My first crack at landscaping

My body feels about as heavy as all the Georgian Bay boulders I’ve been lugging around my yard. You see, a couple months ago I got this grand idea to create a rock-lined path through my yard where the sun doesn’t shine (thus, where the grass refuses to grow). It’s sort of already a path from both erosion from ice and snow melting after the winter, and because it’s already worn with decades of people’s footprints. But it didn’t look very nice, so I put on my cheap gardening gloves and started slinging dirt. I stopped instantaneously last month when I lost momentum after about five minutes… which might make sense if you picture me turning over the soil of a planned 100-foot path with a broken rusty shovel. You don’t get very far without a tiller… but if you give me time, I’ll always finish a project if I have to stare at it in discontent for long enough… and if you have a boyfriend who watches you slave away in the sun for a day before telling you that we DO have a tiller, but that it’s broken, and who offers to get it fixed. ‘Nuff said, I’m done for the day until that thing is fixed.

It’s actually easy to make, although extremely labour intensive. First you have to have some sort of idea of what you want it to look like. Then, you till the soil to get the weeds and roots out of the way. Then you rake the dirt evenly over the surface so that it’s about an inch or two below the ground on either side of it. Stomp down on it to pack it a bit. Fill in any holes with leftover soil and stomp down again, until the path is flat and even. Then, dig two trenches down the entire length of either side of the path. I used a hoe, which is great because it not only chops roots, but it does a great job pulling up rocks. And it’s far faster to just drag it down the side of the path to create the trench, rather than using a shovel. After that, lay the landscape fabric over the path, making sure that the edges lay over the trenches. Place your rocks in the trenches; this ensures that your rocks not only have some footing so that they won’t easily move, but it keeps the landscape fabric in place so that it doesn’t move. I’ve been doing all three things at once, gradually, so that I can keep the fabric as smooth as possible. The last thing you’d do after all your rocks are in place is to fill the path with something like crushed stone, mulch or woodchips. I’ll probably use mulch, since it’s cheaper than crushed stone… although crushed stone would be so much nicer.

And the last thing I’ll do is take whatever leftover soil I have and pack it around the outside of the rocks… or maybe start creating raised garden beds along the outside.

So anyway, here’s what I’m whining about. Made a lot of progress today, and thinking I’ll have this mostly done before Len comes home on Wednesday. And then I can do fun stuff, like kill poison ivy and weed the gardens…



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