Yard Stuff at the Little House

Where do the days go?

Yesterday was such a wonderful weather day. I barely worked up a sweat on my run. Because it was so cool, I headed over to the new house to work on the yard.

After the trees came down in the storm, the front yard changed from an oasis of shade to fiery full-day sun. Most of the plants there were shade-loving plants (or things that had become accustomed to dappled sunlight) that immediately fried. The previous owner had put in lots of gravel as ground cover, but in full sun that gravel raised the temperature in the yard by a zillion degrees. It was miserable; it made me miserable to look at it. The guys living there, who are nice guys, simply didn’t put water on anything (sexist comment:  they’re guys, they couldn’t be bothered with that stuff).

Since we’re not living there, my goal is to maintain things while not spending money unless I absolutely have to. But what to do about the yard? I let nature take its course for several months to see what would survive and what wouldn’t. This month, I began to clear out the things that had clearly died. And I decided to take on the “hardscaping”–changing the use of the stone and gravel in the yard.

I love to do this kind of stuff; I can easily spend an entire day doing stuff in the yard. But after a bit it became apparent to me that I needed some help with the pathway. Fate sent some nice landscapers to the house next door, who were working miracles with the abandoned beds there, so I had them give me an estimate on doing the central path. The deal is that I would do as much prep work as possible and they would create the new central pathway from the existing materials we had.

Yesterday, I finished all the prep work I cared to do. I had removed dead shrubs, pulled up all set rock work (there were several existing pathways that didn’t go anywhere), stacked the flag stones, moved gravel from the intended pathway, removed a small pond and filled the hole with soil, and taken out sundry fried ground cover. They will need to transplant a living bush, level the actual pathway, put down sand, and place the stones. After the pathway is done, I will mulch the areas that need it and call it done; my goal is to have an attractive, functional front yard that requires little or no maintenance and is pleasing to the rest of the neighbors.

My tree woes aren’t done, though. I didn’t think it could get much worse after the storm took out three giant cedar elms, a huge mountain laurel, and a gorgeous blooming fruit tree in the front yard but when I went to put things away in the shed yesterday, I found that one of the two ancient post oaks in the back yard has a huge split in the trunk. I’m sure this is residual storm damage, that it twisted in the wind and was damaged internally and is now showing that damage externally. Our tree guy is taking a look today. It will make me physically ill to have to cut that tree down (and cost a small fortune).

Oh yeah–I need to get in a bike ride today. lol

I am just not too keen on the triathlon stuff right now–it is too time consuming.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I’m a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I’ve come to learn it. In addition to my blog “Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life” at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “Yard Stuff at the Little House

  1. I love reading about your house….I\’d love to see it someday too! Losing trees is so devastating!!!!

    I\’d love to do some Friday (longish)rides….let me know if you\’re interested in meeting up sometime.

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