When we moved into our house, there was no back yard.  There was lots of solid concrete, and pavers.

      back patio, before   back before


The yellow leaves are on a White Ash tree, which was the only thing that was growing back there.   So, if you read my long rambling previous post, you’ll know that a green back yard was priority one.

I tried to imagine removing the pavers, and maybe getting someone to jack hammer the solid concrete, and quickly decided that would be a huge mess, physically taxing, and may take months.  Plus, there was the clean up aspect that seemed daunting.

Seeing as how it was January, and we had just moved in between December 1-31.  We actually had movers on the first, but after about fourteen hours of moving our stuff, They looked like they couldn’t do anymore.  So the month of December included moving the rest of our stuff from our rental, going to Washington DC for a funeral on December 26, and getting some of my art work together for my first gallery show.  I was insane. So I went to Craigslist to find someone to fix our backyard.

 I found Daniel who was able to remove the concrete and pavers, and dispose of them, but he spoke very little english.  Despite that, he was able to convince me that for $1,000 more, he could put in a nice patio and sidewalk from patio to garage.  That sounded good to me, and he could finish it in a week or so.  We decided on pigmented concrete, in a color that approximated the flagstone that is in the side and front yards.  He would also put down sod. The whole job – demo, new patio, grass and cleanup cost $1500  This was done on February 1, 2012, two days after two feet of snow fell here in Denver.  Daniel and two of his buddies came in with a bobcat and moved the snow next to the garage so they could get started.  And they didn’t charge me extra for snow removal!

After they were finished, I went out at least once or twice a day for the next two weeks to shovel snow onto the newly laid sod.  Once it warmed up a bit (which wasn’t long, that’s one of the things I love about living in Denver 300+ days of sunshine a year!) and some of the frozen ground underneath the sod thawed out,  I discovered some craters.   I lifted up the sod over the craters, and dumped several bags of topsoil underneath.  A year and a half later, we still have some dips.  But it is way better than it was.   We have green and even a little flower bed out there.

Here are some pics of the freshly laid sod.  See the snow on the garage roof, next to the garage, and on other side of the fence in our neighbors yard?  Yeah, I shoveled it over the sod, instead of watering.  It was worth it.

IMG_0617 IMG_0616

Below left pic of Howard and Sheba is from last summer.  The other pic is from today.  The yarrow in the flower bed is looking lovely.  But, now that our doggie has a place to pee, she is killing parts of the grass.  At least its mostly green, and Sheba can run in the yard without hurting herself.   Ah, the life of a dog owner.

backyard after IMG_2383


Back Yard Transformation


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