The back yard is finally getting some much-needed attention this year. I don’t have fully-formed plans for it, but they’re starting to take shape. To start with, we had a dirt path from the deck to the back gate that was often muddy. Here’s how we made it into a real path for less than $50:
Adam, his dad and Rowan widened and flattened the dirt path, removing the sod on either side and making nice edges and smoothing out the bottom. This included removing some very stubborn old tree roots from trees we had cut down almost two years ago.
OK, Rowan did not actually wield the ax. But he did help a lot with hauling away loads of dirt and sod in his little wheelbarrow.
Here’s the part where we got lucky: Adam’s aunt had a load of patio pavers that she didn’t want and gave them to us for free, which was so nice. And then Adam’s dad hauled them down to Minneapolis in his truck. So this project was made possible in great part by the kindness of relatives.
Adam and Rowan set the patio pavers along both edges of the path, making them nice and secure with some sand borrowed from the sandbox. Then we filled in with $45 worth of cedar chips. The final project:
The yard looks so much nicer already! A wood chip path is not necessarily a permanent installation, but that’s perfect: if I change my mind about the layout of the backyard, it won’t be an ordeal to move this path. I plan to put wood chips down on a fairly significant portion of the back yard this summer — there are several areas where grass just doesn’t grow very easily, so I see no point in trying.
We will maintain some grass for the kids and dog to play in, don’t worry!