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Yard makeover

When we moved to Houston, I really wanted a little yard. It didn’t have to be anything big, just a patch of grass to call our own. Having previously owned a townhouse in a four-season climate where the HOA maintained the grass, I guess I didn’t realize what I was asking for. Houston has two seasons: summer and the three months between summers. This means the grass grows like crazy, it’s too hot outside to enjoy the yard much of the year, and someone has to suffer through trimming it each week of summer. Many people hire a lawn service, but our yard was too small to be worth it.

Finally we decided that we might as well turn it into a low-maintenance space that we would actually enjoy. It took four days of hard work, but the results were worth it! We’re looking forward to watching the plants grow, and I’m especially looking forward to photographing the critters that find them.

Before:1 before

After:2 after

Follow the break to see the whole process!

We started with two pickup trucks full of soil from The Ground Up, which we dumped on top of the lawn:3 shoveling

Mark turned the new soil into the old soil (in a thunderstorm):
4 turning

The next morning, we installed all the new plants:
5 planting

A few weeks later, we ran a soaker hose around the plants inside and outside of the fence and used cardboard to cover what was to be the path (notice how much the canna lilies grew in just three weeks compared to the ‘before’ photo):
6 hose and path

7 outside hose

We added newspaper to the areas between plants — like the cardboard, this will help suppress the grass, but will degrade more quickly so the plants can spread. The handfuls of dirt were to keep the paper from blowing away as we set it down:8 newspapers

After adding one round of The Ground Up’s compost, we wet it and added MycoGrow:
9 mycogrow

We added a final layer of compost, placed the stepping stones, mulched the plants outside the fence and we were finally finished!
10 inside finished

11 patio

12 outside finished

13 patio 2

6 comments to Yard makeover

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