Monday, June 04, 2012

Operation Mexican Garden Gnome.

Alternate title: That one time that I moved a couple thousand pounds of dirt and rock in only five days and somehow my arms did not fall off.

This is one of those posts that might not interest you, the average reader. But it serves two major purposes (purposi? I feel like that should be the plural of purpose.  Let's make that a thing.)

  1. Toot my own horn, because clearly I am the second coming of Kwami.* (link is NSFW but hilarious)
  2. Make sure Fiance doesn't come home at the end of his Mexico contract and be totally shell shocked. 

To that effect - Hey Fiance look it your new yard (at the bottom of this post)!  Yay!

Upon pulling into our home's driveway last week, it was pretty clear that the curb appeal needed a little help. We were "those" neighbors. You know, the ones that kind of suck everyone else's property value down? Oi.
the full view 'before' (click to embiggen)

3' weeds next to our mailbox?  sexy.

my neighbor told me I should have put all these little guys in pots and sold them as saplings.

Weeds needed to be pulled, dirt patches needed to be filled and seeded with grass, the edges needed to be weed whacked, bushes trimmed and mulched, and mostly, the tiny arboretum that was growing in our gutters needed a clear cutting.

And so, cue last week Wednesday and Thursday.

big ol' hole filled in and new grass plantinated!

pay no attention to the garage full of 'crap to get hauled away.'


After that, it seemed like a waste to not just keep going with the backyard.  So Friday, Saturday & Sunday were devoted to cleaning all that up.  Most notably, there were three piles in the backyard: two of dirt and one of rock.  The river rock was kind of a bonus/bummer: we got it for 'free' when we hired landscapers to do some work last year.  They dropped off the rock with promises to start the work soon... and then they went out of business.  So we never got billed, holler.  But they were just hanging out on a tarp in the middle of the yard.  So I moved them.  Let me say that again:  I MOVED THEM ALL.  With a wheelbarrow and a shovel.  And my muscles.

yay? free rocks.

They were relocated to the space around our pine tree.  But this meant that the chunks of concrete that were at the time serving as "decorative" edging... well that all had to be moved to the garage so I could get it hauled off.  So... I MOVED THEM ALL.  *hurrrrrrngh!* (that's the sound I make when I point out the way to the beach)

there's some rock in the front there, but the whole backside there is just chunks of 'crete.  
I made it my bitch.

The after:
the dirt on the sides will be grass.

where the rocks used to live - also soon to be lawn.

And then there were the two mounds of dirt.  This dirt used to exist where our patio now is, but laying the concrete for said patio displaced the ground.  There is a very long story as to why the dirt is not allowed to leave our yard, and I won't bore you.  What you need to know is that the dirt may be unsightly, but it must remain here.

That hill of weeds in the background would be the two aforementioned mounds of dirt.

Which is okay, because we had a few places where we could really use a little extra dirt: the front yard where that tree used to be, behind the shed (once I cleaned out all the prickly weeds) to give the wildflowers I planted something to grow in, and where the rocks had been on that tarp, to give the new grass something to grow in.  So yet again...  I MOVED IT ALL.

Well, most.  Not ALL, all.  Because it is high time this yard had a garden.  All that dirt just taunted me for the last two years, and I wasn't having it anymore.  Thus instead of moving the second big mound of dirt, I tilled it,  and raked it around to make it not so much of a hill, but more of a slope with a flat 7'x 15' plateau.  In went that black plastic edging stuff, some fertilizer, and then the plantsssssssss.

again, totes gonna be grass.

behind the shed, soon to host a wildflower mix instead of PICKERS OF DOOOOOOM.

My beautiferous fledgling garden.

the herbal portion of the garden.

I can't wait for the grass to grow in, and the wildflowers to sprout and fill the lawn with awesome.  And I can't wait for the veggies I planted to make me crap tons of deliciousness.  What all shall we be feasting upon once Fiance returns, you may ask?  Onions, cucumbers, jalapeƱos, raspberries and strawberries, tomatoes, chives, basil, oregano, cilantro, and...

Which may or may not be dead already because someone managed to eat all the leaves off of it before I could even get it in the ground.  Kind of worth it to watch him drunkenly toddle around the yard the rest of the day, swiping at things that did not exist.

So there you have it, I'm no Queen Holly the Magnificent, but I think I did a pretty damn good job.  Any great lawn project stories you have experienced?  I want to hear them in the comments!

*If you were a planeteer, which one would you be?**

 **WHO WOULD NOT IMMEDIATELY CHOOSE HEART?  Hello talking to animals telepathically!***

***Not that I want to bias you in any way before you answer.

Now I have that song stuck in my head... we're the planeteers, you can be one too, 'cause saving our planet is the thing to do!


Heather B said...

Seriously, you are such a total ADULT! Amazing work, and I hope you keep us informed. I'm so impressed with all the work you did!

Kp said...

oOoOh thank you! It's been a pretty crazy incline going from 9+ years of living in a res hall ("dorm" to the uninitiated), to living in a real house that I really get to take care of. crazy sauce.

Queen Holly the Magnificent said...

Ha! I'll have you know I spend yesterday drinking and laying around the house becasue my muscles said 'no more oh god you are killing us' It happens to me too you know. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Y'all...

It's a crisp and beautiful morning in the neighborhood. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw "Big Bird" dashing away to avoid the dawn sun light...

Anyway... I got this concrete bugle playing Mexican statue thing at Lowe's the other day. I got it to replace all the plants I brought in off the front stoop.

The idea was: If some Mexican home invaders were about to kick in my front door... they'd see the little Mexican Gnome. Their hearts would melt and they'd all go back home and pray a rosary.