Yard Work Equals Hard Work

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

There's something to be said for a hard day's work.

After laboring and sweating under the sun all day, with dirt under your fingernails, and tiny blisters on your hands that serve as the mark of a job well done, there is nothing more relaxing than washing it all away in the stream of a hot shower, and then hopping into some dry and comfortable clothes.

To me, that is true relief. And at the end of this past weekend, that's how I felt. Truly relieved and fulfilled.

We spent a good six hours working in the yard on Sunday in preparation for all kinds of new shrubs, flowers, and trees that we want to plant. On Saturday morning, we drove out to this garden center in the area that does free landscape planning. Since we are newbies to the whole landscape game, we thought it would be best to talk to a professional first before we jumped into something big. We walked away with a detailed plan for only the front yard since that's pretty much all our budget will allow this year. So after talking it over and deciding on a plan, we got to work on Sunday with all of the yard prep. We had some help from our incredible friends Matt and Ali and we are so thankful that they came over and pitched in with some of the hard work.

And the weather! Oh my gosh, the weather. It was a gorgeous and sunny 80 degrees and we loved every minute of it.

We tackled projects in both the front and the back yard and made a pretty good dent in our Spring to-do list. We raked all the lingering leaves that had piled up around the house and added it all to our compost pile. Hopefully by next year we'll be able to actually use our own compost in our gardens. We also tore up the front yard beds, getting rid of the old weed cloth, rocks, and red mulch from the previous owners. Surprisingly, the soil quality below the weed cloth seemed to be pretty good since it was fairly soft and had a bunch of little worms deep down inside. Even though after all of our work the beds are empty, it still looks so much nicer just having them cleaned up a little. I can't wait to start putting in some plants!

Mike also took the time to finish up repairing a section of our fence out back that was broken and then he built me my first raised garden bed. We are planning to try out the Square Foot Gardening method this year and see how it goes. If we like it (which I can't imagine we won't - it's so easy) we plan to add a couple more boxes. For now, I think one 4x4 is enough to get us started. If you're interested in building one yourself, you can check out the method here. I highly recommend reading the book, too. It's so easy to understand and it explains everything super clearly.

Our last project for the day was to rake and till up the side bed in the back to prepare for the square foot garden. We tore out all the weeds and put down a good layer of weed cloth along with the one 4x4 box Mike built. We thought about putting down mulch at first to cover the surrounding, unused area, but then decided that pea gravel looked a little better. I think overall, it turned out pretty well.

You can see a little bit of a before picture here with all the weeds and grass. When we started working with it on Sunday, it was much more overgrown.

After we had cleaned ourselves up, we headed to Annapolis for a cookout with Mike's family. It was so peaceful driving along the winding back roads with the windows rolled down, music playing, and the sun setting over the water.

I couldn't have asked for a better weekend and I hope we have many more like it as we take on all of our other projects!


  1. I can't wait to see how it turns out! :)

  2. I love your garden. The big trees and the big space, it's just fabulous! It must be so quiet and private?

    1. It really is! It's my favorite part of our house. We are putting up a hammock this weekend back by those pine trees and I can't wait to be able to relax out there in the shade in the summer!