Monday, April 18, 2016

It's Good to Touch the Green, Green Grass of Home

While I've got nothing on Tom Jones, I most certainly have some green, green grass at my home! First thing this morning, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a not-so-miniature truck from Henderson Turf Farms! GreenPro wasn't far behind with their truck full of tools, trees, plants, sod and shovels!

(Am I overdoing it with the exclamation marks?)

It's a very exciting day here at the MonkShack, where we are going from dusty brown to glorious green all in the span of a few hours. A few hours where all I have to do is watch. Glorious.

Good morning grass!

Hello plants!

Marvelous mulch and our saved stones!

The first strip of sod!

Greening the backyard!

We were able to re-use some of the rocks that had adorned our lot as accent pieces for the landscaping. GreenPro was great about working with us and moving them around until we found their final resting places. We also moved the magnolia-ish bush a little further out from the house (when I say we, I really mean they) because I wanted things a little more spread out.

I was a bit surprised that we didn't have a choice in the greenery - the trees and plants just showed up. Neither of us recall making any decisions about the type of plants that would be planted - and if we had, we probably wouldn't have chosen the Bradford pear that now calls our front yard home. Minor complaints - all overshadowed by the glorious green grass that now covers our lot!

At the same time, Rich was frantically working to fix our egress window shell that had started to cave in on one side. You have to love a man who works miracles under pressure and never stops smiling! Couldn't be happier with the way everything turned out today!

Want to see the finished product? Here it is!
Backyard (yes, the deck is missing - you're very observant)

Side yard

TADA! The front yard in all it's green glory!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Is That Green on the Horizon?

Just let me say how sick I am of dirt. Piles of dirt. Muddy yucky gross dirt. We've been surrounded by a dirt moat for the last two and half months - but maybe, just maybe, the end is in sight.

Take a look at what just happened!
MISSING: One big, ugly pile of dirt.
FOUND: One crap-ton of rocks. Big rocks, little rocks. All kinds of rocks. 
Since some of the rocks that have graced our site are about the size of the iceberg that sank the Titanic (I'm exaggerating, of course), we decided to try to save some of them for landscape accents. I am pretty sure the didn't realize how many of them would be uncovered in this process.

In other landscape news, we have been in touch with GreenPro - the local contractor who performs the final grade and landscaping - for about the last two weeks negotiating the price to sod most of the backyard. Yes, we are THAT sick of dirt. And the thought of having to deal with straw and seed for the upcoming summer makes us want to gag. So we're going to cover all with luscious green wavy grass. Extra money? Sure - but grass is green too, it's an acceptable trade - and the cost is much less than it would be if we waited to do it later.

I say almost because we are opting out of sodding last twenty feet of our yard that is part of the drainage easement where seed has already been planted and seems to be doing just fine. It's a drain - do we really need sod there? We're also building a deck, so I decided not to lay sod that we'd just be ripping up in a month or so.

Here's the SketchUp version of the deck - don't laugh, remember I'm not an architect:
Our planned deck

Out key concepts were multi-level and no railings. We also are trying to find the happy space between having a deck that is too large or too small. This version has steps all around that flow the deck into the yard. The 10x12 foot lower level is a step down and we think we might add a white pergola over it at some point. This summer, we're only doing the deck. We haven't decided on pavers or concrete, but either way, we want to wait until the ground around the house settles before we do the hardscape.

In short, PROGRESS! We are finally closing in on being done with the big projects and soon we'll be able to only focus on the little fun projects - like organizing the garage. Doesn't that sound like a blast?