Friday, September 29, 2017

Fence Lattice for a Backyard Bed

Linda is busy working on filling in the bed in the center of the back yard, near the electrical box and along the fence.  One of the items she wants to plant is a vine, so she needs a trellis for the vine to grow on.

We are going to use a 4 ft. by 8 ft. wood lattice for the trellis.  To hold it in place, we first attach a couple of 2x4's to the fence, standing out, so that the lattice will be 4 inches (really 3.5 inches) away from the fence.  Both are attached by 1/4 by 6 inch lag screws, "standing up" on the fence.  One is screwed into a 4x4 fence post; the other is screwed into the 2x4 cross beams (behind the fence pickets).

Then the lattice is screwed onto the two supports.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Front Yard corner near Gas Meter, Part 2

With the border in place, we are ready to extend the River of Rocks from the fence/gate to the border.  We have a selection of flattish rocks that we have been putting aside from the work in the back yard.  We start by putting a couple in place near the gate.

Then we extend that with additional rocks, working our way towards the front.

We pick stones and position them to form the River of Rocks, but also to carefully conceal the valve for irrigation Zone 9, so it will be easy to find when we next need to.

Eventually, we have selected and placed rocks all the way back to the front border.

The next step is to dig out the dirt under each rock, so as to make it flat, stable, and level with the dirt.  The rocks closest to the gate have to allow the gate to be opened.  There are significant root issues from the Elm tree, so this takes longer than expected.

But finally we have all the rocks placed, and leveled.  We can fill in with dirt.

As a final step, we transplant monkey grass in-between the rocks.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Front Yard corner near Gas Meter, Part 1

Now that the Zone 9 and Zone 10 irrigation has been fixed (last blog posting), we can start to work on this corner of the front yard.

A long time ago, when we dug up this area before, for the French drain, we removed the small border that separated the yard from the beds.  Now we need to replace that border and continue it to the edge of the yard.  Continuing the border will make this corner by the gas meter an extension of the bed in the front of the house.  We will then extend the River of Rocks from the back yard out to the new border.

So the first job is to dig the trench for the extended border.

Then we pour cement into the trench to create a base and mortar stones in to create the border.  We want the stones to be rough-cut, to match the "rustic" nature of the existing border.  This ended up being more difficult than we remember -- all the stones we found were "sawed" and so smooth on two (opposite) sides.  Eventually we found some cast-offs, but instead of our normal 4x4, they were 8x4, and being cast-offs, somewhat irregular in shape. (Texas Wholesale Stone, $32.72)

But we adjusted the cement base to compensate for the irregular shape of the stones and mortared them in to create a smooth extension of the existing stone border, but twice as deep. (4 bags of Quikrete plus a bag of mortar from Home Depot, $20.35)

With the border in place, we then purchased a cubic yard of dirt (Whittlesey Landscape Supplies, $40.95) and put it in the newly defined bed, to fill in and smooth out.