There is a delightfully wicked game that Handan likes to play with me each year. In spring and summer, as we labor over some massive landscape or garden project, she says to me, “This is the last of the hard work, my babes. After this project, after this summer, we’ll be relaxing and enjoying ourselves next summer. Just you wait and see.” Then, during the bleakest days of winter, when summer is only a phantom in a fever dream, Handan’s mind, twisted by cold and darkness, devises evil and nefarious plans for the impending spring and unborn summer. Thus, my promised summer of loafing and lounging and carefree margarita-drinking is kicked yet another year down the road.
This year’s winter-born project was a fundamental overhaul of our fish pond and surrounding landscaping, and boy, is it going to be a doozy! Here is what we started with.
It’s not terrible, but I’ll point out the problem areas that are slated to be rectified.
- The rock border. Sure, it looks nice and natural, but grass grows in between those rocks like plaque between your teeth. The only way to cut it is with a weed wacker held sideways. Big pain in the butt for yours truly. We want a small wall made from landscape stones that fit together without gaps. But before that, those rocks must go. That’s what the tractor and cart are for: haulin’ rocks!
- All the big rocks surrounding and inside the pond. They are there for a reason: to hide the black (and in some places, light blue) pond liner. Again, they look pretty nice, but the problem is, they’ve taken over all the space in the pond. There is little room left for the fish. Furthermore, they’ve allowed huge aquatic grasses to grow all around them. They must go. They will be replaced (for the most part) by a product called Rock on a Roll. It’s like wallpaper for your pond that looks like rock. You’ll see.
- The little stones surrounding the pond. Why? Good Lord, why? All they do is fall into the pool, create a mess, get sucked into the pump, and piss me off. WHY?!? They must go.
- The Montauk daisy monstrosity in the center of the picture. It’s big, it’s ugly, and it pisses me off. It must go.
- The dying evergreen at the far end. It’s big, it’s ugly, and it serves no discernible purpose other than to give arm rashes to whomever touches it. It must go.
Since we will have a wall about 8 inches tall replacing the rock border, Handan also wants to raise the whole level of the planting area and rearrange the plants. That means pulling out all the plants. It also means topsoil. Lots and lots of topsoil. We got 10 yards delivered. I’ll also use it for some lawn repair. On top of the topsoil, we’ll put mulch. We bought 100 bags and carried them ourselves in multiple trips from Home Depot. Oh, and the bricks! We had 800 of these delivered from Lowes. They measure 11 inches by 4 inches.
To which I answer, “Yes, ma’am (or sir), it is. But we’re not only doing this area. We have two more areas in the back yard and even more in the front yard. In fact, I’ll probably have to order more of everything!”
So that’s the plan, and we’re stickin’ to it. Here are some more “before” pictures.
So that’s what we’re working with. We have a plan and we have materials. Let’s see what these hands (and backs) of ours can do!
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