We always have a project under way at our little Duck Creek Ranch, and right now it is all yard, all the time. Today Jed is going to share a bit about how we are completely changing the look and usability of our yard in another “He Says” post. Savings.com sponsored this post so that you could hear about their amazingly huge Home Depot giveaway. They are giving away 150 Home Depot $20 gift cards over the next three days and you do not want to miss out. Use the link above or click the box below to enter.
From Jed: When we moved in our yard was covered in overgrown Asian Jasmine and our grass was in terrible shape. We knew we had to do something about it, but it got pushed to the back of the list as we tackled other projects. Last fall I ripped out most of the jasmine on a whim and found some seriously nasty stuff in the aftermath. I dug up several live snakes, tons of trash, and a newspaper from 2008. Removing the jasmine was one of the most physically difficult things I’ve ever done. I used a bow rake to rip out the roots and roll it towards me like a rug. When it got too heavy to move, I would use my machete to cut a stopping place. I had to make several cuts like this and then drag the rolled up jasmine out. Word of advice, wear gloves. The jasmine is really hard to move, it feels like you’re dragging a dead deer or something. This weekend I removed the jasmine from the other side of the yard and it was a much smaller area making it a little easier . If you are thinking of planting this stuff in your yard know it can take over your yard and your grass and it’s really hard to remove.
We were so relieved to have it gone, but still didn’t know what to do with the space. We would love to regrow grass there, but our huge live oaks make it very difficult. We need a drought tolerant and shade tolerant grass. That is hard to find and difficult to grow. We are in serious drought here in Texas, so we are only allowed to water 2x a month. Becca came up with the idea to create an outdoor room in our front yard, so we’ve been brainstorming and saving towards that for a few months. This spring is was finally time to take action, so we’ve been working in the front yard to get it ready as well as the backyard.
I bought landscape timbers, drain spout extenders, mulch, and plants from Home Depot to create two new side beds in the front yard and redefine our flower beds in the backyard. I caught a great sale on the timbers and mulch at Home Depot. We transplanted several holly bushes to create a more symmetrical look out front in preparation for the patio building. Out back we planted Mexican Salvia, a flowering perennial that tolerates shade and drought.
Our next steps are to clean and prep the front yard for the pea gravel and flagstone we will put down. I discovered several buried valve boxes for our sprinkler system that I’m having to dig out and repair. I’m capping off several sprinkler heads and repairing others before we build the outdoor room.
I’ve measured and remeasured several times to make sure we know exactly how much stone and gravel to get. Our friends Amy and Amber gave us a ton of flagstone they were done with, so we’ll start with that and see what else we need stone wise. We plan to border the patios with chopped Arkansas river rock and fill the spaces with pea gravel on top of landscape cloth. On the smaller side we’ll create a kid zone with a giant tic tac toe board/hopscotch set up, while the other side will be a lounging area with Adirondack chairs and a fire pit.
We also have two huge, very heavy tree stumps to use as tables. I’m not sure what to do with them as they are very hard to move. I’ll share our progress as we work on the project in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back. We love our giant trees and hope to enjoy our yard far in to the summer in the shade they provide in our new outdoor room.
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What is your next DIY project?
this is the first picture i’ve seen of the outside of your house….so cute! matt also dug up a lot of overgrown Asian Jasmine on a whim and i’ve been debating what plants to plant. i love the Mexican Salvia y’all chose, we are also needing drought tolerant and shade tolerant.
thanks so much for sharing!