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America, April 13, 2009

Spring Clean: A New Back Yard

The lush green is worth the effort

old weed lot
Tilling the soil
new lawn love
Enjoying the lawn
It took three truck-bending trips, but I just removed six thousand (6,000!) pounds of concrete from the back yard of my house. This was just the beginning of the rebirth of my lawn from post-industrial wasteland into a green oasis of beauty and serenity.

I did not start out to move so much concrete. At first, I just wanted to take out the sidewalk along my fence line, and replace it with a meandering path between a flower bed paralleling the fence, and through a yard of lush green grass. But with any household improvement, sh*t happened.

What I thought would be a sheen of concrete easily crushed and trucked to the Fort Totten transfer station, became an odyssey of jackhammers, day labors, and one-ton trips of concrete debris to a pay-to-dump trash yard. Seems that sheen of sidewalk was hiding several inches of ancient concrete.

But up and out it came, and gone it is, so my yard is transforming. The flower bed is planted, filled with compost and mulch, and its residents are blooming as they reach up to cover the fence and fill my yard with fresh scents of flowers. And now I also have new grass.

I tore up the old grass - really just weeds run amok - and planted bright green sod. Now that its starting to take, I'm excited that Taxi Dog will have a place to run and Hanalei will have a place to play. I also added a stone patio under the existing back porch, perfect for Dad to grill and Mom to relax with a margarita while we watch the kids.

Next, Grammy is planting vegetables in the new food garden beds in the very back of the yard so we can have fresh produce through the year. These beds, filled to the brim with SmartLeaf compost, will bring us lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, petters, basil, and an assortment of other tasty treats, building on last year's garden experiments to create a long-term harvest for the Vota family.

Finally, as I now just about finished with my spring gardening, I can enjoy the best part of all this effort - watching the plants grow as I drink beer.

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1 Comment

A garden is sooo important! It's not just the Obamas that think so. Even in our little apartment we used all our outdoor space for a garden and in the Eastern Cape, gardens do just fabulous.

Important hint: Don't forget to compost! Use all the natural stuff out of your kitchen (except meat and fatty things that attract rats). Feed your lawn dude!

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