This winter was harsh, not only was it hard on us humans, but it also took a pretty big toll on the Storefront. You saw a sneak peek of my dirty little secret yesterday, but today I have even more shame to share.
This is our backyard:
Note the patch of dirt where a lawn should be. Our lawn isn’t much, at 250 square feet it’s paltry. However, it is a luxury in the middle of the city. We have room or Odin to run, and future kids to play. What we don’t have is grass. The poor lawn has had a rough start. Our first spring in the house saw us moving out, and the Holmes Crew coming in and renovating. As we are a house with no side access, all the materials had to come through the garage, and all the debris came out via the backyard. After the construction was over, the lawn was top dressed and seeded, and we had a good little bit of grass growing. That fall however saw a new four legged addition to our house, and he loves to run circles around the yard. As last summer ticked past, the grass started to falter, and by the time the snow melted this spring, you could count the number of grass blades on one hand.
Then comes the matter of the pathway. The previous owner must have laid the paving stones right onto the dirt. The path has sunk almost 6″ in spots, and now is the low spot in the backyard. Every time it rains, the water pools on the path, and with no grass to hold back the dirt on the lawn, we’re seeing a lot of it wash onto the path. The path is edged with wood, which also makes a little damn for the water to stay on the path and not drain.
Now if all that wasn’t enough, the beige exterior paint has seen better days. It is cracking and peeling at places. It’s starting to break down near the ground, and is showing signs of mold and mildew.
All in all, it’s a pretty big mess.
We were not planning any backyard projects this year, other than the standard gardening etc. However, I think we may have to prioritize the backyard before it gets worse.
Here’s our must do list:
- Pull up path, pressure wash pavers, fill with stone, and re-lay the pavers. I know what you’re thinking, we don’t even like those paving stones! I know, I know, but it’s a ton of money to switch them, and that’s not in the budget right now. We were going to use those reclaimed bricks we have in the garage, but this winter saw pretty much all the brick paths in the city crumble. We don’t want that to happen to us. So until we have a couple thousand to drop on new paving stones, these will have to do. We will re-edge them with a proper edge, and re grade them to ensure proper runoff.
- Next we will till and grade the lawn, add in some good new soil and fertilizer, and either sod or seed, and then overseed with clover. Clover is drought resistant, shade tolerant, and doesn’t turn yellow from dog “fertilization”. Fingers crossed that this works.
- The house exterior will get cleaned, caulked, and a new coat of (not beige) paint. We may even have a little fun with adding a trim color etc.
Here’s our supply list and budget:
Pressure Washer (rent, borrow or buy)
Rototiller (rent, borrow or buy)
Muscles (borrow friends; pay with steaks & beer)
High Performance Bedding rock underlayment for walkway
Top soil for lawn
Sod or grass seed
Wish List Extras:
New exterior door knobs
New exterior lighting
BUDGET: $250 – $500 (*we would like to keep this as inexpensive as possible, so tool purchase is unlikely, and as is the sod.)
Now I need your help! Do you have experience with growing clover? Have you ever pressure washed or rototilled? Any good recommendations on exterior paint? I am interested in Behr Marquee (I love the Behr Premium Plus Ultra), but have yet to try the Marquee.