Monday, March 24, 2014

Rock Work At The Bamboo Lagoon

Washed out section
So I was cleaning up this walkway area in the backyard that runs up the side fence to the area behind the pool. We still had a ton of acorns and oak leaves left there and I was determined to get them in the bin for pickup. Anyhow, during the course of the cleanup, I noticed that there was a section of the rock wall bordering one of the beds that looked like it had basically slid down. I was able to dig up three or four big rocks but it wasn't really enough to fill in the gap and I knew we were going to have to get more rock to build it back up properly.

Section dug out for rock replacement
So I cut with a shovel a straight line down from the bed so that I would have a basic area for placing the new rocks in and then the next day, I took a few sample rocks with me to the big landscaping store and searched and loaded rocks for an hour or so. Once the truck was loaded up, we had 750 lbs of new rocks in the bed.

Some of the larger ledger pieces in front, and the topper pieces in back
I got back to the house and it was and hour and 1/2 of unloading and carrying the rocks uphill into our backyard. I took the tailgate off the truck which made it much easier on the body for sure. Once they were all in the backyard, I dug out the area a bit more since the rocks were a bit wider than originally planned for.

Some of the other large pieces waiting for placement.

Base layer in place
I started putting down the somewhat narrower ones first since the slope of the bed was going to allow for the wider ones on top. I back-filled behind the rocks as I got them in place.

Second level in place
Then I started working on getting the second third layers in which some overlap onto the other two ends of the repair so it would blend some.

The finished repaired section with the cap pieces on
I then put the flatter cap/topper pieces into place, and back-filled the wall and the cracks between the rocks. Some of these bigger ledger pieces were 60 lbs a piece so I don't think they will be sliding anywhere anytime soon. As you can see from the image, I have a lot of grass to weed out of the bed still but that is a task for another day...I was done for the day after getting this repair into place and the sun was done too.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Cleanup

This is what the path up the side of our backyard has looked like every can barely tell that we have actual steps that go up this side.

Well, some of these leaves haven't been raked in years...and there are at least 5 inches of packed in acorns from seasons and seasons of neglect.

I have been working on cleaning up this whole area for some time...three 45 gallon yard bin pickups just to get all the leaves out. There were so many acorns that had roots on them, I couldn't even keep count anymore.

I also trimmed the junipers at the top, and raked up some rock areas to the side of the walk way that probably haven't been noticable in ages.

You can see in the two pics below how the walkway up the side now looks and also how clean the rocks off to the side are as well. It is a very good feeling to have knocked out this task but it just means one checkmark in a list that is never ending. I am now working on getting all the grass out of the rock areas.

We have a couple of bamboos in the ground near the top that need to be cleaned up since lots of oak leaves fall in there and look like they are suffocating the poor bamboos.

There are also some bushes up around the pool that need to be trimmed as well. I am thinking with all this rain, the pool might be pretty full and it would behoove me to spend some time up there cleaning it up along with cleaning up the plants, and the furniture. All in due time, I guess....there is only so much time in the day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Magic Mesh At The Bamboo Lagoon

Spring is coming and that means tons of stuff to do in the yard on top of the humongous list that is already sitting in the back of my brain.

Today, I wanted to get the front and side yard mowed so that I could overseed it and then possibly weed and feed it later this week too. I knocked that out first. Then I grabbed some clippers and made my way around the yard to all the potted things (that I didn't get in the ground in the fall) to see what needed to be trimmed off and who was still living and who wasn't.

Looks like the raspberries made it through a second winter in pots, and all the sedium is doing good too. The herbs were hit pretty bad with the cold weather and so far, I am only seeing signs of life in the chives, orange mint, peppermint, and common sage. I am hoping that given some time, the other sage, the rosemary and the lavendar will come back too. I don't need to plant any of them yet so I pruned off the dead stuff and am hoping for the best.

One of the potted bamboos in the back seems to have died, so I cut it back short and hope that some life comes out of the dirt soon. I might move it to a sunny spot to help this. The botttom of the stalks seemed kind of green so let's hope the roots are still okay and can send up shoots.

Once I had finished pruning up the dead stuff, I decided that I needed to get the screen for the door between the house and the garage done, so this year we can have some airflow in the downstairs without having a ton of bugs get in. The install was pretty easy and hopefully it will keep the bugs down and not end up being a hassle in the doorway.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Plum Tree Pruning

So I have been wanting to get out and trim the tree in front before too late. Weather and time hasn't cooperated and the tree is full bloom and is starting to leaf out. I knew it would be easier to do before it completely leafs out because it is much easier to see the branches when there are no leaves.

There was a lot of cross over inside the tree and I am sure it will feel a lot better this spring and summer. One thing I have been noticing is that there haven't been many bees on the tree because of the weird weather since it bloomed so hopefully that means not as many plums as last year.

The tree still has a decent shape and I am sure once the leaves come out, it will look great. Once I got all the branches cut or sawed off the tree, I had to quickly get them cut into smaller pieces so I could get them in the bin in between waves of rain storm. I filled the trashcan in the foreground twice with the cut pieces.

It was a good workout and felt like I really accomplished something.