The transformation of a front yard
A few weeks ago, the dudes came out to clear out the rocks and get rid of our oleander plant in front of the house. The next day they put the curb in. It had to sit for at least three days to harden, so they were going to come this past Friday. The schedule got screwed up, though, so they came yesterday (Monday the 9th). They put the grass down and filled in the rocks. Voila!
Here's the yard before anything was done to it. Note the ugly lava rocks!
Here's the yard after they took out all the rocks.
Here's the yard with the curb and nothing else.
Finally, here's the final product. Norah is there for scale!
Here's something interesting. When they took out all the lava rocks, they found a long piece of concrete in the dirt. We have no idea what it is. The guy who lived here before us often did some strange things on his own, and we wonder if he (or someone else who lived here) started to build a wall but gave up, and this is the foundation. It's very odd.
Here's the curbing where it meets the wall in our yard and the concrete that makes up our driveway.
These are some action photos of the guys who worked on the yard. The first guy is flattening the ground where they were putting the grass. The second two are the guys taking away the last of the lava rocks from the side of our house.
The rock guy had a nice job. He pulled up in his dump truck, dumped the rocks (three-quarter inch Walker Gold!), and drove away. Good work if you can get it.
Norah enjoyed pointing out the rocks. She kept saying, "These rocks!" I would agree.
Here are the guys putting down the grass. They nailed it in, then spread sand mixed with tiny rubber pieces to weigh it down, then watered it to make sure the sand didn't blow away. Maintenance is pretty easy - I have to blow the leaves off of it every once in a while (which I had to do when it was all rock) and I'm going to get a industrial-sized broom from Home Depot to brush it every once in a while.
Here are a bunch of different shots of the yard. It's supposed to last 15-20 years, and the salesman told us because it's under shade most of the time (in the hot months, that is - trees do lose their leaves around here in the winter), it should probably survive until the high end of that scale. Of course, if we're still here in 15-20 years I may have to kill myself, but at least we'll still have a nice yard! We're hoping Norah plays out there a lot. She can't play in the back yard too much, because the pool is so big and there's very little shade, so even in the winter it's fairly hot back there. We want her to play outside more, and we're going to get some cheap patio furniture to put out front so I can sit out there and watch her (if she doesn't want to play with me, which she often doesn't). It needs to be cheap because of the unfortunate tendency of stuff to get stolen from the front of our house. We'll chain it up, but some thieves must have a bench, man!
So that's our new yard. It looks great, and it's pretty soft. You can tell it's fake, obviously, but it's not abrasive on your feet or anything. And even though it's not cheap, in the long run we'll save money and water. Hey, we're in the middle of a 13-year drought. We shouldn't be watering our lawns around here!