Thursday, May 21, 2009

Re-Do the Backyard: Part 2

OK, our excavator Courtney came in on Monday and really went to town taking out all of our sod.

We need to get out there this weekend and mark with spray paint where we want him to dig out extra for our walkway and patio.

Ran into a friend at an art opening tonight. She told me very earnestly NOT to use landscape fabric-- a) it's bad for the environment and b) it doesn't help that much against weeds.

I am torn. We are doing strictly gravel for our walkways and patio, which is very eco-friendly, not to mention cheap! Everyone I have talked to so far (including an organic landscaper) all said to use landscape fabric and now this new comment is making me pause. What, I ask you, is an alternative to landscape fabric? I also heard it is fabulous in helping with draining because you have the fabric between your larger drain rocks and the gravel on top. I am still leaning towards landscape fabric, but I am open to other suggestions.

Note the crappy fence in the back with the big blocks of wood holding it up. Our neighbors did this; the boards are screwed into the fence. If I remove them, I think the fence will fall over. These are renters. I got the name and address of the landlords off the county assessor's website but I don't know what yet to write to them:

To Whom it May Concern-
Your fence is an eyesore and we hate it and your tenants are unresponsive to requests for a solution. Please do something about that nasty fence before I burn it to the ground.
Thank you.

OK, maybe that is just my first rough draft; I need to work on it a little.


  1. Wow -- bare naked lawn! Looks good. Okay, here's my two cents.

    Landscape fabric: I say don't use the landscape fabric. Just look at the dirt with a steady serious stare, speaking in a firm and authoritative voice say: NO!! NO GRASS!! NO WEEDS!! JUST GRAVEL!! I MEAN IT!! I AM NOT PLAYING AROUND!! and I think that will take care of your problem.

    Letter to Landlord: Needs a bit of punching up. I suggest the following:

    Hey, Butthead: Your fence is a piece of shit and I'm tired of looking at it. Get your waggety-saggety ass down here and fix it, or I'll pay for an attorney to represent your sorry excuse of a tenant so they can sue you and exposue you for the slum lord you are!

    Hope that helps.

  2. I'm impressed with all the work you are doing!
    I don't know much about landscape fabric but even in the Southwest where we use rocks and gravel because watering is so expensive weeds grow through the gravel. It also needs to be raked...a lot. The gravel at the rental we are at until our house is fixed has such sharp stones it hurts the dog's feet.

    Has your property been surveyed? If those blocks of wood are on your property you can do what you want but whatever give that landlord a set time to remove it or he won't move his ass.


  3. thanks for the input. The blocks are definitely on our property but I am trying to be a nice neighbor as that fence is holding in a pitbull. If we let the fence fall, the pitbull will get out! Trevor is no help on this situation. I just have to buck up and deal with it.

  4. Let me know before you buy landscape fabric. We have a ton (or at least it seems like a ton) and don't have use for it. Why did we buy it?? I'm going to put it under our patio (maybe). It's annoying to pick weeds out of the cracks. If it's the manufacturing that unfriendly, then well this has already been made and purchased so you wouldn't be increasing demand :)