Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Start of Something Good... Our Backyard!

Back in May we won the Zions bank $10,000 Dream Theme photo contest for our back yard, then at the very end of June we finally got to begin the work. To start off we had 24 yds of dirt delivered, then a huge rain storn so then we had 25 yards to mud, SAD! Luckily the next day and 1/2 it dried out, so Cory would begin the work of hauling it all with the bobcat while I did the spreading of it with the rake.
We also cut off our small patio that was poured by the builders to make room for our all paver patio we want to lay. We also picked out & purchased our pavers to be laid in our future 700sq ft patio.
After ANOTHER 24 yds of top soil was delivered our yard was beautifully graded ready for our sprinklers to be installed.

UNFORTUNATELY, this is what the landscapers did to our beautiful to install sprinklers, we thought they would come in with a small ditch witch and carve ditches to lay lines, but nope they had a huge excavator and tore it all up! We did, however find it convenient with such deep ditches to lay our own gas lines with the help of our neighbor, who is a plummer,  for our new fire-pit and our grill we are converting to natural gas from propane.
A LOT of time was spent trying to get it all back nicely graded, it sadly never did get looking as nice as we had it the first time and we found a TON of rocks, which is the only type of soil we had around here. After grading the whole yard again moved on to our play area where we laid weed barrier and 12 yards of sand. Cory and his brother then took a week to build this awesome play set for the kids who absolutely LOVE it!
A couple days after the play set was finished our curbing was installed, WOOHOO, this helped to finally form our patch of dirt to really start to look like a nice backyard.
The next couple of days we got & laid our own sod, with the help of some great family and neighbors.
The morning after installing sod we spring a MAJOR leak when I accidentally turned on the sprinklers manually and twisted off the whole handle and water flooded everywhere with no way to shut it off and to make things worse we had a rock blocking out water shut off valve to our house so we had to turn off all the water to our whole house. We then had to dig 4+ to move the rock so we could 1. get the rock out to be able to turn on and off our sprinklers & 2. to fix the leak we had by the water turn off value so save our way too high water bill. Our awesome neighbor Bob saved us by digging and even got Phoebe involved in the process because of her small little body being easily able to fit down the whole.
I was thrilled to fix the rock issue to we could easily turn on and off our sprinklers and not pay for the leak we sprung 4 ft down. With the water issue taken care of next we needed to solve the rock issue I spoke of earlier. I wish I had a pick of our rock pile we made but sadly we don't, but it was several feet high and over 10ft wide. One solution was to take out part if our park strip grass and fill it in with some of the rocks. I love how it turned out and in the spring we will take out the rest of the grass and put in some small shrubs and mulch.We had also created a landscaping wall in the back with our largest rocks and two large loads rock with Cory's boss to help take out the eddy in the creek running behind his house. We still have about 1 more load of rocks left to deal with, but we have ideas. It saved us a TON of money not to just haul them to the dump.
In the middle of July I read an article about plants that you can still plant and get a harvest frm so we put together one of our new drip system in our garden and planted 8 little plants, in the future we want to do much more in the garden and have nice planter beds and a fountain but for now we were thrilled to have a couple plants and a few produce to call our own.
After a month this is what our yard looks like, we still need to pay our patio, but we need to finish grading the area and purchase some sand to spread under the pavers. You can also see in the distance the rock wall that I mentioned we built out of our larger boulders we dug up.
We LOVE our new yard and though it was hard work I am glad we did it ourselves so we could get the most out of the money we won.
SADLY we have hit the end of our funds so we will probably lay all the pavers that are sitting on the side of our house in the spring, along with some more dirt & mulch for our planter beds and hopefully a tree or two. I am sure it would take another $10,000 dollars to get it to look as we designed in our entry, but we are off to an AWESOME start.
I am super thrilled to have flatter yard instead of the cavern we use to have. I love having grass and not thorns and weeds, well we still have weeds but if I keep up in the spray they are much much more manageable! I love having a garden to watch grow and get a little harvest from. and the play-set for the kids is truly the best I love being able to see play, run around, and pretend for long periods of time, they are loving life in their new yard.

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