Project Dreamcatcher: Final Update Before Big Reveal!

I missed an update (I intended to post an update after every two week period) but that’s okay, better late than never. And honestly. I didn’t have all that much done after weeks 3-4 so it’s better I delayed my post. I’ve been in a bit of a holding pattern waiting for some paper mulch to arrive. But now I actually do have some progress to report and I think the next time I’ll be writing about this it will be to show you that final product! Whatever that may be.

I can’t believe I only really have one week left to work in the backyard without Isa around. It’s going to take a lot of work next week, but I do believe I can get all the landscaping done. Here are the goals I’ve accomplished so far.

WEEKS 3-4 (July 7-20)

1. Buy lavender bushes, ground cover, plant compost and mini-mulch. COMPLETED!

2. Clear the rocks from the rest of the back stretch. COMPLETED!

3. Amend the soil in the back stretch. COMPLETED!

4. Plant lavender bushes and tree from mom in the back stretch. COMPLETED!

5. Clear grass from right side stretch. COMPLETED!

6. Cut down–and dig up roots–of rose bush. COMPLETED!

7. Amend soil on the right side stretch. COMPLETED!

8. Plant ground cover on the right side stretch. 3/4 COMPLETED!

9. Cover spaces between ground cover with wet newspaper and mulch on the left side. COMPLETED!

10. Cover spaces between ground cover with wet newspaper and much on the right side. COMPLETED!

(I actually ended up laying the paper and mulch first and I’m 3/4 of the way through planting the ground cover.)

WEEKS 5-6 (July 21 – August 3)

1. Get massive pile of debris from back stretch hauled away (How will I do this?!) SCHEDULED FOR NEXT SUNDAY

2. Find and buy stepping stones. COMPLETED!

3. Order miniature stonecrop. DOING THIS TOMORROW

4. Clear grass from square. COMPLETED!

5. Amend soil in square. STILL TO DO

6. Lay paper mulch. STILL TO DO

7. Place stepping stones. STILL TO DO

8. Lay pavers base and stepping stones. STILL TO DO

9. Fill space between stones with mulch. STILL TO DO

10. Plant miniature stone crop. STILL TO DO

Wow, it feels pretty awesome to write all those COMPLETED!s up there. I know I still have a lot to do (and I’m not attempting to finish the stairs or get rid of the table–which were goals for the coming week–until later in the year) but I’ve also done quite a bit. And it should be made clear that my dad actually cleared the grass from the 300 sq ft square, no small feat even with the electric tiller my mom got (which was incredibly powerful for such a compact machine). I still can’t really believe the whole thing has been tilled. I’m pretty much in shock.

The stepping stones were also a huge proposition. I didn’t have the first clue what I was getting myself into with those. I first went down with my FIL’s CRV but was told it couldn’t haul the weight of the stones. I went out back anyway and figured out what I wanted, lifted a few of the rocks to make sure I could handle them on my own and then went home to rent a truck for the next day.

When I returned I was told that the stones I originally looked at were not nearly big enough. I was directed to these massive Arizona Flagstones and told I’d need quite a few of them to cover the 100 sq ft I was hoping to have in stone. I ended up choosing seven giant stones, which weighed 2/3s of ton (1300lbs) total. That means each stone was around 200lbs, though some were definitely more than that, and some a little less.

I had to frantically call my father to meet me at my house so I could unload them and thank god my mother came too or we’d have never gotten them off the truck. We managed to get five of them out (down a long hallway and across the patio) near the 300 sq ft square but two of them were so big we could barely slide them along the hallway with a giant comforter (that we promptly ripped huge holes in) to leave them right at the top of the patio. I don’t know how I’ll place those two… maybe with four adults we can get them where they need to be?

I was also told I needed over 2 tons of base rock for that much stone, but since I’m not planning on putting anything on top of them, and we won’t even be walking on them much, I’m just going to lay 3-4 inches of pavers base under each one and hope for the best. Worst comes to worst I have to pull them up some day and put the proper amount of base stones and sand underneath. I can handle that later.

The good news is, even thought I don’t think I got 100 sq ft of stone, I still think it will be plenty for the space. The bad news is they cost $235 total and the miniature stonecrop will cost another $200, plus the truck cost me $50 and the mulch and planters compost will be another $150 at least so the middle square is going to be well over $600, all told. Of course the yard project is costing me twice as much as I had budgeted for (over $2000 total). I can’t imagine how much it would have cost if I weren’t doing it all myself.

Anyway, here are some pictures of what is now done. Enjoy!

The back area, planted mostly with lavender.


The right side, 3/4 planted with vinca minor


The middle square, cleared of grass and weeds


The rocks, purchased and in the backyard


6 responses

  1. Fantastic! My mom taught me a rule about perennials: sleep, creep, leap…meaning dont get discouraged at growth… The third year is the payoff year! Keep heart you’re doing such a wonderful job!

  2. Ooooh i am so jealous of all of you with your lovely garden pictures. Our “outdoor area’ is all concrete with plants in giant pots. Not the same at all. I can’t wait to see when that lavender takes off and starts to overtake the side of your garden! You’ll have to make yummy stuff with it.

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