Ok, first of all, look at my before and after of my beautiful weeding job... I even planted some new plants (baby ones, they have a lot of growing to do...) Unfortunately there's still a bit more to go that you can't see in this photo. Oh well, maybe for another day.
And now... check out our fence!! When it's all done, I'll take a picture from the front. Woohoo!
We continue to make progress on our fence! We spent about 5 hours working on it today, and here's what we have to show for it! These two pictures were what it looked like this morning...
See where the plant is in the picture on the left? Just to the right of it (out of the picture) is where the original fence is, so everything you see there is new. In the picture on the right, Mark is standing above the retaining wall we built, next to all the fence posts! And now if you look below, that's where we are now! And yes we are aware there is a hole in the fence, we ran out of the longer planks so we have to go buy one more to fill that space. Looks very... wooden, at the moment with all our wood fences and retaining walls, but there will be plants and grass to accompany our new structures soon hopefully! It is possible we will have the entire side part of the fence done by the end of next weekend (as long as the weather holds up, of course)!
I had a request for some pictures of patio and nursery, so, here you go! We'll start with the patio. To start, here's a before picture (or 2). As you can see we removed that fence, and put in a patio where the existing grass was. Now the grass looks nice in this picture, but I think that was a summer day after weeks without rain. So you can see actual grass, and not swamp land. The second picture is the view from the dining room right after we moved in.
So now we have the "after" photos. There is still work to be done, but this is pretty good I suppose. We sort of ruined the grass in our attempts to correct the drainage problem, which was pretty much unavoidable. So we need to fix that up, as well as build our built in BBQ/outdoor kitchen right where the clothesline currently is. (Not to worry, we have another clothesline behind the house). But now we have much more usable room in the back, and just you wait until that BBQ goes in! So the new pictures... we have 3 different views for you, I should have taken the cover off of that fire pit (the black thing between the 2 chairs) but oh well. And just pretend the hose and those piles of leftover sand/rocks are not in the picture. :) Now all we need is some bug repellant or something because I can't seem to go outside without get at least 1 bug bite. And it's only me, not Mark. Lame. Feel free to click on the images to enlarge. :)
Now just give me a few minutes and you can see some nursery pictures too!
We're close! We have laid down all but 4 of the pavers, because unfortunately we had to go back to the store to pick them up, AND, we need to cut them to fit in the remaining space, so it's going to be a bit of a pain. But once that's done, we just have a few finishing touches to do, and then we're finished with the patio! One big project done, one more BIG project to do before baby comes! Pardon the uneven color of the stones, we just sprayed them with the hose so parts of the pavers are still wet. If you look at the picture on the right you can see the little bit we have left to do. Sorry the lighting of the pictures is so bad, I should've waited until tomorrow to take the pictures but I'm not that patient. Maybe tomorrow's pictures will be of the finished product!
So our patio is progressing... we ordered the patio pavers, which should be delivered any day now. We also ordered all the sand and stones/rocks we need for the foundation of the patio and for the drainage system Mark put in. Well, the sand and rocks arrived today, and holy cow apparently we are building a mini beach in our backyard. In order for them to be delivered, they had to be unloaded with a massive crane. I wish I had taken a picture of the crane, but I think the guy would have thought I was nuts so I refrained. But I did snap one of the sand bags, just so you can see.
And just for a point of reference, those bags are almost as tall as me! Good news, this means that we are able to move on to the next step of forming the patio! Yay! Hopefully by the end of this weekend we will have put all the sand down, and be ready to put the pavers on top when they get here! More pictures to follow, hopefully showing some progress.
Well, Mark and I had high hopes for our backyard, and it's turning out to be a bigger pain than we had anticipated. We built that mini retaining wall with only a few minor hiccups, and then we moved on to building/extending our patio. Here's the "before" picture, before we even moved in to our house...
You can see the current patio, and then the little grassy area behind it. Well, the problem is, that grassy area is pretty much useless and a waste of space. So we decided to make it into another patio area by putting down some pavers. Easy enough, right? Well, the reason that the grassy area is a waste of space is because the people that planned out this yard completely neglected to factor in any sort of drainage system. And since we live in Wellington, where it rains A LOT, this is a big problem. So with the grass, when we get any amount of rain, the water just pools there and we get a huge disgusting mud pit that takes weeks of sun to dry up (and weeks of sun in a row is pretty rare here). So we thought we would change it to a patio space, and then at least we could still use that area when it rains, and our useable backyard space would increase by quite a bit. Well, obviously, we had to start with the root of the problem, which was the drainage issue... So there actually was a drainage pipe in place already, it just was not put in properly. Which led to this...
Mark had to dig up the entire drain (bye bye lawn), slope it properly, and test it out to make sure we're on the right track. And we're talking digging through clay here, so this is no easy task. Our backyard looks a mess, but finally we think we have the drainage done correctly, and we can cover it up and start the actual patio... because right now, it looks like this...
We really are trying to get this (and the building of the fence) done before July, and really, it needs to be done before May because that's when the winter weather returns and we get lots and lots of rain, so we need to get this finished. Hopefully soon (and by soon I mean in a couple of months) I will be able to upload some pictures of the finished product. :) Pretty soon I'm going to finally upload finished pictures of our decorated house! Probably a "before and after" kind of thing. Although that would require us to finish patching up some of the painting!
After just a few minor hiccups, our backyard retaining wall is halfway done! We spent about 4-5 hours on it today, and Mark hopes to finish it by the end of the day tomorrow. Luckily for me, I have a soccer game in Dunedin (south island) so I will be gone ALL day long. Which means Mark gets the whole day to himself to work on it! Here's what we have so far...
As you can see, we made a few minor miscalculations (note how the pole on the left is just a bit shorter than the one on the right?) but nothing that can't be fairly easily fixed, so I'd say so far it's a success for our very first project. eventually we will have to build a big fence to actually enclose our yard, but we'll put that off for a while I think. Now, we just have to figure out what in the world we are going to do with that HUGE pile of rocks/dirt/clay that is left on our lawn!!
We have never had a yard before (since we have never had a house before) and while it is a LOT of work (seeing how we cannot even think about being able to afford a gardener), we are actually really enjoying it. Pulling weeds isn't the most glamorous thing in the world, but it is nice to see how much nicer and cleaner we can make our yard look! We have a lot of things planned for our backyard (depending on finances, of course), but I think they should really add to the value of our house so it will all work out in the end. Or at least I will keep telling myself that. :) Anyway, hopefully tomorrow or Monday I will post pictures of the finished retaining wall! Maybe even a before and after picture, if I remembered to take a before picture, that is...
Well Mark and I might have gotten in over our heads with this gardening/landscaping business... We decided we needed to do something about our mess of a yard, and so we started with mowing and weeding, which helped a tiny bit. Now, we are (1) putting in a retaining wall in order to flatten out our backyard (2) putting in a ground level deck to cover up a wasted grass/weed space and (3) putting up a fence so we have an enclosed backyard and a little more privacy. And that's all just in the backyard. Don't even get me started on the front yard yet! But anyway, we are very busy with project #1 (the retaining wall), and we spent probably 8 hours digging a trench and holes for the posts to go in. We did find out that we have the BEST neighbors in the world! They all popped over and gave us extra shovels and tools that saved us SO much time and hard work!! We even managed to get two of the posts in and concrete mixed so they are stuck there permanently. Now we just have to pray that Mark measured and calculated correctly because those suckers are NOT coming out or moving any time soon, that's for sure. Our goal is to have this retaining wall part done by the time my parents get here (we have less than 3 weeks), so we'll have some busy weekends for a while. Hopefully it looks wonderful when we're all done with it!
If you are thinking that our backyard looks only like a pile of dirt, well, you would be correct. We have a HUGE pile of dirt, with a huge hole right on the other side. But if you click on the photos, or look carefully, you can see the 2 posts we have put in. It's a start, at least!
We have a LOT of work to do in our backyard. And front yard. And side yard. I think I may have already pulled 200 weeds, and there are still hundreds to go... plus we have moss and grass weeds, so that doesn't help. (And yes I am still in my pajamas in the photo above). We are also in the process of building a fence for our backyard so we can get some privacy, but first we must build a retaining wall and basically dig a hug trench and flatten out a slope so we can put the wall in. See below... Mark worked for hours digging the hole/trench, and there are TONS of rocks and clay, which makes digging pretty difficult. We have another whole day of it tomorrow, most likely! Not the most fun, but hopefully it will look wonderful when we're all done. On the upside, the rain has seemed to have gone away, and it was quite a sunny day today. I think I even might have gotten a sunburn too (although it doesn't take much to get burnt with the hole in the ozone layer just above us!)
This weekend is labor day weekend here in NZ, so Mark and I both have the day off tomorrow, which will be nice! Although it's too bad we will likely spend the whole day digging and moving dirt/rocks. Oh the joys of landscaping!
Ok so today we decided it was about time to tackle the large project of mowing our front, side, and back lawns. One problem... we didn't own a lawnmower. So, a friend of Mark's family kindly donated a push mower towards our cause. And for those of you who don't know what that is, it has no motor, you literally push this big metal spiky thing and it sort of cuts your lawn. Well, Mark decided to give it a go...
So far so good, although it was quite an effort to haul that thing across the lawn... and then, apparently Mark didn't know his own strength, and he managed to snap the handle off after about 30 seconds...
Luckily for us, our neighbors were outside and took pity on us, and let Mark use their gas-powered lawn mower. That thing is one powerful machine! Our lawn is now looking trimmed and beautiful, I must say. And I had absolutely no part in it other than taking some pictures. :)