Monday, September 03, 2007

Hard Labor

No, this is not a post about childbirth. But it is certainly about a hard labor.

We've been working on re-landscaping the front yard for about a year now. Like most projects around here, it's an on-going effort, accomplished mostly on weekends, with a few weekday evenings as our time and energy allow.

The people who lived in this house before us threw a river rock creekbed into the front yard. It seemed to us that they dug a trench, bought some very homogeneously sized rocks, dumped them and called it done. That kind of stuff drives Tom (the frustrated landscape architect) nuts and for the past 12 years he's looked forward to pulling every single rock out of the front yard, organizing them all according to size on the driveway, cleaning them, and then re-doing the entire riverbed with some flair and creativity.

After months of pulling rocks from the yard, we got to the part where they're all sorted on the driveway -- and then Tom injured his shoulder. But we really, really wanted to get further than we have this summer, and knowing that we'll be entering winter by the time we get home from Germany, we've felt real incentive to do what we can now.

So guess who helped Tom today? Yup!

I must have shoveled, hauled, and dumped 40 five-gallon buckets of rock. Then Tom painstakingly arranged them in the bouldered riverbed that he and Peter built yesterday. We're still not done, and we won't be before we leave, but hey -- we're further! And hell, I'll get out there in the dead of winter in order to avoid a third summer of front yard landscaping!

So... the idea is that the water that falls off the monolith-like rock splashes onto a dry rock bed and then "disappears," giving the illusion that it's seeping into the rock-covered ground. (Psssst -- we don't want standing water in the front yard; it's a breeding ground for mosquitoes!) The challenge has been to carry that illusion into a dry creekbed, so Tom is having the smaller rocks mimic the water over the larger boulders.

I have a feeling it'll look pretty good once we put some more work into the waterfall and top creekbed and once we get some plants in there. But my back hurts just thinking about what it'll take to get there!

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deeje said...

Ho-lee. My back hurts just *looking* at those rocks!

Sure will be cool when it's completed, though!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it will look just great when it's done. Just be forewarned, water features are a LOT of work. We have a water feature in the front yard and a waterfall in the backyard and there is always something either plugging up the pump or the water evaporates faster than anticipated, or algae forms, etc., etc. And unless you have something set up to automatically add water, you are forever filling the darn things.

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