Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Earth Moved

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it really, really did. And I couldn’t be more thrilled!

The landscapers were here today! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Those of you who have followed this little blog from its hopeful beginnings of a wish for a backyard to garden in will understand what a big adventure is happening here. Then it was just snow and dreams (and a lot of gravel!).

So this is Day One of the renovation: Out with the old compacted clay, gravel, concrete slabs and fabric that allowed nothing but weeds to grow

In with rich, luxuriant topsoil

To create my tabula rasa

Day Two comes next week. It will mean clearing the remainder of the debris away and bringing in another load of topsoil. They may even bring the sod and mulch that same day! I don't want to get my hopes up yet, I have waited so long already. Surely something will complicate things.

But I have to tell you, my desire to shop at a garden centre is so strong...I think I might even be able to power my vehicle in that direction on sheer will alone. How's that for green power! Pardon the pun :)

Remember Betty and Wilma from the Flintstones when they would run screaming "Charge" down the street with their credit cards held high? Well, um, I can completely relate, that's all.

So wish me luck with the rest of the renovation of the yard. Never has a girl been so excited by the gift of dirt!


Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you! How wonderful to have a clean slate to work with. I wish I had that sometimes. I inherited a very poorly maintained and poorly designed garden - and extremely large and overgrown. I've been reworking it for 4 years now. I learned alot but looking back I just should have pulled everything up and started from scratch. Only the peonies that I inherited along with a few iris were worth saving in the end anyway. Good luck and I'm looking forward to seeing the progress! -Jackie

Northern Shade said...

How exciting to see the backyard getting ready for your plans. I agree that starting with a mostly blank slate (but mature trees), is an easier way to go. That luscious topsoil will make a great home for your new plants. Have fun planning, planting and searching for new plants.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Jackie: My motivation for starting from scratch was the fact that the soil was in such need of replenishing. Since that meant the whole yard would have to be addressed at some point, we decided to just do it all in one shot. There were no plantings here besides the trees to even work with.

Northern Shade: It is very exciting (and a little overwhelming!). I love mature trees and they were such a factor is deciding to live in an older neighbourhood. With new soil, I think I can bring the whole yard together... eventually. :-)

D said...

Hi Garden MS: Looks like you would have had to scrape up the gravel in any case, so going for broke (and I hope the cost isn't too bad) with new soil looks like it was the best option. We did something similar but a bit easier - mulching out front and back yards of ratty grass and weeds over clay. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. Once you start planting, I think you will have a ball.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Dave: Yes, there was so much that had to go, all that gravel and concrete that covered half the yard. The rest of the yard was clay so compacted that water pooled on it.

I think it is going to be lots of fun to get started with the actual gardening aspect of this project. We opted not to have landscape fabric put down under the mulch because I want to be able to work with the soil and move plants around etc. This isn't a project that will be "finished" any time soon :)

Dave said...

Hi Garden Ms S: Yes, don't use landscape fabric or you will regret it. I was advised not to, but ignored the advice for the really tough spots and along the edges of the property where crabgrass and Canada thistle invaded from the neighbours. I'm still having to yank up yards of landscape cloth along with entangled roots every time I plant into those areas. This morning, replacing some of the Winter Kill, was an example.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Dave: Thanks for the tip. You reaffirmed my thought that it would be more trouble than it was worth for a garden that is not going to remain static anytime soon.

Also, I've seen gardens with it and within a few years they seem to have weeds coming up just like everybody else. Not sure you are saving labour over the longer term with it.