Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Family That Landscapes Together Stays Together

    A year ago last summer my family took on the gargantuan task of landscaping our yard. No big deal, right?  WRONG!!!  Our lot is about half an acre. It looked huge when we bought it, but after the house was built my hubby complained that all the land was gone and the yard was too small. HA!  Now I know why all of our native Utahan friends in California would just smile when we told them our yard wasn't landscaped.  A few of them said, "We wouldn't buy a house that wasn't landscaped."  I thought, how hard could it be? If I had only known.
     Did you know that Utah's soil is clay?  Which means it's like trying to dig through cement.  Brutal.  Then their is the stickers, they were cast out of Hell by Satan for being too heinous. If I never see one again it will be too soon.  Those little suckers were so sharp they would draw blood when you pulled them out.  And to make matters, worse they were the exact same color as our carpet. I always knew when someone "found" one by the blood curdling scream.
     Yes, their were obstacles, but we prevailed.  We had a team of six for the most part.  My hubby, me, two of my daughters, one son and a son-in-law.  With part time help from another son, a son-in-law and a few friends.  We had to work around work schedules, the extremely wet spring weather, my two youngest sons and four grand kids.
     In one summer we installed sprinklers, moved mounds of dirt, placed eight tons of rocks, some weighing three or four hundred pounds. (We rented a Bobcat for the bigger ones, the men loved that.  They were like kids fighting over a new toy.)  We built berms, eight of them, and covered them with thick weed fabric. (Smartest thing we did.) Then covered the weed fabric with load after load of bark.  We also built a play area and brought in load after load of playground bark. We had curbing laid.  My daughter and I, with a lot of help from the hubby, put down a cobblestone walkway.  And after all of this we got to the fun part.  We laid out sixteen pallets of sod.  We did eight the first time and then four and four.  It was the only way we survived it.
      And speaking of surviving we had blisters on our hands and feet the size of nickles and quarters.  Strained muscles, smashed and dislocated fingers and a stress fracture.  We also worked in the blazing summer sun and so we were a permanent shade of pink. Ouch!  We drank water by the gallon and lost over a hundred pounds collectively.
     In November we finally poured the cement that made our basketball court. It was our crowning glory, the Mount Everest of our summer, the culmination of months of backbreaking work.  Of course we're still working on the finishing touches.  We are still planting trees, shrubs, and flowers, did I mention the one hundred tulip bulbs we planted.   
     Despite all the blood, sweat and tears, I think we grew closer as a family that summer.  We sometimes laughed until their were tears in our eyes.  We felt good about all that we accomplished and all I can say about it now, after it is all said and done is, I don't ever want to do that again!  


  1. Your yard looks beautiful. I think David had more fun driving the rock picker upper around the most. I remember all the hard work getting it put together. You did a great job. Besides being a writer, you and Kristin should be landscapers.

  2. This post brings tears to my eyes!!! Sooooo much work!!

  3. Thinking about it now, I don't know how you did it without dying!

  4. I don't think I could do it now. Too tired.