Backyard Progress

Jonathan is incredible. Seriously. Over the past month, he has put about 30 hours of manual labor into making our backyard a place to be enjoyed. When we first moved in last fall, the backyard consisted of a small rectangular concrete slab against the house, two juniper trees that were ringed with dead branches around the bottom (most of which someone had unsuccessfully tried to twist/break off, leaving a brown dead twisty sharp poky disaster area), and 1″ granite rocks-lots and lots and lots of them.

Now, I am a backyard-playing kind of Mommy. I love the idea of taking my kids out back to a nice fenced-in area where I am somewhat sure that they won’t be in danger from foreign objects or animal waste products. But when we moved in and had… a wasteland… I wasn’t too thrilled. That’s why Hula Girl and I have seen more of the parks and playgrounds in the city than of our own backyard.

But all that is changed as of this weekend. Check it out.

Jonathan and Hula Girl hauling rocks... Beautiful mountains in the distance!

She was being so helpful!

Okay, so see that 1″ granite all over the ground? Yeah. That was our WHOLE yard… up until a week ago. Now, see those raised 8’x8′ garden beds? We officially have FIVE of them. Jonathan worked extremely hard on them, and I am super proud of the work he did. He had to drill holes precisely in the ends of the railroad ties, and pound at least 2 pieces of rebar (which is short for reinforcing bar) into each plank with a sledgehammer. Then he had to put up a fence with a gate around each one because we live in the land of quails and bunnies (not to be confused with milk and honey- har, dee, har…). He even had to rig up a section of garden that can be fenced across the top to keep out birds- that’s where we’ll be growing all our berries and tomatoes.

Also, see that good-looking dirt in the garden beds? That’s our new topsoil. I went to the landscaping company and told them the dimensions of our garden beds and lawn area, and they ended up telling me we needed 11 cubic yards of dirt. Um, folks, that’s a LOT of dirt. Hula Girl was thrilled when the dirt arrived because she got to watch the dump truck “pour” the dirt onto the tarps. Ever since that experience, she has been running around the house talking like a dump truck. It’s kind of a low, gravelly voice. Super funny.

So anyway, this weekend we got our sod. Yes, our glorious sod. Wonderful, green, lush, spongy sod. I could go on and on forever… but I won’t. I just love grass and the smell of it and the memories associated with it. After all, I played soccer for eleven years of my life… I spent a lot of good times on grass. And when Jonathan and I started dating, we’d go lay in the grass in a park in Pacific Beach and look out over the Sea World fireworks many evenings each week. So yeah, grass!


Jonathan and I have been watering religiously- the manual that came with our sod said we need to water 10-15 minutes, three times per day, for the first two weeks. After that time, we can cut back to the traditional morning-and-evening watering. However, I think we might keep a short midday drink for our thirsty spears of green gloriousness because man, oh, man, there is nothing WORSE than a burned up lawn in August.

There is still much work to be done. Jonathan still needs to wheelbarrow a bunch of dirt into the last garden bed. Then we need to plan the exact placement of our seeds, driplines, and so forth. Next we need to plant seeds and lay the hoses out. Finally we need to do a general clean-up of the back patio since we can now actually enjoy sitting out there and admiring something other than granite as far as the eye can see.

But Hula Girl and I started enjoying the garden/backyard this morning. We went out for an hour and a half. She got super muddy and wet, but that’s okay. It’s warm here these days, and as long as she’s covered in ridiculous amounts of super high SPF sunscreen (still loving the California Babies stuff that we found last summer), I don’t really care what her clothes look like. As long as she’s having a good time and getting plenty of sunshine, exercise, and good ol’ fresh air. Here she is, busy as a bee:

Deciding where the flower pots should go once we get flowers for them!

The reason she got all wet- she actually stepped INTO the tub of water.

Playing in the sandbox!

Break time! All that playing tuckered me out!

And the true reason we were able to stay outside so very long…

Isn't that the most beautiful blue? It makes the (super green in real life) leaves of the cottonwood tree next door look so dull! Ah, spring!


  1. kristypowers said,

    April 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    So happy for you both! What a beautiful space to play in. She is adorable. As always. I love that she was a busy bee deciding on the placement of the flower pots.

    • April 30, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Well, she actually ended up placing all the smaller pots inside the larger pots. But that’s okay, right? 🙂

  2. kristypowers said,

    April 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Oh, and I am in awe of all the work your husband did. Yay for him, too!

    • April 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm… he loved it. He used to work on the grounds crew at our college, and he misses it so much. He’s been talking (joking) about quitting his job and starting a landscaping business. LOL.

  3. kristypowers said,

    April 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    That’s great! I mean, maybe not quitting his job, but that’s kind of a great skill set to have.

  4. kate said,

    April 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    great progress! wow there is a lot of land aroudn there1

    • May 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Yes, Kate, we live in the desert. It’s hot and dry, and nothing grows. So we get to see a lot of barren land and a neighbor’s house here and there. 🙂 Fortunately we’re about to jungle it up!

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