Project Garden: South side

My yard forms a narrow U-shape around the house. While the main side (east) doesn’t require much beyond planting pretty shrubs and sprinkling some grass seeds to fill the gaps, the other two sides require a lot of work. I’m not a gardener and have no idea what I’m doing. But I try not to let silly details like that stand in the way of my large ambitions.

If I wasn’t over-ambitious, the south side side would have been fine with a few more plants in the gardenbed. Not for me though. I decided to declare war on the gravel.

South Side

It wasn’t that I thought the gravel looked bad, it was just that I like grass. Both the look and feel of it. And I’m worried that Future Dog wont like gravel (or worse, might be one of those dogs that eats gravel). I remember Lexie would go out of her way to walk on the small exposed garage floor instead of the gravel driveway. Who would want to walk on gravel when they can walk on lovely soft grass? If Future Dog didn’t like gravel then that effectively reduced weekday area by a third.The gravel had to go.

Of course, if I had known how much work was involved, I would have left the gravel alone.

March: Barely scratched the surface

I started clearning the space after the new fence went up, with the help of my parents who shoveled the gravel into their ute and took them away. When I started, I assumed that the space was just a thin layer of decorative gravel followed by soil and would only take a few weekends. What I found was thin decorative layer, followed by 10cm of red gravel mixed with soil, weedmat, horrible small grey gravel, weedmat, compacted ground with tree roots throughout and drainage pipes which I suspect aren’t deep enough. Yep, should have left the gravel alone. Too late now.

Also discovered a cat pooping ground. I can’t believe how much it smells! And found half a possum the other day.

It’s taken months to clear the space of the offending gravel. The ending of daylight savings time slowed me down (the sun would set just as I got home from work. Who wants to work in the dark?).

Start of May: the final push

With a week off work and the dedication of my mum, we’ve finally finished! Most of the gravel is gone and I’ve decompacted some of that horrid clay soil. I’m exhausted, my back hurts and I’m sick of damn gravel.

Next weekend I’ll have some topsoil delivered and will sprinkle my grass seeds. I’m a few months too late for grass seeds (too cold) but maybe some seeds will sprout? I’d rather not wait four months for spring.

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