Sprucing up

Dana and I decided this weekend we would finally level the soil on the north edge of the yard, put a border around the silver-maple in the front of the house, and cover a number of areas with mulch or stone. In prep for this task, Dana went to Arapahoe Acres and picked up the edging, weed barrier, and mulch. It wouldn’t all fit in her car so I’ll have to go back to get the rest of the mulch.

Dana started on the leveling project and I started on prepping the area below the tree. First I raked all the debris up including old mulch and stones. Just as I was finishing, our new couch was delivered. Dana went into the house to receive it and when she finished setting it up I came to the door to check it out. It looked great but there were two massive moths hanging out of on door that drew some attention.

Dana then helped me get the debris into trash bags. We filled ten bags. Dana and I started working on getting the soil cut for the edging. We were making good progress until we got near an area that had roots all the way out to the sidewalk. After checking with Becky (who has received the formal title, “Master Gardner”) to make sure that it wouldn’t hurt the tree, I got a saw and started cutting the roots back. Dana took that opportunity to finish turning the bed and leveling it and removing tons of rocks from the north end of the yard. I was bending blades and wearing out teeth on the saw not to mention using up battery after battery.

After not making much progress Dana and I switched to working on the rest of the edging. The batteries needed time to recharge anyhow. At some point I took a break and called and checked in at home. Dana went in and took a shower and returned with a fohawk (not to be confused with a mohawk). We continued working but hit a wall with the root trimming. We ordered a pizza delivered directly to the sidewalk and gave it a rest.

Various neighbors came over to give advice and even to lend a tool or a hand or both. After making some progress but not enough, I switched to the Axe-hoe (which Dana had suggested hours earlier). After another number of hours I was finally done chopping through all the roots (some of which were as much as 8″ in diameter). Dana and I get the remaining edging in place and we leveled out the soil in the bed. We did a bit of sweeping and called it a night.

We were both exhausted. We worked nearly 12 hours. I drank more than 160oz (my bottle holds fourty ounces of water and I drank 4 bottle-fills). As soon as we finished I put away the tools in the back and Dana turned to watering. There are lots of photos from today but I’ll have to put those up tomorrow morning as I’m way to tired to cope right now.


Dana took care of the final watering of the afternoon. When I came home I once again found our neighbor, Becky, in the backyard helping us with our gardening. Before moving to Denver Becky served as a master gardner and it is obvious from her knowledge and love of everything growing. Becky was working on getting a particular weed up and it wasn’t going well. Shortly after she left I thought I’d be helpful and give it a tug. It broke right off in my hand. I felt so bad that I immediately went for the shovel. I dug down around the root of the week and ended up having to go down nearly a foot to find the end of the room. This doesn’t leave much confidence in what will be required to remove all the weeds in the backyard and get the soil ready for reseeding or sodding.


When I woke up this morning and went out to water I found the lawn saturated. There were no signs on the concrete or cars that it had rained but there was a random piece of paper that had blown onto the lawn and it was soaked. I took off my shoe and stepped onto the grass with a bare foot and it too was wet. I figured that was a sign that we shouldn’t water. It’s supposed to be a bit cooler today though still low 80s. Perhaps by midday it will need water.

Pulling Weeds

Dana continued her weed pulling mission. The area around the tree in the front of the house from which we had removed the grass when we first moved in was being overtaken by weeds. We want to put in a border and fill that area with mulch but we needed to get rid of the weeds first. Dana filled a garbage bag with what I estimate was about 40 pounds of weeds.  In addition to the weeding in the front, when I came home I found Becky, our neighbor from across the street, in the back pulling weeds. She had a garbage bag of her own filled as she cleared away the weeds at the base of our rose bushes which are now beginning to bloom (pictures later). We decided the grass was still wet from the midday watering and didn’t water.