Backyard Regrade

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Finally we begin our project. First order of business is to dig out two hemlock stumps. My dirt guy, Cory, is confident his mini-excavator is enough machine for the job.

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Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

He's right. Here is the bigger one getting pushed down the hill to the burn pile.

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Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

And the hole they left.

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(Judi)Portland, OR

Holy cow that's a big hole! Looks like a really big project.

Lake Stevens, WA

Your on your way to you new beautiful backyard! The sun even shined on you. That has got to be a good sign

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Day Two. Removing all the existing plants and smoothing out the lower level.

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Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

This slope will have large boulders added for an outcropping look, and some stone steps to the lower level. The dirt in the middle will be used to even up and fill in the upper level.

This message was edited Mar 21, 2011 4:04 PM

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Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Day Three. Cory spent the day shifting dirt around the upper level -- filling in low spots, shaving off crowns, leveling it off better. I spent the day on the phone shopping for stone. My son, Sam, went out to Marenakos to hand pick some of the stone, particularly the risers for the stairs. We will use Bandera weathered granite.

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Union, WA(Zone 8b)

That is looking really good. Great project!

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Most impressive! Love the views out of your garden. Cory is a great dozer man. Love the rich loam you have on your property. I wish I had 10" of that.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Neat start. Thanks for sharing. It will be fun to watch the progression.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Last evening, Sam and Cory met up for an on-site review and stone/patio planning. Another of Sam's childhood friends, Andrew, stopped by and it sounds like he may come over on Saturday to help move rock around. It pays to feed young boys while they are growing up -- and it will be fun to feed them again. Yesterday, Cory brought his two young children (3 and 4) to fish down at our pond as he used to do as a child. They caught 5 and kept 2 trout.

(Judi)Portland, OR

I remember feeding young boys, and man, do they eat a lot! I swear they sometimes grew 4" over night. One of mine is also named Sam - great name!

Sounds like you are all going to have fun with this project!

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Oh, yes, will work for food. :)

My oh my can boys eat! I have a Sam, too.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I'm hungry what are you cooking?

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Ha ha, Sofer, grab a shovel and come on by. Last night was chile verde, I think Saturday will be something BBQ'd.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Went to a new local native plant nursery that Sam found through a random Flower Show contact -- after a bit of small talk and wandering around, the owner and I found many common connections. We both attended the same high school in Seattle, he graduated with my younger sister, he has a summer place down river from the same sister in Twisp, his good friend is my husband's golf buddy, his nephew is a high school friend of Sam's... Needless to say, we hit it off and he will give me wholesale prices on my project. Yay!!

Lake Stevens, WA

Still a small world! Good for you.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

That is awesome! It definitely is a small world.

(Judi)Portland, OR

It is a small world. I went skiing a few days ago and when I got to the top of the mountain it was so foggy and snowy that I found myself in a complete whiteout. They closed the lifts to the top a few minutes later, but meanwhile I had to find my way down. There were some other skiers up there so we formed a little group and stuck together so no one got lost. When we got to the bottom and took off our goggles, masks, neck gaiters, etc and revealed out faces, we found out we were all a bunch of grey-haired women who like skiing alone and like the steeps. Then we went into the lodge for a drink.

Bonehead, the two of you have so many connections!

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Perfect ending.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Portland - how fun! My husband and I took a midweek ski bus years ago up to Whistler, which was full of grey-haired retired folk. We were both still working at the time, but had a blast. It was such a pleasant trip up and back - no talk of work or past careers, and on the way home there was a free-for-all potluck sharing of food and drink. Great commaraderie. Maybe you will meet up with your newfound lady friends on another slope one day.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

My rock just got delivered!

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(Judi)Portland, OR

Wonderful rocks! Keep the photos coming! I love the progress reports. You have such a nice space to work with.

There is a ski bus from Portland as well, but I really do like the solitude of skiing alone, and I like the drive through Hood River. The rest of the grey-hairs I met also like skiing alone so we will meet for lunch or drinks again some time.

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

Good stories and great rocks.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Day 4: First step is to line up the rocks on the upper level to choose from.

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Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Setting the first rock, an anchor for the steps.

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Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

My son fine-tuned the placement.

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Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Completed steps.

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Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

A view from above. The firepit will be built approximately where the fire ring is sitting, with flagstone patio around it. Several of the stones will act as benches as well as focal points.

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Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Kudos to the crew! I'm at left, son Sam next to me, Andrew & Cory (neighborhood boys all grown up).

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Union, WA(Zone 8b)

Beautiful steps. That's elegant.

Lake Stevens, WA

Deb
Thats going to be nice. Looks like a hard working bunch.

(Judi)Portland, OR

The steps are great - and Sam is adorable! Isn't it fun to see the kids all grown up!

Vashon, WA(Zone 8b)

What an ambitious project. Those rocks are huge!! And the steps look great, solid and well anchored by boulders. Thanks for the view from above. It gives a sense of the whole plan. It is bound to be a spectacular gathering place, out in your garden with a view of the pond and forest below.

Great helpers too!

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

What an AWESOME project. Great to have home-grown helpers. It is looking great already. It is enjoyable to see the whole project from start to ..... I see many nights sitting around the fire.

Whidbey Island, WA(Zone 7a)

Wow! I haven't checked in on DG for ages and what a treat to see this fabulous project!!!!

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Day 5: Sam and I shopped flagstone in the morning (I think I've settled on Pennsylvania variegated bluestone) and then he began prepping the patio area. Raked it level and added 2-3" of crushed rock.

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Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

I am sooooo enjoying this.

Carnation, WA(Zone 7b)

Wonderful project with great views. How nice to have home grown help.

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