Thursday, August 02, 2007

it came from the yard

where to begin - the prospect of having a yard was one of the strongest appeals of the apartment. it was visions of gardening and bbq's that ran through my head those cool autumn days as i peered out the kitchen window into the weedy abyss. i can say with certainty, that is was not the hours of strenuous, back-wrenching work that it would take to make that happen in an affordable manor the general decision in the fall was that it was far too overgrown (and filled with raccoons) for us to make any headway and that it was best to wait for spring.

rocky

winter passed and finally, late in march, we got a look at the full scope of what we were about to undertake.

backyard cleanup project

looking towards the house

walking around the littered lot gave one a sense of the the enormity of the project. the visions of bbq's, a garden (and waging war on mosquitoes) were still quite alluring and filled us with a good deal of motivation and over the course of the next several weekends we managed to bag up a couple of boxes worth of contractors bags filled with trash from the yard. suddenly, things didn't seem quite so bad.

see the results after the expansion

small pile

backyard cleanup

we had lost some time (and ground to weeds)when we left for the trip to berlin, however by the middle of june things were really starting to come together. we erected some lattice as a privacy fence. planted some flowering pants and were now only faced with the dilemma of what to do with the center area that was ringed with concrete (and filled with dirt and broken glass.)

backyard

the initial idea was that i buy some bricks and create a patio. that was discarded when we did the math and realized that it would take over 1,000 bricks to do the job. the next concept was to deck it over, that too was eventually seen as too expensive of a solution. we considered paving stones, but like brick they were proving to be expensive and numerous (and 36 lbs apiece). lastly, we reconsidered using cedar mulch and keeping open the option of using pavers on part of it to create a sitting area.

backyard

currently, we're pretty close to done. we've purchased a grill, a table and chairs, some tiki torches to keep the bugs away. most of the trash is out of the back, some of our plants (morning glories and four o'clocks) are growing and there are only really a few more small bits to work out before we'll have rehabbed the yard.

backyard 2.0

however, one of those last bits, is actually one of the bigger projects that we'll embark upon and that is installing a door to the yard. currently, we access it through a door sized window off the living room -

future doorway

- i've spoken with the landlord about putting in a door and building a small set of steps and he seems ok with it, so now it's just finding someone who can do at a price that's reasonable. so if that's you - shoot me an email: hello [at] samhorine [dot] com.

2 comments:

ZiP said...

great project! i was thinking you had purchased the house/property before i saw "landlord" in the final paragraph -- but even more impressive to put all the work into it. nice!

sam said...

thanks zip - we've been doing it very much on a budget and so far have been quite successful considering how much outdoor space seriously improves ones quality of life.