We have been working like CRAZY in our yard these last few months. We had a line of 8 Leyland Cypresses on the right side of our yard that we’ve known for a while were dying. The backs of them had all started to turn brown, and they really looked pitiful. When one of them toppled during a minor ice storm we knew it was time for them to come down. Kyle single-handedly began digging them up (he did let me push #7 over!). It was not an easy project when you don’t own a chainsaw, but he says he loved the workout. It took him about 6 solid weekends in a row to remove those, but once they were all gone we were amazed at how much bigger our yard felt. We decided to use our new space for raised gardens and 3 adorable little Crepe Myrtles which will hopefully give us a sense of privacy again once they grow bigger. In our gardens we’re growing tomatoes, green peppers, jalapenos, chili peppers, cilantro, rosemary & dill. I also planted a little strawberry patch on the other side of the house.
In the midst of all of this we decided to put in a flagstone patio. In an effort to keep costs down we decided to search craigslist for someone who might be getting rid of theirs. We found this amazing family who was willing to give us all their flagstone (several thousand dollars worth), as long as we came and removed it for them. We have no problem with physical labor, so we headed over to their house and spent an entire evening removing their patio. Kyle broke up the concrete with a jackhammer, and I carried the stones to the trailer…all 3 tons of them! He did help me with the big ones : )
We spent the next 3 days digging out and then laying the flagstone in our yard. We had just enough to do exactly what we wanted, and no we no longer have a mud issue at the bottom of our steps! We were getting really tired of the dogs tracking in dirt all the time! We decided to offer our old pathway stones to the gardener next door and in exchange he graciously gave us some leftover sod from one of his projects. That sod was enough to line the patio and give it a really good edge. Now, if only the rest of our yard looked that good!
Since we had all this new open space, we needed to re-mulch. 12 yards later and our yard now looks amazing! But we’re not finished yet. We still have a few more projects we would like to complete this summer: re-painting the deck flooring, new indoor/outdoor carper for the screened porch, pressure washing the house and installing an invisible fence because Baxter figured out he can jump ours a few weeks ago. At least we got 5 years in this house before he realized that!