Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finding Place for Extra Dirt

Humphrey-house has been a bit of a mud pit for the last... oh five weeks or so, as we tore out the old concrete in the backyard and are putting in reclaimed bluestone pavers. It seems like years already. There has been a lot of digging, excavating, pain killers - and then - more digging. It's all a necessary evil as we prepare for a 4-inch base of gravel and 1-2 inch of sand under the pavers.

Given the small urban lot, we quickly ran into a problem though. What do we we do with all of that dirt? We had to creative. Fortunately, some landscape design wishes and our favorite holiday came in to save the day.

Ideas for Extra Dirt:

1) Create a landscape planter!
We always thought a nice raised planter bed with wide rails in front of our rear porch would be a great landscape feature. It would make gardening a bit easier, and also provide extra sitting room outside. If only we had enough dirt to fill it though... a-ha! Problem solved! Sadly, while this turned out great (and I will post about the construction later), this ended up taking only a few loads of dirt in the wheelbarrow, so other dirt solutions were needed.


2) Raise those flower beds!
We have a "peripheral" planting area that surrounds the yard. In the past, it's been unofficially defined as the line where we can't get the few blades of grass in the yard to grow further. Now, with several wheelbarrows (20+) of roto-tilled soil, we have sleek looking berms surronding the yard. The berms give a lot of depth and texture to the small space! Bonus: concrete chunks can be reused as a nice little "rock garden".


3) Make graves!
This was honestly the most fun way to place the extra dirt. We normally have a cemetery in the front yard at Halloween. but this year it got more interesting and authentic as we created fresh graves for the tombstones. Mwah -ha -ha!


Even after these efforts, we still have a fairly hefty mound we will need to deal with. Some will be used to back-fill in dirt around the edges of the patio, but we may have to craigslist it, or build a semi-raised planter for next year's veggie garden. In the meantime, we're ready to climb out of the mud and onto a patio!

13 comments:

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

The cross is a nice touch. I have wanted to get by one of these years but I'll be on candy duty so will miss your place yet again.

Micah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alexa@HomeIdeaResource said...

Love the grave idea, perfect for Halloween! Thanks for posting!

Sam said...

Great ideas for getting rid of dirt! If we lived nearby I'd come over and take as much dirt as you were willing to give!

I found your blog while looking for Craftsman style trim. I really like the trim around your doors. In fact, it is pretty much what we are trying to do - one little problem...I can't figure out where to get the bullnose to go under the 1x6. Can you please tell me where you got yours? I have tried the *big box* stores and a few other lumber stores in our area (western Ohio) to no avail. Any help on this would be very much appreciated!

Thanks,
Sam

jay said...

Sam, the bullnose trim (aka bullet trim as that is what it looks like from a profile view) was from a local lumber supplier, Hines Lumber. Not sure if they have locations in OH but someone there should be able to help. You will definitely not have luck at the "big box" home centers. Thanks for visiting and the kind words!

Mabel Sugar said...

http://www.hineslumber.com/

Sam said...

Jay,
Thanks for that info...I think they have a site in Indianapolis...that's not *too* far away :) Thanks again!

Sam

Gina said...

What a beautiful planter, and a great way to use leftover lumber at the same time.

Something else I've done with extra dirt is to create a berm to redirect rainwater runoff.

Thanks for the inspiration.

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