The garden path is finished and the garden beds have lots of new plants in them! There are some iris from my foster son and his wife, violets that were transplanted from a different area of the yard, new plants of lavender, delphinium, and salvia and lots of other things. The sweet-peas and morning glories are just beginning to sprout under the tuteurs and I am looking forward to the time when everything starts to grow in! By the time my daughter gets married at the end of July, they should be looking quite lush!
The backyard has been one of my big frustrations, in part because I couldn't figure out what to do with it. It had been quite neglected before I bought it and things had gotten weedy and run down.
The flagstone patio, which I really loved, had gotten wavy and cracked and lots of weeds growing up through it. The old sandstone fireplace/grill was in sad shape. After many ideas, all of a sudden, I knew what I wanted to do with it and after a consultation with my sons, we decided it was a project we could "easily" accomplish.
We started early on Memorial Day. The first step was to remove the fireplace/grill. It came down very easily! My oldest son Jonathan was able to get the majority of it down with a 4lb hammer!
The driveway filled up with timbers and sand in preparation. I had neglected to consider how much debris the removal of the fireplace and patio would create. We ended up piling that in the driveway too and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a dumpster to haul it away!
The boys had fun with the equipment. All three of my sons work for a mine/shale processing plant and their jobs often entail driving really big equipment, so this was a lot of fun for them ~ and nice for me to have sons that know how to operate equipment like this!
We had a good crew of people to take the patio apart! This part ended up taking much longer than anticipated due to the uneven construction of it. Some places had lots of concrete, others almost none. There were lengths of steel pipe that attached to nothing under parts of it, lots of tree roots, which were probably the "root" cause of the heaving of the entire patio, and lots of other oddities, which made us wonder!
Eventually, we got the entire patio up, the reusable flagstones stacked off to the side of the yard and the large hump in the yard from the tree stump that was removed a few weeks ago graded down to match the rest of the yard.
I didn't take many photos today as we were too busy working. By the end of today, we had the majority of the beams in to frame out some flower beds, the ground cloth laid and the bed of sand for underneath the new flagstones that arrive on Thursday. I had hoped to reuse some of the old flagstones, but many of them are too thin. The new flagstone will be 2 inches thick and provide a more stable surface. I'll use much of the thinner flagstone for some other projects around the yard instead.
Eventually, I'd like to build a pergola to go on the back side of the garage, the part of the house closest in this photo. The landscaper has a bit more work to get the lawn into shape before the wedding. I think some new sod is needed in several places! Tomorrow, we'll finish the bed framing, as well as prepping a spot near the front of the garage for a step and to put the garbage cans. And hopefully, the dumpster that was supposed to be delivered this afternoon but never showed up, will arrive early in the morning so we can load it while we still have the bobcat to assist us!
It's lots of work and our muscles are sore, but we are all so happy with the way it is looking and can't wait to see it finished!