Work in Progress

Ross' super composter - made from "up-cycled" wood pallets.

You know when I was planning our wedding and all I talked about was that? Or when I was pregnant and all I did was talk about being pregnant? Or when I became a new mom, all I talked about was that? Yeah, so this yard work we’re up to… I think it might be becoming one of those topics. Because here I am again, posting about the work we’ve done to our yard.

But! This time! There are pictures! And even a few before and after shots. WOO!


Looking into the backyard
Looking into the backyard

As of today, we’ve moved the shed opposite where it was, added a raised veggie planter box, added a compost bin, and a laundry tree thing. Still to come: a picnic table by the shed.

Shed switched, wooden "outbuildings" built, dead hedge removed.
Raised vegetable garden will soon have more than a sad pot of rhubarb in it.

Below is the first floor of the Poulet Chalet – the “salon” if you will. Still to add is the upper floor  – the “boudoir” for the ladies. Ross has already built most of the roof (it’s in our basement). There is a very entertaining story about us moving the first floor of the coop outside two weekends ago – one that involved it not fitting, and having to take it apart a bit to make it fit. Hoo boy. Really, really funny. I’ve already named our chickens in our head but I’ll save that for their official announcement when we complete the coop and the girls arrive.

Chicken Coop in progress.


Over the course of the winter, the hedges on the corner of our property got completely destroyed. Here’s what they looked like when we viewed the place last April:

From the back alley
From the back alley

Here’s what the hedges looked like in January:

The height of destruction. Lovely.

And here is what it looks like now. We get compliments on it all the time from neighbours, although someone (the garbage collector that has to navigate this corner, maybe?) complained about it. They claimed we didn’t build it on our property. That $300 we paid to get a survey done on our house when we bought it finally proved useful. Take that, angry complainer. My guess is that everyone got so used to cutting the corner, that they didn’t really realize where our property line was. We checked with the city first to make sure there were no bylaws about setbacks, and we measured off our house and we made a point of building it low and gradually gaining height. We also removed the dead six or seven privet hedges from the corner and we’re planning to fill those back in.

Completed river rock retaining wall.


Here’s a few before shots:

I am a little yellow house.

Not bad, eh?

So, here’s two shots of the front as it is now:

Standing at the front-side of our house, looking to the road. You can see the finished rock wall, and the fairly unfinished bed on the other side.
Giant PIT OF DESPAIR. Okay, not really. But let me tell you, digging up all that grass colossally sucked. This will be filled soon and those two rhodos and all the potted stuff moved in.

A couple of neighbours have stopped by, wanting to know if we are:

  • Installing a pond
  • Installing a fountain
  • Installing drainage
  • Upgrading the water pipes

Many days, my friends, I ask myself that same question. In reality, we are getting close. We need manure, soil, and the giant rhodos moved. And it’s good we’re coming to the end of the yardwork list, because I found some new projects. We need to fix the stepping stones.


10 years ago


  1. I had a friend’s Mum (who is a master gardener) come over and look at our place last year. She told us to think of it as a 10-year project (we have a big yard). You should tell THAT to your neighbours – ha ha!

    I haven’t even started digging up the garden yet. But I live in Alberta and it snowed all through April. That’s my excuse anyway.

  2. Sweet, Love he changes, especially the rock wall. I like that for our front yard, can it go 4′ high?

    1. Probably – the guy who we hired to do it is a bit of an artist. It’s not made using forms, rather, it’s made by using mortar to build up the height and then capping it with a layer of concrete. The guy we used was very reasonably priced and was a good hard worker. I would happily recommend him. He works cash only and only works if it’s not raining. We (Ross) prepped the area that we built it and we arranged for a delivery of sand and gravel but he brought the river rock and then a second load of sand when the first one we used ran out.

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