Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Mary & yard project progress

Happy Birthday, Mary! We love you. Sorry for the belated post...Mare's birthday was yesterday June 2. But we celebrated a day early, so I guess we're OK. :)

Our current yard project: Make it habitable.

When we moved in here 2 years ago, the back yard was covered -- and I mean you-can't-see-the-ground-it's-so-thick -- with waist-high dandelions. We've slowly (with my dad's help and industrial-sized backpack sprayer) been killing off the weeds to just thin them out enough so that we could see the ground.

Well, this spring we finally got to the point where we could see enough bare dirt to bring a rototiller in and get the ground ready for planting grass seed. Imagine! A back yard with grass!

We rototilled it all up and smoothed it out with rakes - I had no idea until my dad showed me how to do it properly that raking was such a fine art. The back yard was almost ready to roll out and plant.

Then we decided that we wanted to put in an automatic sprinkler system.

Back to the drawing board. Fortunately for us, my dad has maintained golf courses his whole life and knows just a little bit (OK, a LOT) about irrigation and has been able to walk Tom & I through every step of putting in our own sprinkler system. It's been a lot of work and planning - my dad even went through the trouble of making a blueprint of our back yard and drawing in the arcs of each and every sprinkler head to make sure that we were getting even coverage! Dad has worked so hard on this, while Tom and I just follow his directions.

With his help, so far we've managed to cut in to our water lines successfully and install a pipe to bring the water for the entire irrigation system outside the house to connect to our valves for each of the zones we'll have, map out with little flags where each sprinkler head needs to be placed for maximum even coverage, bring in a trencher (in other words, not a small piece of machinery) and dig the trenches for the pipe we'll need. We're in the process of hand-digging (read: hard work) to clean out the trenches and make them ready for pipes to be laid.

Here are some pictures of what our front & back yards look like right now:

This is the front yard. Notice that we had to take apart the fence to the right of the house to get easier access to the back yard.

View of the side of the back yard from our deck.

The back side of the house.

My dad smiling despite the fact that he and I were both sweating in the 88 degree weather and covered in dirt.

Dad laying our first pipe and getting the valves fixed to the pipe that we have coming out of the house's water lines. Note: I dug this trench and have become pretty good at digging nice square holes. :)

I'll post more pictures as we lay pipe and get it all back-filled (hopefully by the time we leave for California next Friday). I killed the weeds yesterday so that they'll be dead by the time we are done back-filling. That way the ground will be one step closer to read to plant grass seed. Whew! Hard work, but worth it. My dad and Tom have been working so hard on this project and we love being able to see our progress.


Michael and Kristine said...

we're doing a sprinkler system too..."fun" and yes, dirty :0

Tom and Carrie said...

Ok, I really need to fix the date on our camera. It's driving me crazy. :)