No, not the shark.
My backyard has been seriously neglected for a number of years. In 2010 I was just too depressed with life in general to even consider planting or weeding anything. In 2011 I was too busy travelling and enjoying having some money to spend – just not on the yard. In 2012 I wasn’t living in my house during gardening season – the pool didn’t even get opened! So as you can imagine, my yard is a total, complete, unutterable disaster. I have a field of dandelions where I used to have grass, a caving-in hole where there used to be a pond, and weeds upon weeds upon weeds. Add in the fact that I’ve always hated the layout of my yard, with the main patio directly underneath the walnut tree from hell. You can’t have anything nice on the patio as it quickly becomes discoloured and gross from walnut debris.
I had considered hiring a landscape designer last year to re-vamp my yard, but with the TriStar disaster I ended up running out of time. So this year I decided to just go for it! I looked around, asked for advice, and settled on a company called Grand Landscape Design. If you check them out, you will see that they are also a pool installation company, which is good because one of the things I want done is – hold on, I’m getting ahead of myself. I met with Dave and we had a long talk about what I like, what I want, and how I want to use the space, and then he went away to draw a design. I asked for a minor alteration to the design, and we had a deal. Work is to start the second week of June, which is rapidly approaching.
So, what’s being done? Well….
1. The original patio, the concrete decking around the pool, and the concrete pad in the corner that used to be a dog run are all being removed. A new patio will be built beside the pool, between the pool and the fence, using interlocking brick that will extend around the pool, forming new decking.
2. All lines to and from the pool will be replaced and buried underground as they are supposed to be. Over the years, due to repairs, many of the lines have been moved above ground, which is not good and makes the pump very difficult to prime. The coping around the pool will be replaced as part of this process as well.
3. A small gravel area will be created for my fire bowl, complete with three armour stones for seating. It will be beside the main patio, so one can still enjoy the fire from the comfy patio chairs.
4. The planters will be removed. They will build up around my pussy willow tree with armour stone to protect the root system, and that will extend into the corner where the dog run was and include a lovely fountain I bought half price last year.
5. There will be low maintenance planting beds between the new patio and fence. Note the ‘low maintenance’ part. That’s important. I have realized that I am simply not a gardener. Some people love to dig in the dirt and make things grow. Not me. I want them to just grow without my assistance.
I am really excited about my new yard, and can’t wait for them to start. Dave figures the work will take about 5 days, and mine will be the only project they work on during that time. That’s how they work – one project at a time, no jumping around from place to place. I like that.
Needless to say, I now have some work to do cleaning out the stuff that I have in the yard. I had to open the pool early as they wanted it more easily accessible, so that is now done. I have been working on moving all garden ornaments and fancy stones and stuff like that into the garage for safety, and it was during this process that the jaw came to light. You were wondering when I was going to get to that, weren’t you.
Our old moon rays lighting system is obsolete, and we would be unable to reuse it, so it had to be discarded. While Brianna and I were packing it all up into a garbage bag, she found a jaw bone. I thought at first it was a toy of some sort, as the teeth looked almost plastic, but the jaw itself most definitely felt like bone. She was quite intrigued and brought it into the house for further study, which included a google image search on jawbones. She easily determined it was the jawbone of a raccoon, and after looking at the photos, I agreed with her. It was actually pretty cool.
What I want to know is – how the hell did a raccoon jawbone get into my back yard, and where on earth is the rest of the raccoon?????