Landscaping Progress!

We finally got around to a fairly major little landscaping project in the backyard last weekend.  All summer, I have been contemplating a privacy solution for our patio.  Our neighbors next door are great but everyone could use a little privacy, particularly when entertaining.  Our wonderful custom fence is about 4 feet tall which gives a sense of separation but the light goes through and we can still easily talk over the top which we often do.

Above you can see the remands of our portable tomato garden.  Tomato season is done here and was not very successful for me to begin with! Otherwise this is pretty much a blank canvas. 

I had thought about having lilac bushes along that fence.  I love lilacs and they do create some nice privacy without creating a solid wall of shrubs.

Then we started taking other things in our yard into consideration.  We want to get a swing set for the kids which is going to dominate our yard for the next few years.  There were a few plants up against our neighbor's old garage behind our house.  They are planning on tearing down the garage in the fairly near future, so the demolition and reconstruction would mean the shrubs back there would not likely make it through the process since they are so close. 

And guess what was back there - LILACS!  Yup, free for the taking because they are already ours.  We actually transplanted them there soon after moving in.  You can imagine how excited Jim was when I told him that I wanted to move them AGAIN.  These were spindly little trees when we put them there - basically a last ditch effort to do some new homeowner cheapo landscaping.  Eight years later, they over 6 feet tall.

As usual, Jim was a good sport and did 90% of the hard labor. 

So, we Jim dug a really big hole in our solid clay soil using a pick axe and pointed shovel.  It took about 2 hours to get to this point.  Fun times.

Still love me, right?
Fortunately Jim had the foresight to put the dirt on a tarp on our patio which made the clean up loads easier.  We then mixed the clay with peat moss, sand, top soil, and pretty much whatever else we could find in the garage.  It was not scientific in any way, but it generally resulted in much better soil than where we started.  

After a lot of sweating and digging, we finally got the shrubs moved and replanted.  The root balls on lilacs of this size are really small so that was the easiest part of all.  Even if they don't make it, it would be fairly easy to just buy some new trees at the garden center and put them in.  Hopefully these freebies will make it.

The result -

In a few years, I think we'll have some really good privacy and I look forward to smelling the lilacs while we enjoy our patio.  

Total cost - $0 (except for some Motrin that night)