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· I Love All Color Tractors
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a small area in my back yard right beside my deck that has always been a problem area. There is a tea rose in it that is very pretty when it blooms, but the rest of the area has been taken over by weeds and the occasional Columbine. In short, it's a mess.

Plant Groundcover Tree Grass Shrub


Backyard Yard Grass Garden Vehicle


Yard Property Backyard Siding House


I decided to strip the area of the top layer of soil and it's resident root systems, add a couple of small shrubs, and add a focal water feature.

I had to get the Gravely 816 and the JD 950 into the act for the excavation work. They're a lot more fun than a shovel. :D

Vehicle Tractor Agricultural machinery Grass Farm


Tractor Vehicle Agricultural machinery Grass Tree


The Gravely really handled the loads of mess well. They were large and heavy but the tractor performed perfectly.

Vehicle Yard Tractor Agricultural machinery Grass


After the dirt work and cleanup was done, I laid some more stepping stone walkway to my hose bib and also toward the front of the house.

Wall Grass Soil Yard House


Wall Walkway Grass Yard Soil


Yard Property Backyard House Grass


I took a half whiskey barrel and put a shallow plastic liner in it. A few years ago, I found a small hand pump with a crack in it near the top. The internal pump parts aren't any good, so it's perfect for what I wanted. A small pump, a couple of plumbing fittings, some vinyl tubing and presto: a fountain that the wife loves!

Flowerpot Barrel Water feature Bucket


I just have to finish the walkway, put down some landscape fabric, and get the stone to "mulch" the area. The quarry was out of it this morning so I should be able to get it this weekend. BTW, it's a multi colored sandstone.

I'm really looking forward to finishing this. :fing32:
 

· Administrator - We’re all friends here
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Looks great DJ, and you found another job requiring some seat time. :)

Sent from the MTF Free App
 

· Premium Member
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A small job like that really makes a big difference in appearance, doesn't it? You have really changed the area. Will watch for more pictures when it's done.
 

· Administrator
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Looks good DJ, very nice work! I'll have to try and talk my wife into letting me buy a backhoe to fix the landscaping by the side of the house! No fooling around!!!! :D
 

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Looks good DJ, very nice work! I'll have to try and talk my wife into letting me buy a backhoe to fix the landscaping by the side of the house! No fooling around!!!! :D
Two years ago I finally bought a BX25 backhoe after bugging my wife for the previous ten years. Now she wonders why we didn't buy it twenty years ago.
She uses it for everything. Buy one, you'll never regret it and will find all sorts of uses for it.
 

· Active member, now deceased, but not forgotten.
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You have been busy DJ. Nice improvement, looking good.
 

· I Love All Color Tractors
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys. I'm really happy with the way things turned out. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and not turn to the severe storms that TWC is hinting toward for Saturday. Time will tell.

I thought the same thing about a backhoe when dad and I bought it. We got a great deal on the machine back in 1992 and I've honestly wondered how we got anything done before it came along. I don't know which is handier: the loader or the BH.

The pump isn't an antique and they are available. They are actually functional too. This one sat and rusted pretty badly, internally, and the top of the pitcher is cracked. The internals are destroyed, which is a good thing as that lets more water through without a lot of modification on my part. Including the barrel, electric pump, decorative pump, barrel liner, and plumbing parts, I have less than $100 in it. The wife loves it and that's all that matters. :fing32:

I like the shingles idea too. Thanks for the idea Ken.
 

· I Love All Color Tractors
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It took long enough but I finally got my landscaping stone today. Fortunately, the quarry is only seven miles from home, so it's convenient.

My first trip, I got 3/4 of a ton because I hadn't had a load on the truck yet and didn't know how it would handle it. It squatted but handled the weight just fine in trailer mode.

That load nearly finished the area seen in my pics above but I was a little short. Another trip and another 3/4 ton to finish and then I bit off another project to finish using the extra stone.

The area around the lower portion of my deck has been a mess for a number of years. I had a wooden walkway with a set of stairs down beside my garage down to the level of the garage with a rock retaining wall beside it. My massive amount of clay soil started migrating and messed it all up. A portion of the wooden walkway leading off the deck remained and I wasn't sure what to do with it. Well, today, I pulled it out and decided to install a flagstone walkway around this area to tie into the existing and match the existing. I got a great start on it today but need more gravel for the drainage layer. I'll pick it up Monday morning.

On to the pics! Here's the finished first area. I still have to finish my walkway but I need more flagstones to do it.

Yard Property Wall Siding Home


Here's the area that I bit off today. I need the flagstone and to also finish the drainage layer. The dirt strip around this toward the camera will have a few simple plantings of Lantana. It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, plus it's just pretty too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lantana

This only gets a couple feet in height and diameter.



Well, here's the start on the new walkway:

Yard Grass Wall Backyard Lawn


The stone that I'm using is a sandstone creek gravel. I still have to wash it or just wait for the rain. The maximum size is around an inch. The only problem with it is that it's $45 per ton. But, I only have to do this once and not every year like bark mulch.

Here's a closeup of the stone:

Gravel Rock Soil


I'll post up more pics with more progress. :fing32: Thanks for reading through my ramblings.
 

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There's a dramatic difference from the first picture. Looks like a lot of work, but well worth it! :fing32:
 

· 外人Geezer MTF Member
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Nice work DJ and yeah, everyone should have a backhoe and FEL in their toolbox.
DJ, man, that is nice!

yamato, oh me, IF, IF IF, I had those two items!!!
 

· I Love All Color Tractors
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys. I had a very stiff back today but I sure feel good about getting it done.

I'm heading back to the stone quarry in the morning to get some more crushed limestone to finish the drainage layer under the walkway. I think I'm going to go on to Lowe's and get some kind of mulch or different stone to finish the sides of the walkway. I want something with some kind of color contrast but low maintenance too.
 

· I Love All Color Tractors
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Another two tons of stone, four Lantanas and two Spireas in the ground, and one very tired back but I'm done with all but the flagstone setting.

Backyard Yard Property Shed Garden


The bit of walkway heading off to the right in this pic will eventually lead around the lilac bush and wrap down the large bank to my driveway near the garage.

Grass Wall Walkway Yard Grass family


I moved the little barrel and fountain off of the deck to help hide the junction box for the satellite.

Yard Garden Backyard Grass Lawn


Here's a little closer look at the fountain and the drainage for this whole area. It's tied into an existing drain that moves the water well away from the house and dumps it into my driveway ditch.

Soil Gravel Backyard


Ignore the orange cord. It's only a temp until I get another outlet put in near the fountain.

I'll update more when I start getting the flagstone set. I don't know if I have enough to completely finish or not. I guess I'll find out soon enough. Thanks for reading and sticking with me.
 

· Active member, now deceased, but not forgotten.
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Hey DJ - just catching up on your transformation here. Very nice. What a good feeling we get out of making real the vision we held in our minds! Braggin' rights for sure. Hope the back is feeling better.
 
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