Always Wanted to Do?

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Just a chit-chat thread..
Is there anything that you all had always wanted to do in your yard/garden but have not done so far?
Myself, well, I have a few things I'd always wanted to do but still have yet to in any of the places I'd lived.
One close to the top would be to build a nice flagstone or other style rock patio with 2" of space between the rocks for plantings.. Since we have a larger yard now I may end up doing that within a few years... Maybe.. ;)
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There are so many things....
A chicken coop
A small garden pond
A terrace for the backyard (this is a huge project involving moving bulkheads and building decks - along with a screen porch)
A brick pathway to the driveway
I am in the process of moving the rest of my veggie garden to the back yard. Where it was out front will become a more formal ornamental herb garden (with a few edibles tucked in because it's so close to the kitchen).
All of it takes time and a strong back, of which I have neither, but I'll just keep plugging :o)
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann wrote:

http://personalpages.bellsouth.net/t/h/theplanter/Fall.html
I took these pictures several years ago back before the drought reduced the Farm pond to a small mud hole. well, with you Ann mentioning pond and it being fall I thought they'd make a nice addition to an 'Always Wanted to Do' kind of thing since I just now got around to placing them on my web page for shared viewing.

just a suggestion, use a plastic tarp underneath the brick as a weed block.

a mountain of dirt can be easy to move if considered one shovel at a time.
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Thank you for your suggestions, Jim, and yes, the above is so true!
I read an article once about a woman who built her own brick walkway, a week's worth of work at a time. Breaking the project down into manageable pieces is key. My backyard is such a mess, no lawn, due to a septic install and indecision on my part as to what I wanted to do out there. Things are starting to coalesce, though, but I've got to stop being overwhelmed at the sheer size of the project!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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The weed cloth is better as it allows water to flow in and out, and doesn't promote mold.
Steve
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On 11/25/07 10:21 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,

Oh - I forgot the pond (completely impractical, but I want one)
C
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Make an overhead substantial frame so that I can put up and take down sunshade cloth, hang basket plants, and carry a drip/spray system.
I weld, so it's going to be no problem to do this. I'll probably use pvc for a lot of it, though, as it lasts pretty good.
Steve
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On Mon, 26 Nov 2007 06:30:26 -0500, Cheryl Isaak

I am very fortunate to have a pond. It happened by chance, actually. When I moved here there was a low spot in the backyard with wild roses, wild raspberries, and soggy soil. After removing the vegetation I found seven springs that kept the ground wet. I built a pond--no liner, no pumps. A PVC pipe was buried to catch the overflow to a nearby stream. The pond is about 8,000 gallons and the water runs during a drought. I use the water for watering the garden and to breed goldfish.
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Phisherman wrote:

That is a really nice find.. I don't have anything like that here.. Best pond I can hope for is one via EPDM liner slapped into a hole.. Which.. Is on the list of things to do.. ;)
Already have two preformed "ponds" by the side entry, if you can call them that.. It's hard to call anything less than 5-6k gallons a pond IMO.. More like a water feature.
Hoping to do around 2k gallons or so with the liner. Who knows.
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Pond saga:
There were more advantages to working heavy construction for years than just the paycheck. We were installing a huge storm water retention system. In the 'dump heap' was a 34" re-enforced concrete bell tile. The bell end had been cut off with about a 3 foot tail of the pipe left. "I want that!" Friday afternoon: Brought that home. As I park in the driveway I announce to the boys, dig a hole as deep as the tile and drop it in for me will ya...I'm going to fix dinner. There was the usual grumbling. "Hey guys, if one of me can get it into the truck, three of you should be able to figure out how to get it out. Make a ramp, it's round, it rolls. Use the level across the top after you get that thing in the hole two feet away from the angle in the deck...~pointing~." I didn't mention I had use of a fork lift to load it...*wicked chuckle*
That evening I mixed up Quick-Crete and put in a bottom and used a little whisk broom to brush up the sides to make a nice seal. During the following week the boys learn 'life skills of siphoning everyday after school since I wanted to leach it as much as possible. The next Saturday I got two miniature water lilies (wonderful scent!) and a pot of tall iris looking things. Dropped in the lilies, built a 'pedestal' of brick for the tall plant pot and dumped in 3 feeder gold fish (25cents each). I had the "pond" right in the angle of the back deck. Did a little camouflage planting around the rim from divisions culled from the rest of my garden......one more successful, lovely "hardly cost anything" project complete!
During one dinner on the deck I lavished praised on the boys for their resourcefulness and skills while admiring my little pond garden......they just kept their eyes on their plates and all swore they were going to grow up to live in high rise condos.
Val
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LOL! My youngest brother always said the same thing, also that he'd never live in an old house. He lives in a small town north of Boston, house was built in 1798, with a good acre of lawn to mow :o)
Great pond story!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Val wrote:

Really great recycling idea.. Thinking out of the box IMO.. So did you seal the concrete with anything or no?
At any rate, great idea! :) And such easy labor, too.. :p
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I made a lovely patio out of recycled concrete. On my way home from work one day I saw a construction crew tearing up old sidewalks. They were just lifting it with the teeth of the back hoe bucket and dropping it to break enough to put in the dump truck. I costs a lot of money to dump in a landfill so......I asked the guy if they'd like to dump that concrete in my yard, about a mile away....SURE! It was in nice big, random shape and sized pieces and about 4" thick. They dumped the whole load next to my driveway. I had 3 big teenaged boys at home then so grunt labor wasn't a problem ;) I laid out my patio area, dug down six inches, slight grading AWAY from the house, laid down a good two inches of coarse sand and then supervised the boys in placement. We did have to make a tripod and rig a block and tackle to move a few larger pieces. They also learned to use a level. I just told the boys these were valuable life skills .....I won't tell you their grumbling answers to that but they learned it was better to do what Mom asked at a very early age. (The wrath of unhappy Mom aint pretty.)
I had anywhere from 2-6 inches between the concrete slabs, some pockets I left even bigger. After it was all set and leveled I filled in with some of the soil I removed and planted a variety of dense growing creeping plants, most scented. Lemon thyme, the tiny mint, there was some teeny prehistoric fern looking thing and little blue star flowers, etc. In the larger pockets I planted edelweiss, snow drops, miniature narcissus and these tiny little red tulips. It really looked stunning. The soil I dug out I just piled and made mounds for a couple of flower beds, more interesting than "just flat" I think.
When people walked over it and in the evenings the scent was wonderful. The little bulbs popping up through the last of the snow and early spring made a nice scene. By the time it was nice enough to be outside the bulb leaves had died down and the creeping plants grew right over the top. After the second year it took only about 5 minutes of weeding a few times a year because the ground cover was so thick.
It took me one full weekend to dig this out, grade, level and spread sand. One Saturday afternoon to supervise "life skills" and help with setting the slabs and I planted Sunday morning. The only cost was sand and plants, lots of picturesque bang for the buck.
Val
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Val wrote:
That is inspiring. Just last week I've been trying to get rid of some on freecycle for a neighbor, some has brick facing in it from an old garage floor. No luck.
I could find a use for it on my terrace, but there isn't quite enough, and it would be too much for me right now anyway. Some needs to be broken down more.
Think I'll go out and take a photo of the pile and try something else. Just met the young couple, and they are incredibly nice, offered to help me with chores in my yard, but I don't like to take advantage of people, certainly might call on them for an emergency.

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Post that picture on "Craig's List" and put FREE in the heading. Seems to work better around here than Freecycle.
Val
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Val wrote:

If my latest fails, I will do that, thank you. I have checked out Craig's list, and it doesn't seem very active for my area, have heard many good things about it. It was so near Thanksgiving when I first offered it, I tried again today with a link to the photo on two freecycle lists for my area. I also posted a free classified w/uploaded photo on our local online auction/classified site that runs for 14 days and gets quite a bit of traffic.
When I had some, broken sidewalk in my case, and not as flat and slabby as his, I finally paid a neighbor who offered to haul and dump it for $20 which was a good deal. Then somebody wanted it after all. I still had to pick out chunks from the remaining dirt pile, chip off all the slag, do all the backfilling myself, can't remember how I got rid of that last bit. The guy who did the cement work was torqued off at me because I got him to do six steps and several feet of sidewalk for $800 (but I had to pay $350? about that for the cement in a truck). He cut out on me after I paid him (I know never pay until 100% is done, the worst was done so I paid), and I was left with the rest of the mess. He was mad because I got custom-made ornamental ironwork rails rather than the cheapie ones he recommended from Menard's.
"Nobody chips off slag." Well, I knew I'd want to stick a shovel or trowel in there, and didn't want to buck concrete to plant something on the borders. So mine had to come off. My son did some of it with a hammer for me.
I called the neighbor to make sure he hadn't made other arrangements for it, told him what I was going to try next. He said he had found a note on the door from someone who offered to haul it away for $80 and thought it might have had to do with my attempt to rid him of it. One freecycle list didn't post the last time, the other one edited out his phone number as being too personal, I only wrote East Name-of-Town, so I think it was coincidental about the offer. We both agree that is too expensive.
It is a royal pain to try to get rid of some stuff, they make you jump through hoops and pay extra landfill fees even if you are lucky enough to be able to haul it somewhere yourself.
I have two wastebaskets full of mixed topsoil and clay from a french drain I dug and installed (only partly effective turns out, I gave it my all). I'd sure like to get rid of the stuff, don't want to put it back in my garden or try to compost the clay, am waiting for a chance to get rid of it somehow, too heavy for me to even lift (hate that, needs someone stronger). I'd have to empty it partly out and haul to my little car or wherever in batches.
You have a gift for writing, a way with words, humorous touches, and seem to find very creative ways to do things for a gal (I assume you are a gal). Kudos to you. In my old age, I am more resourceful than when younger, and have tackled a few projects I never would have thought I could manage before because otherwise it means beg or pay, but am amazed at some of the things women will tackle these days, wasn't like that when I was growing up. Roles were more strictly defined with a few exceptions. I did dig up with a fork a large garden plot (breaking sod) in my late 20's when my ex did about 1/3 of it and quit, I wanted my garden. It was gruelling work for me, but I was determined.
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Hettie wrote:

I'm glad you brought up freecycle.. Ended up signing up to the local division.
I figure I'll hang around and see how it works before I pester the list with requests.
Too bad I don't live close, sure I could put it to use.
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Sounds really nice... post some pictures.
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Sheldon wrote:

<SNIP>
I'll second that request.. Would LOVE to see it! :)
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Val wrote:

I'd always been one to keep an eye out for people breaking up concrete or anything else that would need hauling off. Have yet to run across any good finds though...
WONDERFUL idea using recycled concrete from a slab like that.. And I love the thought of putting bulbs in between the slab chunks.. Really great idea..
I'm hoping that I run across a find as good as that.. Though, I do have a stack of bricks in the back yard it's not enough to do a good patio out of. Besides, I like a broken look better such as you describe in yours.
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