Monday, June 25, 2012

DIY Backyard Landscaping

Around here nearly everything we do is DIY. We do this because we love to use our hands to build our home and put our touch on our lives. In addition to doing most everything ourselves, we also like to do things on a very tight timeline. We do this because we are crazy confident.

Our latest time crunch project revolves around my amazing sister-in-law. She is currently baking the newest addition to the family, a little bubba love due in October. So when this darling, amazing, wonderful lady asked us if she could have her baby shower here, of course we said yes!

Only problem? Our yard is not really dressed for company.

See what I mean? A whole lot of dirt, weeds, and random construction leftovers. 

At first we had small remodeling thoughts. "Hey, let's just add the concrete supports to the swing set so the kids coming to the shower can play on it without it wobbling." But then, like always, our thought pattern went like this:

If we are going to anchor the swingset, we should add playground mulch
If we are going to add the playground mulch, we need to put in a concrete curb to hold it back
If we are putting in a concrete curb, we should weed, level, and put gravel under the trampoline
If we are weed spraying that area, we should weed spray the whole yard.....

And on, and on it goes. Now our project encompasses sod, sprinkler system, new fire pit (bigger!better!square!), and oh this bad boy....

Please pardon our mess. 

A big-blue-pool. We had talked about eventually getting an above ground pool. But when I happened along this big guy on Craigslist, we couldn't help ourselves. It's  9'x19', and 52" deep. Big enough for all the floaty and pool noodles our family needs. 

We didn't even let our small borrowed truck stop us from taking the pool and it's bonus deck home.

the hubbs and my glorious mother-in-law

"They loaded up their truck, and they moved to Beverly. Hills that is."

Of course, buying a used pool means you have to set it up quickly. The longer it sits, the more likely the seams are to rot out. 

That would be why we were working by flood lights until midnight getting our area level and the pool set up. Turns out the area we wanted to put the pool had a slight slope. Slight, as in the right area by the trampoline was 4" higher then the left side. As you can't add dirt to the low side to level it out(the weight of the pool will just compress it down again) you have to put the work in and scrap out the high spots. The pool area is 13' x 23', which means there was a whole lot of scrapping going on.

Me, dragging a 2x4 with an attached level to scrap down the high spots

I wish I could say this is a rarity for us. But the truth is we are somewhat notorious for late night, back breaking, time crunch projects. Thus our reputation for being insane ambitious. But we always find a logic to our madness. And our loving family always steps up to help us. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and her boyfriend were all out there digging out the dirt, cursing the stupid 4" grade difference, and laughing at the endless silliness that comes with exhaustion. We are really so very blessed to have them.

Now the big blue bohemith is sitting in our yard, almost full of water. We have to buy a few hose connecters tomorrow, and then the pump will be running, and the salt water system will be up and going.  The deck we got with the pool is getting a bit of a make over, and will be up this week too. It will be nice for the little man to have a water source to play in other than our sprinklers (which, incidentally only water weeds).

Our sweet little man enjoying sprinkler sprayed trampoline jumping. It's an official sport.

Now my sister-in-law will be able to enjoy a relaxing baby shower in a place she can be proud of.  After all, there are only a million projects left to do in the next three weeks. That's is totally doable.

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