Green gardening

I love free stuff. Don’t we all? Well today in our beautiful 65 degree weather I went outside and got some free landscaping material from my own back yard. I am a gardening nut and we have absolutely zero landscaping outside our house because we basicly live behind my FIL’s workshop on 70 acres of what used to be farm land. My two brother in laws who lived here previous to us never really did much landscaping and the roses and lilacs that my sister in law had here she took with her when the next J moved in so he wouldn’t ruin them.

Today I got fed up with the general redneck mess that was our front yard so I decided to do something about it. I had hauled about 6 good size chunks of shale up from our creek several weeks ago and today I decided to see if I could use them at all. I had raked up a good size section of dead grass from in front of the house and I sat down with a flat chisel and the shale. I managed to get about a square yard of coverage from the shale that I had split into thin slices and laid down like stepping stones. (maybe tomorrow I can get a picture) I didn’t have near enough so I snagged the truck and headed out in our field to the creek bottom where we have a beautiful little waterfall. Due to serious foliage and poison ivy this is only accessible in the winter months so I dragged out several armsfull of shale. Boy were they HEAVY! I got them back to the house and again carefully split them up into thin layers and layed them out. I had help from J13 so we got them in place fairly quickly considering how helpful all four dogs were being by harrassing the neighbor’s brahmas. Once we got all the rock laid out we added some landscape timbers to the front of the bed and I added a few bits of broken terra cotta pot for a bit of color. I had brought a large hollowed out log from where we had cut wood earlier this winter and I filled the hole with potting soil for flowers when it stays warm. I also added a cow skull that has been lurking around our front yard since last summer. The dogs brought it over from the neighbor’s boneyard (I guess) and its been in various places in the yard ever since.

So my total cost today was absolutely nothing except a very sore back and hip for what will soon be a massive improvement to our front yard. I will be rearranging the shale some once I get some flower to plant in the bed and eventually hope to have more green than black, but I think its a great improvement over the hard to mow area it normally is. I still need quite a bit more rock and as I was running out of larg pieces of shale I may branch out into the flat limestone that abounds in our creek but if I do I will be hauling a couple of teenage boys with me because the hill down to the creek is a bit of an obstacle. I’m almost five four and to get out of the creek bed you have to leverage yourself up by a tree trunk because the little hill is almost straight up and about 2 feet high. Eek!

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