Friday, June 1, 2012

Yard Projects: Beginning the Back Yard

The back yard was such a mess!  There was a whole bag of sand that had been dumped on the concrete section of the patio that I had just never gotten around to cleaning up.  There were still little branches that were all over from the lilac project. 
Before.  Gross.
Over Memorial day weekend my friend Sara came over to help for the day.  Remember this story?  She asked if bikini tops were necessary to work in my yard.  I told her this was the Nail household.  Bikini tops were optional.

She is the gardener extraordinaire.  She actually worked on real farms in Washington.  She started a community garden non-profit project where people could come and work and earn their community service, and they employed people that had formerly been in prison.  She’s pretty awesome.

She and I cleaned the patio, moved planters from the front to the back, moved some cement planters from their weirdo spots under the lilacs to more appropriate places around the patio, changed out the soil in them, and planted colorful flowers.  Then, she taught me how to plant vegetables (tomatoes, basil, mint and squash).  It looks so much more clean and cheerful!  We also moved a wisteria vine that had “volunteered” from the back to the front where it can grow along the picket fence.  It was a great time to catch up and visit with my longtime girlfriend, but I also learned so much.  It was just so good for my soul.


One of the cement planters, filled with begonias and herbs.
I still have a lot to do in the back, but I keep changing my mind about what the plan will be.  Initially I had wanted to do all of it this year, but now I’ve decided that I need to know exactly what I want before I start investing in it.  So for the rest of the summer my plan is to extend my brick patio to the garage so that there’s a walkway that will make it easier to get my trash cans out to the alley (Anything to ease the alley pain…I’m secretly scared of the alley, and I say that it “closes” after dark).  I also have a little retaining wall that goes around only five of the lilacs, and on four of them they have bricks stacked two high, and on the fifth they’re only one high.  So I want to extend that all the way around all of the lilacs and make it all match at two-high.  The space of dirt that it will leave will become a bed of some sort.  That’s all that I plan to do for the rest of the year.  No big deal, right?
I only use cute gardening gloves.

It only being May, I’m still totally enjoying yard work (we’ll see how I feel in July).  I love being outside.  I love that I’m a little tan.  I love that it makes muscles hurt that I didn’t know that I had.  I love that even though I’m a prissy girl I enjoy getting dirty.  I love burning calories in a real way that shows results!  I’m having a great time, most of the time.  Sometimes it's lonely and makes me feel widowed.  That's why I love having people come "help" even if they want to just visit and watch me work, that's helping.  I’m also having a bit of a hard time finding balance.  I’m not sure how to have an awesome yard, a clean house, work, write and have any sort of social life.  So the writing has suffered.  But, the yard looks awesome!


  1. I love gardening! I had no idea how much I would love it. It is so nice to want to spend time in your yard. I can picture such cute little dinner parties on your back patio now that you have fixed it up.

    PS-I have the same gloves. They are one of the only pairs that I've been able to find to fit my itty bitty hands.

  2. @Sara, I have itty bitty hands, too! I love those gloves. I actually had to buy med/lg to get a good fit, but it's nice to have a pair that actually fits, and they're SO CUTE. Who knew? Thanks for the tip on the lilacs, too, I'm gonna hit them with a little fertilizer later this week. xo