13 March 2011

Status Sunday: Landscaping...Before Calling in the Professionals

Our goal this weekend was to strip our landscape as bare as possible, to leave as few line items as possible when we get a quote from another landscaper this week. The biggest task in this regard was to rake up and bag the mulch that was spread during construction to keep mud at bay, but we also needed to take away the decomposed granite that we put down last spring as a temporary walkway from the driveway to the front door:

It's perfectly good decomposed granite, and it sells for a few dollars a bag in stores, so I hated to throw it out -- not to mention that I don't know how I'd actually do that (we had about a yard of it, or enough to fill the back of a pickup truck). Shamelessly taking advantage of our block's neighborhood watch e-mail list on Friday, I invited anyone who could use it to come and grab as much as they needed, and we were able to give all of it (plus a leftover pile in the backyard) to an older lady up the street who had, as she put it, big plans but a small budget for her own yard. When we offered her mulch, she gladly took a bunch of that, too, and since she brought three big, wheeled garbage cans, it was a breeze to load them up and pull them to her house. Even though we probably ended up taking 15-20 loads to her, it was ultimately easier than filling dozens and dozens of those paper lawn bags and shuffling them around until garbage day. She even wanted to reuse the plastic edging and landscaping fabric that had held the decomposed granite in place, resulting in zero waste from our temporary walkway. It was the definition of "win-win."

So let's recap. Two weeks ago, the front yard was looking like this:

And midday yesterday:

And now:

Despite all of the mulch we delivered up the street (yes, uphill), we still filled, I think, 36 bags with mulch, most of which is on the front porch waiting to be picked up later in the week. The only thing we didn't get done in the front yard was spreading that big, white pile of ground drywall (the gypsum is supposed to be good for clay soil, so it needs to be spread all over the lot before the ground is tilled).

And now for the backyard before and afters:

The pile in the bottom left corner in the picture above is the pile of "good" mulch, which we gave away (to two different neighbors, actually).

And another angle:

After taking care of the mulch pile, we consolidated three or four compost piles into a huge one in the back corner. Keeping with the theme of leaving one large task undone, though, we didn't get to spreading the dirt pile in the backyard.

That's a project for another day...and hopefully someone other than us....

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