Happy New Year! As we move into a whole new year, and a whole new decade, K and I had a chance to reminisce about how far we have come in the last 6 years with the yard, the huge progress we made in 2019 and how well we have set ourselves up for projects in 2020.
Just a reminder, when we moved into our home, our first house, we knew that we would have a lot of work to do in the yard, but that it would eventually become the yard of our dreams, providing us a private outdoor sanctuary where we could relax, grow food and flowers, and enjoy the good life. Our plan had always been a long-game plan, with us doing as much of the building & landscaping as possible. The yard itself is a 1/4 acre property, and 3/4 of that was covered in juniper bushes when we moved it. The previous owners had a beautifully landscaped, small yard that they enjoyed, with the sloped part of the yard being low-maintenance.
Our first attempt at removing the junipers by hand and winch, quickly showed us that we needed to bring in some machinery to clear the space. It has been the only time in this process that we have had a helping hand from a landscaping company, and it was a much needed helping hand.
From there, the experimentation began with different wall styles to help terrace the slope for proper growing areas. We built some raised beds at the bottom of the yard so that we could grow some food while we landscape, and we put in temporary tomato towers on the far side of the sloped yard until we are ready to landscape that area.
We put in irrigation that can be expanded upon and adjusted as our visions for the yard are changing. We learned the value of proper irrigation, not only in the success of growing our plants, but also keeping water wastage at a minimum, and saving cost on water.
The last few years have seen us re-vamp our idea of the yard in some fairly major ways with how the paths and the terraces will run in the yard. K has become a human bull-dozer, moving massive amounts of earth with just a simple shovel and determination. Now we just need to learn how to properly stretch and treat our muscles after such demanding work so that there are no injuries.
We have built up our shop so that it can support the building and developing of our yard. We have got it to a point where we have all the necessary tools to continue building our haven. Although…I am sure I will find more tools that I need for all the projects that I like to work on.
This last year we set the goal of finishing the path walls, building the landing and getting started on the next wall. We succeeded in that goal, and K pushed us ahead by terracing the entire left side of the yard so that we can hopefully get the next 3 walls put together in the spring. The post holes are dug, just waiting for the posts, wire and rocks. We may actually get the left side finished by the end of 2020 and be growing in that area in 2021. Amazing!
On top of progressing past our goal for the walls, we managed a bunch of other improvements to the yard that we had not planned on doing. The two beds at the top of the yard that we filled with rocks to help keep the weeds down turned out beautiful. The irrigation to the barrels provided thick, over-flowing flowers and blooming canna-lilies. The out of control bush by the house being removed and planters put in has helped keep the bug activity low by our back door and has made that bed much more aesthetically appealing.
I also had time to build some projects for inside the house such as the dog leash shelf, dog bowl stands, guest room side tables, carvings and fishing rod-holders for K’s hobby room.
And we were able to solve some issues that arose throughout the summer. We learned how to band-aid a PVC pipe hit by a weed whacker, how to stop our carrot bandit from helping herself to our carrots, protecting the strawberries from the birds that we love listening to and K solved my spider problem.
All-in-all the last few years have been amazing in our home, working on all of our projects. It keeps us busy, healthy and constantly learning. Although I look forward to the day that the landscaping is completed and I can sit in a hammock and enjoy all our hard-work, with a garden the size we will have, the work will never truly be done.
2020 will hopefully see the left side of the yard complete, a new shed built, our front beds cleared and filled with rocks and planters, and lots of harvested food for our bellies.
Thank you for following along with our journey. We hope to entertain you further in 2020 with all of our landscaping and building adventures!