May 24, 2011

Backyard DIY: Move that Dirt

Where did we leave off? Here, I think:

Someday, this will be a patio. Right now, it's a pile of dirt. And we need somewhere to put our tomatoes. Righto, then. It's dirt moving time.

Mr said he wanted to rent a roto-tiller. From the depths of my being I was against it, and not because of the cost. (Okay, a little because of the cost.) Mainly, though, because of The Peony Story.

The Peony Story goes a little like this: When we bought our first house, it was winter. The snow eventually melted away, and we saw that the backyard was - shall we say - a blank canvas. But one with a peony bush.

And a lot of rocks where a patio should be and dandelions where a lawn should be. So Mr rented himself a roto-tiller and dug that backyard up. Including the peony. Looking back, my response was possibly a little overexcited. But you can understand my aversion to roto-tillers.

So, in my slightly hysterical effort to save the two (TWO!) peony bushes that came with this house, I poo-pooed the roto-tiller and said I'd dig out the tomato bed, move the big heap of dirt to fill in the various holes in the backyard, and clear out half of the flower bed (inexplicably mulched with gravel by previous owners). By myself. With a shovel.

Oh yes, and before the thunderstorms rolled in at noon.

So this

Became this

Became this

And let's pause here for a minute to discuss weeds. A particular weed. This weed:

You can see it's nefarious roots all through the bed (you can also see my gooseberry bush and my peony bushes. I'm a little excited about them.). It's some kind of wild morning glory that has lovely pink flowers but grows over everything. Everything:

And it comes up overnight. I swear to you, this whatever-you-call-it weed was not up last week. And I pulled up as much of it as I could see. And yet:

Yeah. I can see this is going to be a daily effort. But the seedlings are in. The tomato grave bed is dug:

 (Mostly. Mr says it needs to be bigger. Hmph. Him and his roto-tilling self.)

The stump hole and ex-dog run path are filled:

And this pile is substantially smaller.

Except that it's bigger. Because we went out and bought more (on sale, of course) for the tomatoes (still unplanted), and because Mr and Miss were very busy while I was moving dirt around,

And now we've got to fill these, too.

Not that I'm complaining. My shoulder might be, but I'm not.