Easter Weekend Project 3 – Yard Levelling & Path Building

Ok, so just to update you in case you haven’t been following along, Project 1 was doing a big yard cleanup and rake along with a yard waste dump run as well as a household waste dump run and Project 2 was completing another couple sections of the last of our rock walls. And here we are with number 3. It gets a little odd here, because this is where Kurt and I split up and tackle a few projects mostly on our own. My mostly solo project will be in the next post about “Project 4”.

So, while I was doing my own project, Kurt decided to start tackling another yard project. Now that the walls are almost complete and the garden beds are almost ready for planting, it is time to start focussing on the very base level of the yard. Being amateur landscapers, there are a lot of things we are learning as we go, and a lot of adjustments we are making because of things we didn’t completely think about or realize when we were in one moment of the landscaping adventure. In this case, we didn’t go down far enough with our lowest wall on the one side to ensure a level bottom to the yard. Pair that with replacing the fence, which really showed us just how sloped that back area really was.

Kurt however, had thought that there would still be some levelling and likely path or two that would need to be cut in to ensure a level area. And luckily for me, he had a vision of what he was going to do with that area, and is the digger extrodinaire!

This yard is full of so many different slopes that I sometimes get a little confuddled thinking about how it is all going to angle in together. But Kurt is great at explaining his ideas and also knows I am a visual person, so often maps it out a bit in the yard if it is possible. In this case, he was able to outline the project in the dirt.

So the area he is working on is the left side of the yard (looking from the house down to the back). It is the side that our first garden walls went in. There is a path that follows the slope of the yard along the fence line from the top area down to the bottom area. We may eventually put stairs made of stackstone along that path. At the bottom, where the last wall for the garden is, the path then angles towards the center of the yard as well. Kurts plan is to actually build a little stackstone wall at the bottom of that path, or have the steps end at the level that we want the yard to be flat in that corner. This will remain slightly higher than the rest of the yard and will be a larger area in the corner that will house our future compost area.

In front of that, we will make sure there is a path around the compost so that we can access the irrigation lines that run along our fence line, as well as a nice level area in front of the compost bins for when we need to fill them up, turn them or work with them. That path along the front of the compost will then continue towards the bottom wall of our garden beds, angle itself along the corner leaving a nice area for a planter, and then run along the entire length of our lower wall. This will be framed with a stack-stone wall and will be cemented to create a nice path to access the lowest garden bed.

From that path to the fence, the yard will be brought down so that it is level with the bottom of the fence line. We will be putting in a clover yard in this area so that we have a nice greenspace to enjoy. That greenspace will extend all the way to the other side of the yard where we plan to have a gazebo, little above ground pool and another path area in front of our right side garden beds.

We do have to finally take out the old tree stump to complete this work, because the path that comes down from the top of the yard at a large diagonal, will need to transition into the bottom level. We can build any steps or anything there because we want to be able to bring the cart down that main path to the compost area. Likewise, the path in front of the left garden bed will likely transition at the same point to the bottom level, so we may have a few joining angle transitions to fiddle with.

As you can guess, one of our upcoming projects will be getting that tree stump out. Luckily it is pretty dried out from being baked in our summer heat for a few summers. Hopefully it is pretty easy to get out. If not, we will grind down the stump as low as we need and build our path over it.

Kurt has a very cool idea of the transition of our paved paths into the clover, and I look forward to playing with that. I am not going to ruin the surprise though. You will just have to wait and see!


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