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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Backyard Makeover

It wasn't my plan to do anything with the backyard of my new house. Sure, only 2/3rds of the yard was sodded and the rest was dirt, but I could live with that and landscaping is hugely expensive. But it didn't take long before it became clear that I didn't have a choice. Every time it rained, the erosion was horrifying. All that soil being carried from my yard into my neighbor's yard.

The erosion was so bad that the poor trees already had their roots partially exposed and all I could think about was how vulnerable that made them. A good strong wind and one or more could fall--probably onto the house since some of the trees were tall. We called the landscaper.

The cost was as horrifying as I'd feared.

Watching the dirt leave my yard after another rain storm made it clear there was no choice. First, the trees that were in bad shape needed to be removed. This caused me pain and not only because of the cost. I love trees. They're beautiful, they give oxygen, they provide shade. But the landscaper said that they were in bad enough condition that they'd probably come down on their own at some point. I didn't want them coming down on the house and so they had to go.

I don't have a picture of the backyard from the fall, but here's a picture I took when it snowed here last winter. You can see there were a lot of trees back there.

After the trees were gone, the yard looked sad and stark with that bare dirt just sitting there. But it was too cold to put down sod so we had to wait for it to warm up. The tree guy also broke one of the light posts in the yard and had to order a replacement. You can see the gap. This was our view while we waited.

In the meantime, more rain, more erosion. At last, it warmed up enough for work to commence! Hurrah! It took a week longer than anticipated because it kept raining. On day 1, they extended the irrigation system into the dirt area. Day 2, sod was put down and those guys worked late! Day 3 was much shorter. They put down pine straw around the four remaining trees.

I hate pine straw. It looks cheap and ugly beyond belief. It's not anything I've ever seen in Minnesota and I didn't want it in my yard now, but it's about the cheapest thing there is. I'm saving up for bushes and hope to get those installed next year because yuck! Pine straw!

But the yard turned out super nice. Here's a couple of shots of what the yard looked like as the landscaping team pulled out of my driveway. No more erosion!