Phase 3 - heavy lifting and a killer tan

Sneak Peek 1

One of our rock garden inspiration boards
In phase 3, the project progressed with some crazy muscle building activity.  Loading and unloading 50lb bags of sand, stone and soil = to over a ton was at first a deed worthy of self praise.  But then, after the second and then the third trip, no one cared what we did or how we accomplished it, we just needed to get it over and done with asap. All this during World Cup season made for a very unhappy designer and photographer.  But alas, there was enough excitement to keep it moving :)
just some of the load
more load
We dropped the ball in phase 2 - surprise, surprise! by mentioning a certain moving of the concrete slabs.  Well we weren't joking.  For reasons, both aesthetic and budgetary, but definitely not based on efficiency, we decided our best solution was to relocate two concrete slabs.  Four strong ass men and 6 hours later, we accomplished our mission, shored up the right side of the yard a bit, and got rid of our "L".  We even had time left to demo the 3rd slab and reuse the pieces to create a natural drainage in the back bed (something like a french drain) to slow down the potential sinkage on the right side that may re-occur.

Again, the clearing and demolition uncovered even more secrets of this backyard garden.  It would appear that somewhere along the way, maybe 5 years ago, maybe 15, the previous owners decided that a brick and slate paved backyard with beautiful shaded trees (remember unearthed massive dead root in center bed) was not an ideal or beautiful solution.  So instead they decided to drop concrete slabs down and give us an off-center bed and an "L" shaped back bed to work with.  Good going guys!


With little time to mourn the passing of what could've been a fantastic garden, we soon realized the upside to this discovery.  We dug up quite a bit of brownstones that we used for footing/foundation for our small brick wall in the newly formed bed along the right side.  And we found the most gorgeous and perfectly shaped slab of slate stuck to the underside of one of the concrete slabs that came in handy as a cutting stone and eventually as a beautiful focal point in the back bed, perfect for staging seasonal flowering, etc.
Sneak Peek 2

Speaking of flowering, at this point we were still considering these for our plantings: bamboo, adam's needle, pennisetum alope, japanese red maple, fountain grass, and flame grass.

The grand solution up next.
Sneak Peek 3