The lot our house sits on is one of nine on the little bean-shaped piece of land which is flanked by one street and curvingly surrounded by another – a little island if you will. This island is sloping from the west corner to both the south and to the northeast, unevenly so, of course. There is no alley in the back, only a drainage easement along the property lines which means that we cannot plant or put anything within 10 feet of our property line (and the neighbor on the other side will be bound by the same restriction).
Our house was the second to be finished. By now there are two more houses practically finished, one other is well underway, one is slightly behind in construction, another has its foundation, and there are still two so-far undeveloped lots.
Which means a lot of construction going on. Which means a lot of traffic, and dirt, and noise. Which surprisingly doesn’t bother me. Our house is excellently insulated, it is very easy to escape the noise simply by being inside.
Because our house was only the second one to be built/finished on our little island, the rest of the island seems like one big construction site. Huge dirt piles from dug out foundations, materials, etc. When the weather was dry, Mark and I would often walk over what we lovingly called “the desert” - dirt with smallish weeds, tire tracks, deep furrows where the rain had washed the dirt away and down the slope. We pretended to be looking at it from a great height, pretending the furrow was actually the Grand Canyon. And such.
Because the shape and slope of our backyard depended to a great degree on the other houses being built around us, we haven’t really had a backyard since we moved in. We had decided that it wouldn’t make sense to do any landscaping, seeding, before the shaping of the yard was finalized, and the finalizing wouldn’t happen until at least one more house would be built = dirt from the foundation produced which could be used to shape our backyard which until then had a very unattractive and steep slope. So, our “backyard” was just part of the huge construction site out there. Or, the construction site went right up to our house.
We did have property stakes and as such visual reminders of to where our lot went, but it was all one big – thing. And it bothered me. A lot. It bothered me that I didn’t have a backyard, that we didn’t have any kind of landscaping, that it was just one big construction site out there. But what I didn’t realize until very recently is that what bothered me was that we didn’t have boundaries. No sense of boundaries.
I didn’t want to walk through our “backyard” because there was none.
Yesterday and today, thanks to the weather just ever so almost-not holding off with the forecast rain, Howe Landscaping did their thing and created our backyard. We had agreed on one more retaining wall which will in the future become the side to some stairs, and the dirt from creating that wall was enough to shape the space in the back and make it into one beautiful and large and mildy sloping backyard. It is one cohesive space now.
There’s grass (seed), and hay blown onto the seed so even though it’ll be a couple days before the grass will show itself we can see the outline of a lawn (from the hay).
The weather forecast calls for cool weather, and little and gentle rain over the next couple of days. Precisely what a new lawn needs : )
Oh – and the new mower arrived yesterday as well. : )
If the weather isn’t too cold, I will be planting more herbs and flowers and – finally – the plants I had dug up before we moved, into the new beds.
Dirt, here I come.