Saturday, April 13, 2013

moving mountains

We've been running in a hundred different directions at once here, without much photo worthy to show for it, so instead we'll go back to last fall and take a look at our mud pit project. When we bought the house the driveway was a mostly decomposed concrete mess centered on our front door, with an overgrown pea gravel track circling around the house (on the aerial it looked like we had a go cart track of our very own).

we're the house with the track - we originally
faced the main road and owned those lots, as
well as half the lot above us

When we found the historic photo several months in we could see the entrance of the historic driveway far to the left, along with what looks like a carriage house on what used to be our property - that lot now has a Prairie Foursquare on it (although it's now devoid of any distinguishing features). Strangely, the mystery building doesn't show up on any plat books.

Since we needed to do the sidewalks (they were a serious hazard) we decided that this was our only chance to fix the driveway. And with the aid of heavy machinery, we dug . . .

And in moments of unbelievable brilliance we:
a. thought it was a good idea to pile the dirt on a tarp.
That tarp is now three feet underground serving as the most ineffective weed barrier ever conceived . . .
b. removed the original driveway before moving my pt cruiser, leaving it stranded on the hill with a dead battery, and 20 feet of 3-4 foot deep soft fluffy dirt to roll through . . .
Despite those setbacks, with the help of friends we managed to dig through the hill of trash in the backyard and use some of those broken cinder blocks to start to fill in the missing berm (we cut the existing driveway opening down by 2/3, leaving space for a walkway), and moved all the dirt to make the front yard a more gentle slope.

To try and manage the mud (this happened in late fall, well after grass would have time to grow) we tried winter seeding and laid down a thick layer of shredded leaf mulch and stepping stones. I was doubtful that it'd work, but sure enough, there is a smattering of green poking through. There's still an enormous amount of work to do now that it's warming up, but behold, driveway!


  1. You should add pics of the beautiful brick walk you made

    1. I had planned to, but I couldn't muster the attention span to write anything longer tonight


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