Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back-breaking project -- Anna's play place

I have a cool project I am in the midst of at our house, too bad I woke up this morning with a sore back from it. In our backyard as you come off the deck, we used to have a brush pile and a bunch of trees. We had to get rid of the largest pine and while they were at it, the tree company offered to take away our brush pile. We gladly let them take this away and instead of piling more debris there, we decided the area made for a perfect play place for Anna as its shaded and close to the deck. At the same time, we decided we would reclaim some of the existing "garden" and make it into more grass in the back yard.

The problem is that the area is still covered with a layer of leafy mulch, no thicker than three inches. The area was also not as level as we like. Further, we couldn't see the area because of some overgrown bushes. Yesterday, I started to tackle all of these issues.

First thing yesterday morning, I moved the bricks delineating our garden and exposed more of what was declared garden to the "grass" side. I then spread out the leafy mulch, more evening the land. The land with leafy mulch on it was too soft in general and it would need covered in dirt to solidify the ground while the leafy mulch decomposes, much like how a landfill works but with less dirt. Then I hacked back the bushes at the end of the deck, too much from Heather's viewpoint, but in a way that hopefully should allow them to grow back and us to have a better view of Anna's new play place. This generated so much debris that I had to call John over to bring his truck and help me take it to the landfill.

By the time I got back, I had to take a break because it was raining and there was about to be a baby shower at our house, meaning I needed to clean up and be ready to take care of Anna. While the ladies were downstairs at the baby shower and Anna was asleep, I called and ordered 3 cubic yards of topsoil from Mulch Masters to put over this area. Around three hours later, the topsoil shows and I had my large pile of topsoil. Our guests left around 5 PM and I took advantage of the remaining daylight and lack of rain to start moving topsoil. I got about one and a half hours of moving topsoil in before the rain started again, but I feel good about the progress that was made. I took this picture this morning:
Anna's future playplace
On the right you can see the light grey bricks with the new delineation of the garden. Everything between those 4 trees, about 12.5' X 13.5' will become Anna's playplace. The remaining area thats not grass will be covered in topsoil and have grass planted on it.

Once I finish moving the topsoil, I plan to cover Anna's area with a weed barrier and then playground mulch. We then hope to get some of the plastic play structures like this to put in there:

We still have a lot of work to do, but I plan to track some progress here :-)

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