where I am certain I can take the fence down with no regrets. It runs down the middle of the lawn splitting the yard up and looks awkward.  Its too high. And makes lawn cutting a nuisance. But its practical because I have a dog. A deaf dog. This is why it hasn't come down. But now that my thoughts and budget have moved from the kitchen renovation they are free to explore backyard updating.  Make it pretty, inviting and keep the dog from wandering. He is old and deaf and loves people. He would sit at the front of the house waiting for people to come by to pet him. Not so bad, but he will follow them and get lost. Has happened once already.  Lost for two days.

The idea: I may be ready to roll the fence back to the garage. And....then what??? A low, decorative post and rail fence.  An arbor put up near the garage. I love the look of an arbor and an inviting entrance into a secret garden. This will also help with getting the lawnmower into the back yard. Right now I have to haul it up the stone steps and that's another pain and deterrent for up keeping the back.

3) Tung oil or varanthane balcony.

4) More stump crushing, which works in favour of replacing the fence.

5) And lots of flowers.

Yep, I returned to HomeGoods several times, and picked up another greenhouse. The white framed greenhouse comes from Ikea, but that did not suffice. I couldn't get the wooden peaked roof one out of my mind. And I have lots of growing to do! I also picked up the rustic green garden table on wheels.

Lucy also liked the new greenhouse and before I had the chance to put my seedlings in, Lucy filled it with her dolls.

Eventually I need to smash out the broken concrete steps that lead to basement, bring in a bobcat and haul out all the dirt and level the area. Wrap the rock wall into the basement entrance, install patio stones and hopefully create an inviting entrance as we use this door way all the time.  Will want to also replace the concrete path to the side door as well. That tires me, writing it out. Stage #16. 22, and 58.

Here is to spring and evolving  backyards.

For past reference:
Backyard stage one; hauling out broken, concrete slab and putting in a pea gravel patio.

Making the outdoors accessible from the kitchen: Installing french doors and building a "Parisian balcony"

Here is my Pinterest back yard inspiration.

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