Sod removal happened this weekend, which is how our side yard went from this . . .
. . . to this.
We used YardRents again, who are great. The YardRents guys showed up promptly and showed us how to use the sod cutter. They knew it wasn't going to take us very long, so they didn't even bother to leave. One of the guys snapped photos of the garden (he was so fired up, which was wonderful) and chatted with me about the evils of Round Up while Greg zipped through removing the sod. It took 30 minutes to remove the area along the driveway and the side yard where we bumped out the fence.
Sod cutters are the best.
The YardRents guys packed up and were on their way and we got work rolling up the sod and transferring it to a pile in the driveway.
Then Greg leveled and regraded the soil so water will hopefully move away from the house, instead of toward it. We also removed the plastic that had been layed down years ago. A previous owner must have tried to keep water away from the house by laying down plastic sheeting and planting sod on top of it. I don't know why this seemed like a good idea but I'm sure a future homeowner will wonder why I put all this gravel in. Ugh, gravel?! Why not some nice lawn?
I headed down to Oregon Decorative Rock and picked up some gravel. I love gravel pathways. I love the sound they make and their persistence. I love the way your wheelbarrow sinks into the gravel, making it impossible to move, pissing off your boyfriend. (I didn't believe Greg when he warned me that would happen.) I really wanted gravel in this part of the yard but I wasn't sure how to handle the transition from the cedar chip pathway that will run through the front yard, and the transition to lawn in the backyard.
Neither of us are happy with the state of the side yard right now because it's a wasteland of gravel. Grey house, grey A/C unit, an eight feet wide expanse of grey gravel. Ultimately we're going to set up the rain barrel and a stock tank for tomatoes against the house, so it should only feel like five feet of gravel instead of eight. I popped some colorful pots over here (and that stupid wheelbarrow) so we'll have some color. I'm hoping to train a vine along this fence and Greg has plans for a trellis of some sort atop our fence. I'm hoping to find something vigorous enough to cover the fence but restrained enough not to pull it down. Any suggestions?
Currently gravel gives way unceremoniously to lawn. My thought right now is to ease the transitions with rock. I was so tired and sunburned by the end of the day that I couldn't handle a third trip to Oregon Decorative Rock. So I plopped it down and called it good.
But I'm fuzzily thinking something like this. Behold, my amazing MS Paint skills!
Eh, I don't know. Next I need to dig down the soil here (it will go in the bottom of the new stock tank), edge the plants with rock, then put down cedar chips.