Monday, May 24, 2010

I've been busy.....

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I last posted. I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Mainly because I've been hard at work making our neglected backyard into an outdoor family room.

This is what our yard- and Mr. Nest and I- used to look like. We've all gone through some, ummmm, changes. :)

The yard and I were one with each other, skinny and plain. But dogs and a baby have taken their toll on both of us.

So, time for a change! For me: more exercise and healthy eating. For the yard: a facelift. This is what I started out with 4 days ago (Friday) at 9am.

Mr. Nest and I began digging out and edging the area for a floating deck using pallets. My grand idea took a nosedive south when we laid out the pallets and found too many fragile boards. I forged ahead, convinced we'd find another solution.

Next the sand went down. And I spent almost 45 minutes trying to level it. If I may offer a tip to those thinking about taking on this project: don't do it alone! It's a pain in the butt! (10am)

Then I got to use a "tamper." Although, I like calling it a "stamper" because isn't that what you're doing? Stamping the sand into the ground so it's compact? Well, it makes sense to me. Anyway, I used the stamper, I laid down the pallets top-side-down (12pm). That's when I found out that one side was an inch shy. Measure twice, cut once- yeah, that's good advice. So I carved out the extra inch on the left and the pallets finally fit.

It was getting horribly warm out in the sun, and after my maddening measuring mistake slight snafu, I made a Home Depot run to get materials for the decking. 

I wish I wish I wish I'd gotten pictures of my Toyota Camry stuffed to the gills with 16 8 foot deck boards! I also wish I'd gotten pictures of the crazy faces the men in Home Depot and its parking lot were making as I drove the flatbed full of lumber like a skilled carpenter! I should've been wearing this shirt:

So by 5pm that evening, this was our deck.

Not too shabby if I say so myself. But it still didn't look quite right to me. So I got up at 6:30am on Sunday and did this:

I'm THRILLED with the results! Once the grass grows in between the stones and the deck gets that gray patina of wear and age, it will really start feeling like the established garden backyard I've been going for.

Now, I need to finish picking out plants for the garden. So far, I have a lilac (on the left) and a Butterfly Broom Bush on the right (it just finished flowering- it was so pretty!). Any ideas for plants that will get full sun, flower pretty, and add lots of color?

So what do you think?

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Terrific job! Love the additon of the stones, good thinking. It's going to look great.