Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fence finishing

We finally finished the new fence!
We stopped a few weeks ago about 8 ft short of the end because the old fence's last corner post was also holding up more of the neighbor's dilapidated fence. When we took it down it would make their other fence section even less stabile. Marco finally figured out how to shift the position of our last post so we didn't have to take the old corner post out. Way to think out of the box, honey!

So we took out the next to last old post, concrete and all, and put our new post near it.

Once we added the crossbeams perfectly level with the ground, we were ready to put up doors.

You can see the neighbor's old fence in the background.

Toby REALLY wanted to escape and go on an adventure. He kept slowly peeking around the corner to see if the coast was clear.

I even caught him in the act of slowly stretching a paw over! My little sneaky sneaky!

Then he looked at me with sad eyes. Can I pleeeeease just go on an adventure?

We got it all up and painted after all. Doesn't the finished fence look great?

My neighbor's view


At the front of the house we wanted to block off the sidewalk on the side, essentially creating a fenced in back yard.

Marco used a door with a bunch of broken glass panels that we pulled out of someone's bulk trash pile.

He knocked out the rest of the glass, scraped caulked and primed it up, and cut a few inches off the top and bottom to bring down the size.

We attached it to some reclaimed posts (read: some more stuff we found on the street as trash) and framed out the opening next to it. Then we attached wire, hinges, a latch and painted it all the same green as the rest of the fence. It looks great!

It retains the open feel, but keeps the back yard, and my dogs running around in it, secure.

Next up: refinishing the floors again, painting walls, and getting the showroom downstairs ready for business.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 6, 2011

New grass

The yard never had great grass, but having a big horse of a dog hasn't helped!

We decided to focus on improving the one solid area of grass inside the fenced part of the yard by smoothing out the ground and giving it a NICE thick layer of St Augustine grass.

First we had to get out all the old grass and loosen up the soil. Home Depot has some great tools for that. Having a strong person the wield the tiller is critical!

The dogs loved the tilled up soil. They ran all over it chasing each other and play fighting over their bone.

We loaded up the truck with a bed FULL of dirt that we shoveled out of the yard to level it. We took it over to Marco's brother's house for some new flower beds. I then spent a couple hours spreading out, flattening, and somewhat perfectly leveling the soil.

We found a guy on Craigslist selling grass for $115 per pallet. He had only been open for business a few days and was trying to attract business. It was perfect! Exactly the amount we needed and slightly more.

For about three weeks I hand watered the new yard two or three times a day, nit soaking it but just keeping it moist so the new roots could take hold. Now I'm watering every morning. It's filling in and looking great.

We moved the fountain to another place in the yard and i still need to get a solar powered pump for it. It going to sound and feel so nice!

Marco's mother gave us a japanese maple. It looks lovely next to my corner garden filled with plants she grew and gave us too.

Next up is refinishing the wood floors inside, again. We learned a lot from the first time and want to do it better. Then we'll finally paint the windows and awnings. We tested the blue and may have finally decided we love it. Not sure. We'll see!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, April 9, 2011

More surprises under foot.

After a big windy storm with pounding rain, I saw some strange things poking through the grass and dirt. I think Lady's horse-like running track around the yard that killed most of the grass allowed for greater than normal erosion during the storm.

Here 's a top of a stone (and the top of Lady's head as she runs down the sidewalk)

A round pebbled shape like a stepping stone was in the middle of the yard, and in the upper left you can see a brick next to the sidewalk

We're planning to till up the whole yard, even out the ground level and plant grass seed soon. We can't use a roto tiller on bricks, so we set to digging them out.

Here's the scene before we dug...and then all we found...

Check out the shapes of these old bricks. I love the one with the big oval holes.

In one place I pulled out a brick only to find another beneath it. When you get another surprise like that you start to wonder what's next. A wall of stone? But it was the only place. The rest of the creatively placed hodge podge row of stones was only one layer thick.
Fittingly, the brick in the second layer was named "Kookey"

Who put them in? When and why? It wasn't a pretty border, but it was too erratic to be functional. It's another mystery that comes of living in a house that many many people have lived in before.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring begins

All over the garden there are flower buds just waiting to blossom. I love watching everything burst back into life It's one of my favorite times of year!

Red Easter Lillies, a gift from my mother's garden a year ago. Every day they get an inch taller.

The little fence keeps the dogs from trampling the flowers. I may move them to a safer spot soon.

My yellow climbing rose that only gave me about 3 flowers last year. Let's hope it tops that this year...or it's out.

The new white climbing roses they ordered for me at Repotted. I can't wait to see the blooms for the first time!

Same type of rose, other side of the patio. It's destined to climb and arch over the patio, raining white petals down on people.

The red climbing rose in the fence next to the driveway.

The honeysuckle flowers are about the explode onto the scene!

Strawberries are ripening too. They are SO DELICIOUS.

The new Ladybanks roses Elizabeth at repotted roccomended was the first thing to bloom. It might replace the other yellow rose bush next to it.

Beneath the yellow climbing roses, some wild bulbs I transplanted from the yard into the garden are starting to bloom but promise a lot more to come.

Perhaps that's why I love this part so much, it's the mixture of natural potential and nurturing care and a solid promise of much more goodness to come