First, we had to remove a bunch of overgrown, unattractive bushes. You can see the before shots here. That included digging up a bunch of stumps, out of rock hard ground!
This took forever - the ground is incredibly hard, and it's been really hot here these past two weeks. So I could only do a little each day. That lovely drain pipe also needed to be cut down and recapped.
After digging out for the gravel and stepping stones, I had to grade the dirt, and blend all that extra in.
Then I added in some bender board to contain the gravel.
I finally got this done last night. This morning, we got up and set the stones in a bed of mortar so they'd stay put and be leveled. We had some leftover mortar mix from working on the shower pan, so we used that. I think I spent about 25 dollars on the bender board, and I bought 10 stepping stones for 88 cents each.
Then we poured in the pea gravel around the stepping stones. All of a sudden, it was looking good! We had to run back to the store to buy 2 more bags. We bought a total of 15 bags at 3.58 each ( total of 53.70).
After we got all the stone poured in and leveled, we had to start moving plants. We have a lot of plants that we'd temporarily moved into the back yard as we got them (free on craigslist). We have a couple of requirements for this side yard: first off, we didn't want to spend a lot of money on it since we don't ever see it unless we walk all the way around the house, and there's not much of that happening. Secondly, we wanted plants that are drought tolerant - we would like to move the majority of our landscaping to low-water plants, so everything on this side had to be free and survive with little to no water.
Luckily, we had lots of them.
In front are some aloe aristata that we picked up from an alley - there were bags and bags full of them. Next in the back is a agave americanus, and in front of that are the agave parryi that I dug up earlier this week.
So - the whole side yard makeover cost around $130. Our arms look like pincushions, I have a ton of dirt under my fingernails and we're both completely beat. but it looks really nice! too bad it just stops - the front yard is still a mess, but it will get there, eventually
We're going to take showers and then get out to see the new Batman movie. Sitting in a nice cool theater sounds great!