Sunday, March 6, 2011


I did a little bit of yard work today.  Mowing the lawn and laying some temporary pavers.  Sounds exciting, huh.

Pushed over by wind because of
fungus in the root ball.
That's our house in the background.
The lawn was a bitch.  I have a nice lawn mower that also does mulching.  Normally, it's great.  I just put the mulching attachment in, forget about the catcher, and mow, mow, mow with the occasional stop for fuel.  However, this summer has been pretty wet.  You know, Queensland floods and all that.  I've been pretty lucky.  A fast growing lawn and collection of weeds cut to look like lawn is the worst I've had to complain about.. oh, and there was that tree that fell and broke the back fence.

Anyway, so after a while, the mulching attachment doesn't cut the mustard, or the grass.  For the last month, I've had to put the mower up to the highest setting (10), to mow the pretty much most of the front yard.  Normally, the setting should be at 6, and I've been able to maintain that with the backyard, and a couple of spots out the front.  So today, the mulching attachment got side benched, and the catcher went on.  I guess you could say the grass was at about level 11 or 12.  It had been two weeks since the last cut, and it was getting reduced to 6.  I filled my garden bag that gets collected every month or so, and had enough spare for the compost tumbler and some dips in the fence line that I can't mow in because of the change in elevation.  Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to get away with the mulcher when I have to mow again, in two weeks time.

It's my pathway (and I'll cry if I want to)
So after that awesome fun, I decided to get a little temporary side project done.  And that side project is the front pathway.  We have a little dirt pathway that leads from the front corner of the house to the car port.  It had difficulty growing grass because of the high traffic, and every time it rains, it gets a bit muddy.  So today, I laid some pavers to provide us with a solid step and mud free walk, and to let the ground around it grow some grass, or weeds, or whatever can step up and grow there.  Lacking bedding sand, I just made do with the dirt and a little cut and fill to set them into the ground, so at least people walking down them won't stub their toes or trip.  But it's just temporary.

Despite having put a new bathroom in, and replacing the 40 year old roof, lifting up two crap driveways, and getting one good one with car port, and building a retaining wall down the side, there is still work to be done.

So this is the story of the work left to complete.  I almost have it memorized, and can get it out faster than the eyes glaze over (oh, and they do glaze over, eventually).  In some particular order, but not necessary the one I've used here the following needs to happen:
Redirect water from both back downpipes to the front
More drainage, a pathway and a new wall
  • The storm water drainage from the back of the house needs to be routed to the front.  At the moment, the back high side just flows to the back low side, tries to go down a drain, then bubbles back up and floods that corner.  I suspect it's a dispersion drain, instead of a proper storm water drain that's actually connected to anything, since I found similar happenings in the front yard when I digging the trenches for the storm water there.
  • While doing that particular bit of piping, I'll also put in a gravel pit and aggregate pipe running from the back to the front as well.  This will prevent water from collecting on the high side, then spilling over to flood the house.  But don't worry, the house is raised, and specifically designed to have water and air flow underneath it.  I'd just like there to be a whole lot less water flowing underneath.
  • The run off from the back retaining wall needs to be connected to the storm water also.  At the moment, it just bubbles up from the hole it comes out of, though it usually takes a lot of rain before it's noticeable.
  • A second mini retaining wall needs to be built, with perhaps a widening of the stairs that separates the current retaining wall, from what we like to call "The Rock Garden".  The Rock Garden is a collection of rocks, concrete, gravel, weeds and pepper tree.
  • Drainage from second retaining wall also needs to be connected to the storm water.
  • A water trap needs to be installed in the front corner of the car port, on its' high side.  All that water flowing from the high side of the property tends to collect along the concrete slab, that is the carport.  Luckily, we installed a join in the storm water pipe that runs along there, just in case this sort of thing should happen.
  • Rip up my temporary path, and the concrete path and replace the whole lot with gravel and very similar pavers that will run from the carport to the main entrance at the side of the house.
  • Replace rotting wood in side deck at the main entrance.
Anyway, that's the work I'll be doing sometime in the future, but not this year.  This year shall be a non-work saving year.  Yeah, right.  The trickiest part is going to be doing the back drainage in such a way that we don't have Astro digging his way out of the backyard.  And perhaps dealing with water that may not want to flow the way I want it to flow.  Fun times ahead, I'm sure.

(I had a bit of fun with Paint.NET, putting those pictures together).

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