piles of dirt

I'ver resisted showing you any in-depth shots of our backyard, because frankly, it isn't pretty. It's a cracked patio and dirt and weeds. No grass, a couple plants, and two random rose bushes. Oh, and the two crepe myrtle trees that my in-laws sweetly gave us as a housewarming gift.  Although the ugly bothered us, we had decided from the beginning that we would wait to fix up the yard, maybe until next year. There were a lot more projects we wanted to focus on inside the house so we put the yard down at the bottom of our to-do list. However, things have a way of changing. 
 My brother Chris's friend Jason owns a landscaping business and when he helped us move, he got really excited talking to us about what we could do with our tiny, ugly yard. Then last week, Chris called to tell us that Jason has some left over top soil and mulch from a recent job and asked if we'd like to have it. Of course we didn't object! So last Tuesday night our yard got piled high with mulch and dirt and Friday we had both guys over for a planning session. 
 One unfortunate thing about our backyard is soil erosion. The soil is running downhill at a foot and a half grade from the patio, creating large gaps under some of the fence boards. (See below). Jason's plan is to sink boards into the ground all the way around the perimeter of the fence to stop the soil running downhill. Also, this should keep the fence from rotting out with soil right up against it.

The rest of the plan includes leveling out the yard somewhat and creating a gradual slope from the patio down to the fence, adding sod to create a curvy lawn around the patio, adding some more trees and flowers, and throwing down lots of mulch. Here is a VERY rough picture of what I think it will look like in my mind. Please note that nothing is drawn to scale or measured out, but hopefully you get the idea.  
Since this weekend is a 4-day weekend for Nick (and me), there will be lots of yard work done around here to get things into tip-top shape (or at least looking much less pathetic). It's amazing what kind of projects a few piles of free dirt will inspire! 

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