Category Archives: Home maintenance

The Green, Green Grass Of Home

I dislike gardening with a passion, I really, really do. When I was a kid, if I showed even a hint of boredom, my Dad would say “If you’ve got nothing better to do, you can come and help me in the garden”.  This would inevitably lead to several hours of torment and frustration, so naturally I would find something else to do at every opportunity, regardless of my interest, just to avoid spending my afternoon edging, pulling weeds or mowing.

This wasn’t so bad once I became a homeowner, but I never learned to truly love gardening. Thankfully, once I became a renter again, my only obligation was a daily watering of the lawn at one particular house.

New readers start here. My sweetheart’s home has no front garden and just a postage stamp of a back yard, most of which is taken up by a concrete patio. The edges were fringed with grass by the builder, so there was very little to manage, and all I needed was a string edger / trimmer to cut down the more unruly patches. You see, the garden is overlooked by several trees on the property behind us, leading to a very patchy distribution of sunlight. We didn’t really do much to help the situation by purchasing an offset umbrella, but it made the evenings much more pleasant. Add to this the typical winter of the PNW, and by the start of 2020 the lawn was in effect nothing more than an area of muddy dirt containing occasional patches of moss.

Obviously, we couldn’t leave the garden in such a condition, so after rejecting pea gravel and bark as options due to the fact that the dog does her business in the garden, we settled on artificial turf. This wasn’t ideal as far as I was concerned, but it made sense, offered the advantage of being maintenance free and at least would bring some green into the garden.

Our neighbour has artificial turf, and seeing as two of her three dogs are Dobermans, we agreed that it could handle our 20 pound mutt and her “output”. We asked her for the details of the company that installed her lawn and a few days later, two guys came out, took a look and gave us what was, actually, a pretty decent price estimate. We signed the deal and a few days later the owner and his employee arrived and laid the layer of gravel that would act as a base for the turf.

You know where this is going, don’t you? Yes, the lockdown put a kybosh on them finishing the job, so we endured, if that is the right word, a few weeks of staring at packed gravel while our dog did her best under the circumstances, pretty much confining her activities to the strip of dirt close to the rear fence containing our shrubs.

Recent changes meant that construction work was allowed to resume, so our contractor contacted us and asked if we’d like him to finish the job. Of course, we agreed eagerly, and about a week ago he undertook what I can only describe as an exercise in outdoor carpet fitting. I have admit that it looks pretty darn good. While not ideal, it at least does the job it’s supposed to do, and will last for many years. The recent rains mean that I still have to put the furniture and umbrella back in the garden, but I hope that this weekend will provide me with an opportunity.

It’s nice to know that there will be no maintenance issues for many years to come, and it will make it easier for my sweetheart when she undertakes what we euphemistically refer to as “minesweeping” duties.

I do have one question, though: does anyone want to buy a gently used string edger?

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Filed under Home maintenance, lifestyle, Pandemic, Pets