PROGRESS: front yard gravel patch

One of the more annoying projects that we are working on for Schubert HQ is landscaping the front yard.

We *have* to get it done by mid-August for our HOA. And also for the city, but that’s its own story altogether.

As I mentioned in this post – our lot is kind of a trapezoid shape. And for whatever reason, previous owners just filled up one side of the front yard with gravel.

I don’t MIND gravel, but it’s not what we want in our front yard. Plus, after however long of being there, it’s all messy and not very landscapey-anyway. It’s fairly large pieces of rock – so it almost looks unintentional. Versus fine, small gravel that clearly would not be natural to the yard, you know?

So we decided to get rid of it.

And found out the hard way that it’s at least 6″ deep throughout!

That’s WAY too much to try to give away on Craigslist or move to another part of our yard to use for something else …. So Andrew did some calling around … and found a company where we could rent a dumpster for a week, fill it up with the gravel, and they would then come and haul it away.

Seems like an awesome deal. Especially since Andrew was kind of excited to do all of the shoveling/etc himself.

He loves manual labor.

Of course, the dumpster was delivered Monday morning, and Andrew went to the emergency room Tuesday night, so that’s excellent timing.

We still made excellent progress, and now enough of the gravel is gone that we can till and plant grass …


You can tell in this photo how much square footage the gravel is taking up … and then imagine that about 6″ deep the whole way.
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And with the sad little first attempt visible …

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Monday morning (June 4) we rented a big ol’ dumpster:

(We had to keep it in our driveway, because otherwise we would have had to get a permit from the city to keep it on the street)

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and Andrew started in on the shoveling …

In this first photo, you see the bar across the top of the ‘doorway’? THAT made it 100x more difficult, because it meant Andrew couldn’t tip the wheelbarrow all the way over. He had tip it over most of the way to dump the gravel, and then finish pulling the rest out with his hands.

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Such a handsome, hard worker.

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He did this over several mornings this week, in spite of being out of commission for a few days.

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Underneath all the gravel are these (I think) felt ‘weed mats’ that basically killed the dirt and everything in it so no weeds would grow up through the gravel.

Again, I’m sure this looked fine and neat when it was installed, but now it’s just ugly and annoying.

AND we have to figure out how to reinvigorate all the dirt that was under it. Any tips?

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He was DIRTY after just a couple hours of this….

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The Sunday afternoon before the dumpster was picked up…. Andrew estimates he shoveled a couple tons of gravel.

I have ZERO concept how much a literal ton of anything is, so I just take his word for it.

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He cleared the gravel basically until the corner of the house. It would have cost us another several hundred dollars to keep the dumpster another week, so we figure A) we’re not planning on planting grass along the side of the house anyway, and B ) I’m sure we can find *some* use for that little bit of gravel.

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So as of this typing our front yard actually looks WORSE because it’s all torn up and even messier and waiting for about 3 different projects to be finished.

But, at least we’ve STARTED the front-yard-landscaping.

Can’t wait for it to be all finished!

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  • Julie Schubert June 28, 2012, 5:53 pm

    Andrew is such a hard worker. I think he likes working on the house.

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