Thursday, November 15, 2012

Backyard Sprinklers and Pyrotechnics


Hubby has been working hard on our backyard. We are gutting it to do some landscaping from the start…the right way. They kind of only did half the yard when they installed the original sprinkler system pipes back here, and they did a crappy job on the few that were installed.

The first thing to do it so get the new pipes ready to go. You can see where the water comes from the house here. Hubby built the custom cover to protect it from the harsh Phoenix sun. Today, he has installed the new pipes and is now backfilling the trench that he dug to do it.


These four pipes will now cover our entire backyard with proper water coverage and even add a drip system to our future garden. He did some planning with his brother, who used to install watering systems for a living. Hubby has been spending lots of time with rulers and compasses to ensure that every corner of our new lawn will be watered. He drew it all out on graph paper, to scale. Of course. It’s awesome!


You can see where he moved the gravel and weed protection to dig his trench. After the hole is filled back in, we will place the weed protector down again, then cover in gravel once more.

The weed protector has worked like a charm, by the way. Remember when we did that project? My hands still remember…


New, shiny PVC pipes are now ready to send water through the new lines, once he gets those in.

But I kind of interrupted his project after these pictures were taken by suggesting that we work on the front yard first, since it is seen by everyone. And looks terrible, in my opinion.


You should see the front yard right now…our neighbor asked if we were building a moat! I don’t think that’s a compliment!


In preparation of getting the yard ready for some landscaping, I took down part of our falling-down-anyway pool fence. Can I just tell you how much I love it being gone? I would love for the whole pool to be gone so that we could landscape and use this entire backyard!

I keep losing that battle…


While Hubby was working on the piping, I stacked the garden boxes to get them out of the way for our projects. We also moved the composter to this side of the yard. I’m so glad that it isn’t the first thing that I see in the backyard any more! It’s not exactly pretty…

The weed whacker ran out of whacking string just as I went to chop all of these weeds up. Pretend that it’s all nice and neat and trimmed right now!


Look how much bigger the yard feels without that awful fence! Can we please just get rid of this pointless pool? We never use it. And the yard would be huge without it!

I don’t feel strongly about this at all. Why do you ask?


Any ideas on how to convince Hubby that this old thing needs to go? I know that we lose a little bit of value on the home by filling it in, but the cost of operating the ancient pump and chemicals for the pool would more than pay for that loss in just a few years! It makes perfect sense to me to build a backyard that we can use and enjoy and not just ignore half of it that looks terrible and never gets used.


This is a pile of rocks, obviously. I think they just ended up here when gravel was being moved for the new garden box location. Which simply means that I will need to move this gravel again, once we figure out what to do with it.

I am still debating what to do with this little corner. I think a water feature would be cool!


This is just a slap in the face as to how awesome I am at growing things in pots…or at all, for that matter. At one point in time, each of these pots had something pretty or edible growing inside. Other than a few leaves of basil, we didn’t get a single thing out of all that work and money. I guess I’ll wait to be at home to water things before I try to grow stuff again. Water helps in the desert, I’ve heard.

Can you see my cactus? I found it under the gravel and put in into a planter this past spring. Thanks to it being a cactus and not caring if we forget about it for a few weeks, it has tripled in size since when it was discovered. How fun!


Please ignore the tools and large machinery. The backyard doesn’t always look like this! I was weed-whacking, and Hubby’s dad brought down his rotor tiller for us to use when we start tearing up this entire place. I’m so glad that we can use a rotor tiller for free!

And I’m excited to get the backyard done this winter so we can enjoy it more. I think that a lot more outdoor dinner parties will be enjoyed on this patio once the yard is looking like a yard again!


With evening quickly approaching, Hubby covered the exposed pipes and called it quits for the day. Or so I thought…


I went inside to make dinner and came out a few minutes later to find this: my husband holding a fire stick near a bunch of flammable dead grass.

Should I be concerned?


Thanks to no water all summer (we did that on purpose, I promise!), the grass burned pretty well. Hubby will till this all under in hopes that the ashes will give the new grass even more goodness to help it grow.

We need all the help that we can get, remember?


What is it with men and fire?


It took care of most of the dead grass back here. We plan to move all of those river rocks from around the perimeter of the fence and put in a pretty winding cement border. Inside the border will be plants that we will kill to add beauty and color to the yard, and outside of the border will be nice, green, properly-watered grass.


This is an appropriate picture showing how tiny the yard will be without getting rid of the pool. Man, I wish I could talk him into it!

Oh crap. Did I bring that up again?! Amazingly, I haven’t mentioned it to Hubby in weeks. That’s pretty good for me.


I was the joy-kill worried wife who insisted that a hose be nearby in case this thing got out of hand. That would be an awkward call to the insurance company…

“Yeah. I just burned my house down because of some backyard grass burning. Yes, I’ll hold.”


He started some more fires in places that didn’t quite get attention from the first pass.


You can almost hear Hubby grunting satisfaction in this picture!

So we are on our way to a new backyard. But first, we’ve taken a side road to finish the front yard first. I didn’t know this, but he is putting in all-new pipes in there, too, with rotary heads instead of sprayers. We are also adding drip systems to the planter boxes and even creating a new planter box in front of the two front bedrooms. It’s going to look awesome!

In the meantime, we have a moat. Feel free to drive by to honor its sheer awesomeness.

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