The first project we undertook in the
backyard was to build a paver patio.
We rented a sod cutter and my friend Tim and I removed 3" of sod and dirt from a 10' x 13' area next to the house. In hindsight, we should have brought it further forward, perhaps even with the end of the sun room.
After removing the soil, I filled the area with gravel and used PVC pipe to make sure the gravel was sloped away from the house foundation.
|Next came sand and the laying of pavers.|
|Using a level as a straight edge to keep from straying from straight and parallel.|
|The finished patio|
|Gazebo installed and ready for relaxation.|
The Gardens of the Back and South Side Yard
The west side of the house encompasses the back yard and is the largest green space we have. The north end of the backyard is where I built Rusty Rooster Farm and the greenhouse, discussed in an earlier post. I added a flower bed that is joined to the existing bed that goes from the front of the yard, down the enter length of the north side of the house and now wraps around the corner. I would have made this bed longer, but utilities and the air conditioner prevented that. Even though I can't find a picture of it, I built a screen around the utilities and air conditioner to hide those eyesores and to attempt to reduce the noise form the air conditioner. While it definitely hides those items, it is less successful at quieting the air conditioner, so this Spring I'm going to add styrofoam insulation between the frame boards and then cover the back with reeding.
The next garden I added was on the side of the garage, which has a southern exposure as the neighbor has a row of 40-50 year old trees that are 30'-40' tall along the property line. The trees limit the amount of sun the area gets and early morning is when the sun is strongest. These conditions call for shade loving plants, most of which came from a friend's yard. She was removing a bed in her 1 acre property (oh, what I could do with that much land) and told me I was welcome to come over and dig up whatever I wanted.
After finishing the garage garden, I went to the garage sale I haunt each Spring, bought several new plants and once again was in need of another bed. The south side of the house gets about the same light as the garage does and I bought accordingly, creating what will probably be the last bed next to the house, as there is almost no more space available.
Since there is only a 3' tall chainlink fence between us and the neighbor behind us, we decided we needed some privacy fencing, but didn't want to go to the expense of fencing the entire back of the property. I decided to replicate the screen I built to hide the air conditioner, but longer. I sunk four 4"x4"x8' posts into concrete and used 2"x4"x8' pine as the stretchers. I then used chicken wire staples to attach reed fencing to the frame. As you can see in the second photo, it didn't provide much privacy and I didn't think a second layer on the back would be much better. so I wound up screwing pine fence boards to the back. Having created a new canvas against which to plant, I roto-tilled a bed approximately 15" wide the length of the fence and planted nine rose bushes, including several climbers. The last item on the agenda was cutting the post tops so that they were even and installing solar post cap lights.
The latest beds are on the south property line, which as previously noted is very shady, so it is the perfect spot to plant hostas and other shade loving flowering plants. I curved the beds as I find it more pleasant that simple rectangular beds and matched them so that the fence interrupts the flow as little as possible.
Next post I'll show off the many day lilies that grow in my gardens.