DIY Landscaping: A Lawn and Garden Plot Years in the Making

comments (0) April 9th, 2009

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DIY landscaping. Through the years Ive transformed my steep gravel driveway into a civilized domestic landscape. But the work is far from done. 
A lawn in waiting. The morning sun casts a silhouette of the roofline on my new lawn-to-be.
A vegetable garden takes shape. After clearing away some thorny brush, I terraced the earth and spread topsoil with a woodchip border. Earthy organic compost to come...
DIY landscaping. Through the years Ive transformed my steep gravel driveway into a civilized domestic landscape. But the work is far from done. Click To Enlarge

DIY landscaping. Through the years I've transformed my steep gravel driveway into a civilized domestic landscape. But the work is far from done. 

Photo: Matt Berger

I've owned my first home for more than six years now and every year I imagine myself landscaping the yard to create a comfortable outdoor living space. Being the obsessive type, I've probably sketched more than three dozen drawings of what it might look like. Being the busy type, I never did any of the hard work to turn my drawings into reality.

I have made modest progress toward my landscape goals over the years. Two years ago I installed a parking pad on our previously sloped driveway by creating a cement block retaining wall. Then I built a cedar woodshed to handle firewood in the winter and kids toys during the warm months. 

This week, however, marks a new level of progress in my plan for landscape domination: I'm installing a lawn and vegetable garden. It's not done yet, but the end result will be a 30-ft. by 15-ft. grass plot for the kids to romp and play, and a 5-ft. by 22-ft. vegetable garden for mom and dad to romp and play.

In the spirit of reflecting on hard work done, I put together a collection of photos illustrating my progress:

lawn preparation   DIY landscaping. Through the years I've transformed my steep gravel driveway into a civilized domestic landscape. But the work is far from done. 
 excavating the driveway   Before... Two years ago I hired an excavator to help me turn my long, gravel and weed-ridden driveway into a domestic landscape.
 concrete retaining wall parking pad   A safe place to park. Two days of leveling and backfilling resulted in a bonafide parking pad.
 parking pad   A gravel yard for now. After an action packed start, my landscape project came to a halt with. My lawn would have to wait another two years.
 installing a vegetable garden   Making room for a vegetable garden. This week I dug a flat stretch of land for this year's new vegetable garden.
 sunken-bed garden   A sunken-bed garden. I built up the garden plot with topsoil and a woodchip border. Organic compost to come...
 compost bin   I learned to compost. My homemade compost bin is just a stone's throw from the garden plot. Read how I made this tumbler bin.
 installing a lawn   A lawn in waiting. In a few weeks I'll plant seed for a lawn so the kids can have a nice place to play.
 landscaped for a lawn   The view from above. The morning shadow from the house casts a fun silhouette of the roofline on my new lawn-to-be.


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