Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Bark Story

A few of you have not yet heard the bark story. Prepare yourselves.

A few weeks ago, Ed & I decided that one of the projects for this spring was going to be to cover the flower beds with a new layer of bark. After a bit of research, reading blogs, and visiting a couple of nurseries, we chose to get a bark mulch that is made out of composted materials. It’s pretty and dark and smells good, and was pretty inexpensive, compared to regular bark.

A little back story: A few years ago, when we had our patio poured, we had to bring in some dirt to fill in the land around the patio and level the ground, etc. We guessed and ordered the minimum of 15 yards. That was quite possibly the most daunting pile of dirt I had ever seen. It was way too much. We let friends and neighbors take the rest, after we filled in every spot we possibly could.

Back to the recent past: THIS time, I wanted to figure out exactly how much we needed. So Ed & I went outside and measured every flower bed in the yard so that we would know how much bark mulch to purchase. My genius husband (you know, the one that outsmarted the Internet in order to bring back my blog?) did the math to figure out how many cubic yards of bark we needed. Everyone thought it seemed like a lot, but Ed was a math major. We didn’t question him.

We should have questioned him.

When the TWELVE cubic yards of bark got dumped on my driveway, I thought, Hole. EEE. Cow.

When Ed arrived home from work that day and saw the HUGE PILE on the driveway, he said, “Uh, I think maybe I did it wrong.”

Ya think?

Turns out, he divided by 9 instead of 27 and we have 3 times as much bark as we need. OH. MY. This is what 12 yards of bark mulch looks like.


So, we worked our butts off on Friday night and brainstormed about what to do with all that mulch. We have a problem in the back of our house with the field – it keeps encroaching on the grass and is really difficult to cut down with the weed eater. The field gets mowed for hay during the summer, but the guy who drives the mower never mows right up next to the yard, so there’s always this strip of tall grass right behind our lawn.

We decided to dig out a 3 foot wide barrier between our lawn and the field (we have about that much property behind the lawn anyway – left it without grass in case we ever built a fence) and cover it with a weed barrier and a TON of mulch.

So Ed started to dig it out with a shovel on Friday evening. The first part went OK and then when it got dark, we went inside. Lots of things were happening on Saturday, so it was afternoon by the time much progress was being made. As Ed progressed through the back strip, things got more difficult. We finally decided a rototiller was going to make life a lot easier for Ed.


It was hard work, but within a short period of time, the ground was worked, and the junk raked out of the way. I made some dinner, fed the kids outside, then sent Sarah in with the job of bathing the kids and putting them to bed. She’s almost 12, after all.

Ed & I worked, hauling bark to the back strip, until after dark. At first, we would each take a wheelbarrow full, so we had two wheelbarrows going. After we got about 2/3 of the way done, we were so exhausted. It took both of us to push the wheelbarrow full of bark out to the back. We had been working for two days straight, hauling bark. We were so sore. But we got it done!

Sunday we finished up a few other places around the yard where we wanted mulch – around trees and such. We have since sold the remaining 5 or so yards to our neighbors and friends and it is now GONE from my driveway. THANK. GOODNESS.

Let this be a lesson to you and to us. Never let Ed figure out cubic yards.

Here’s what our newly cleaned up yards looks like:

2010_03_22 And the bark saga is now complete.


The Mom said...

Looks GREAT! Mulch is on our 'to do' list too. Not sure I'm going to get to it this year though... I'll live vicariously through your beautiful yard. :)

Tamara said...

i loved hearing that story in san jose and i loved seeing the progress of it... but i don't love that you lived it! but for all the hard work, it sure shows - your yard looks great!