Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Six weeks ago, while I was in Houston at my agency’s annual conference and unable to object, Timothy started digging a trench in the side yard. This past weekend into Monday, we completed the project. With crushed granite, pavers, and jasmine finishing out the space, the side yard has been transformed into a pleasant area. The backyard remains a mudpit, but that’s a project for cooler weather.
Paved areas provide easy access to the trash and recycling bins and our new composter, still awaiting its first batch of kitchen scraps. Since we already use the smallest, 30-gallon trash bin, we took a composting class and will receive a rebate from the City of Austin’s Green 30 Challenge. Hopefully composting with our Aerobin will be as easy and maintenance-free as their marketing suggests.
During construction, a rainstorm offered compelling evidence for the need for the french drain. The area shown is the midpoint of the side yard, which had no slope from front to back. We sloped the drain line to compensate. This spot is now the site of the composter.
Beyond the air conditioner is an unused area of side yard that we hope to train the dog to use. This component of the plan will become more important when we transform the backyard into a patio.
Outside the fence, we expanded the front flowerbed, with only a strip of granite walkway for the gas meter reader. With the thought that this summer may be as brutal as last, we intend to wait until the fall to plant in this area. At that time, we will convert the front bed from spray to drip irrigation.
By the driveway, most of the area is crushed granite to facilitate wheeling the trash and recycling bins in and out. We did plant a small clump of aloe vera to soften the corner of the garage.