A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Yard Progress

The photo below shows that while we’ve finished some things in our yard makeover, we still have quite a ways to go on other things.

What is done: the brick paver sidewalk, the pea gravel patio, the bluestone path from the front of the house to the flagstone patio and the bluestone walkway to the garage. Those tasks were probably the most laborious things we’ll have to do, so at least we’re done with that.

What we’re working on now (whenever it’s somewhat cooler): removing part of the old limestone path/property divider and moving it to finish a path along the garage to the alley, and smothering the grass/weeds in both the back and front yards.

What we still need to do but haven’t started yet: build another small raised vegetable bed next to the other one (which will help use up that huge dirt pile you see), rebuild and expand the porch into a small deck, and install more plants.

The flagstone path you see below is temporary. The expanded deck steps will go here and lead to the bluestone path to the garage and to the brick paver sidewalk in an L-shape. I don’t know when we’ll be able to install the deck but it definitely won’t be this year, unfortunately. Many of the plants seen here will be transplanted at some point. We’ll be putting in some evergreens and other shrubs to block the alley view year-round.

Toward the front yard I started digging up and/or smothering some grass before it became too hot to work in the yard. Our “lawn” is so uneven and hard-packed that nothing but weeds can grow. Earlier in the summer I was digging up the sod and shaking out the dirt as much as possible before tossing the weeds in a pile to bake in the sun. The robins loved that I exposed all those delicious critters in the dirt for them! Hopefully we’ll make this area a little more presentable soon.

We also started to plant various shrubs: Hydrangeas here along the side, Kalm St. John’s Wort in front and shrub roses next to the flagstone patio. The hydrangeas were in major transplant shock and then our excessive heat wave/drought hit, but they seem to be on the road to recovery. It rained a little the past couple days, so that helps. The heat wave will continue this week though.

When we feel we deserve a break, we relax in my new favorite spot next to our water fountain, which has found its final resting place. The Mexican pond pebbles add the perfect contrast to the urn and the brick pavers, and this separates the flagstone patio from the pea gravel patio nicely. We bought an outdoor timer to turn the fountain on/off a couple times a day so as not to breed mosquitoes. We also came across more clinkers during our most recent dig, so those were added to the fountain.

1 Comment

  1. joe on July 21, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I really like that urn fountain, it’s big but not too big.

    Yards are soooo much work but worth all the sweat when you get to enjoy it all when you’re done.

    I feel you on the heat, this Chicago summer has been brutal!

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