Sunday, September 29, 2013

Landscaping, Alpacas, and the Minions

I was not especially pleased with the state that the pool installers left our yard.  Not only did they leave the extension cord and hose that they borrowed laying (uncoiled) out there, but they left piles of dirt along on the grass beside the pool.  Since we have an overabundance of clay in our soil, and it rained last weekend, all those piles hardened into the consistency of concrete.  In addition, the back wall of soil behind the pool was not graded smoothly, and there were chunks of sod and rocks lying all over the place.

I would really like to have grass growing around the pool before snow flies, and since I'm the resident landscaper around here, I decided to get started!  I figured this would be a 1-2 hour job max.  I underestimated - I spent 4 or 5 hours out there yesterday!

I hauled 9 wheelbarrow loads of soil out that I had dug out, just to smooth and grade the back wall.  After that, I broke up and raked all the clods of clay, bits of sod and rocks out, and smoothed out the area that will be planted with grass.  I seeded everywhere with grass seed (including the holes elsewhere in the yard where I dumped the above mentioned soil,) and hauled 4 loads of old hay up from the garden to scatter on top.

That huge pile of dirt will be dealt with later!

The final step was to plant ground cover in that back wall to prevent erosion.  I thought vinca might fit the bill - grows voraciously, does not need full sun, and the deer leave it alone.  I had such a hard time digging holes to plant into, that I finally ended up carving out receptacles of sorts into the back wall. 

These I stuffed with the little plants, along with a bunch of compost and topped it off with clay to hold it all in.  Hope it works!

So...that was my big project for the weekend.  I'm hoping things look green back there in a couple of weeks!

Today both of the girls had a soccer game at 1:00, so JP and I switched fields at half time so that we could each see half of each girl's game.  Afterwards, we took a lovely drive through the back roads to the local alpaca farm, where they had an Open House today.  We arrived just in time to see a little fawn colored cria being sheared.

The stinkbugs are back in droves, swarming all over our windows, the veranda posts, and the laundry on the clothes line.  I have taken to calling them "The Minions."  JP has been fighting them with a vengeance all weekend, and the veranda out back is scattered with their tiny carcasses.  Where did these things come from anyway?

J has another orthodontist appointment tomorrow to have more hardware installed - an expander this time.  L has piano lessons tomorrow evening.  I am scheduled for a Library Board meeting, but I have already emailed my regrets that I cannot make it.  Mom has an appointment with her neurosurgeon as well.  Although it has been lovely to stop and pat the Alpacas, our life continues to tear on in this manic way.  I think I'll take the remainder of my weekend to relax with a good book.  So long.


Kimberly Long Cockroft said...

Good for you--one has to schedule in the 'relax with a book' time. It is SO frustrating to pay people to do a job and then to clean up after them!!!!
I wonder if you should dump a couple loads of mulch around the vinca to encourage it to go crazy? Not that you need more to do!!! Good news about vinca is that it's so tenacious. As it grows you can pull it apart and replant it. It's a toughie plant.
Hope your sweet mama is doing okay!

Country Girl said...

Don't think I can keep mulch on that steep of a slope. I'm planning to get some landscaping staples and put newspaper down around the vinca...