There's nothing like a deadline to get a long-term home improvement project finished up.  Ben has been chipping away at a landscaping project in the front and back-yard since about March.  But with Ayla's birthday party on the horizon, he wanted to get it finished up -- and he did!

It began with this vole-infested shed at the back of our yard that needed to be hauled away:

While the kids and I were our of town for Spring Break, Ben and his brother Josh took a sledgehammer to the shed and hauled it off into this lovely dumpster that sat in our driveway for about two weeks.  The day it arrived was a very exciting day for Paxton!

When we got home from our trip, the shed was gone (as was the rotting deck in the backyard, a grill and a couch that had past it's prime.  When a dumpster is available, you better make good use of it!)

In addition to tearing down the shed & deck, Ben spent HOURS and HOURS working on grading the dirt in the flower bed, adding a french drain and gravel, and putting in edging to set the groundwork for a large flowerbed.  It's a shame I can write all that work into just one sentence.  It was a massive undertaking!

Next, we had a huge pile of dirt delivered to put some good soil down for our flowerbed.  The kids had a blast in that dirt pile...who wouldn't?

Once all the dirt was down and graded for good water drainage, we covered it with weed-blocking paper and left it for about a month or so while we were busy with everyday life.

Then one week, we noticed we were about to have gorgeous, unseasonably cool weather and knew we had to get on the ball to get these flower beds finished.  This was our chance. It was time to get digging. 

So we headed to Home Depot and bought up a ton of perennial flowers and bushes and spent a very long Saturday digging about 100 holes in our yard!  Needless to say...we were exhausted at the end of that weekend.  But...after adding some mulch over the top, we finally had our finished flower beds:

The backyard isn't the only area that got a little facelift.  Ben followed the same process on the front flowerbeds too:



Now comes the hard part....keeping them alive!

Hopefully our work (mostly Ben's) won't be in vain, and these few intense days and weeks of work willl pay off over the years and we'll see all of these flowers and bushes growing back year after year.

Next yard project (who knows when???) will be making some level ground in the back yard for kids to play...might have to hire professionals for that big job!

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