We take wonderful vacations to beaches, ski slopes, archeological ruins, and national parks. One of the craziest vacations ever was our trip to California to install a patio and landscaping someone else’s backyard. No previous experience. From scratch. (We sense you are already shaking your head and saying, “I wouldn’t do that in a million years.” And you would have more sense than we did.)
Our daughter and son-in-law bought a new condo. Congratulations were in order! The house was nicely finished, but the fenced-in backyard was dirt and concrete rubble, quickly being overtaken with weeds. We offered to “finish” the backyard with a patio, lawn, shrubs, a Meyer Lemon tree, and perennial flowers. The budget was modest.
Many months of consulting and planning with them, and research on our part, resulted in a nice little paper plan. We were confident that the entire job could be completed in a week-long trip in November.
Follow the photos to see our progress and a few problems:
Work begins and right away there is a problem: ground is so hard we have to buy a pickax to excavate. The smile on Joe’s face was not to reappear for some days.
2nd problem: Gravel, sod, and all other materials needed to be delivered to the front of the house, transported through the garage and kitchen to get to the fenced-in back yard (no gate or door!).
The job was finished one hour before we had to leave for the airport to fly home. We were utterly exhausted, grateful that all obstacles were overcome and solved, and relieved it all looked better than we could have hoped.
We will share with you that we’ll never do that again! We’ll get back to hiking vacations that are considerably less tiring and less stressful.
Here’s a view of the garden two years later.