Hi guys! Question: will you still read this blog if I say ‘balls deep’ right now? I know it verges on vulgar, but in the interest of transparency I feel like we should go there. That’s how I talk to myself in my head, and outloud too, and it’s really the only accurate way to express my reality: balls deep in landscaping and exterior work. You totally get the picture, right? Good writing will do that. Anyways, we’ve been manually laboring away over here and the yards (front, side, back, other side) are slowing improving. Last weekend we shoveled 6 cubic yards of rocks into our freshly weeded and weed-clothed backyard beds. Even without landscaping, the backyard is looking immensely better and it’s crazy how thrilling it all is to me.So today, we talk yard curbs! The only attention given to the backyard until recently was the laying of these curb borders last fall. It was a totally new kind of project for us. Meaning, we really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. It took longer than expected and our concrete line bulges in some spots like a snake who is digesting a meal(s). Sorry snake-phobes, but again, my expressive writing is almost better than photographs at this point. All said, this was an amateur job but a 1000% upgrade from the unsightly original plastic border that was degrading in more ways than one.
The process went a little something like this:
Dig a trench. We already loved the kidney shape of our lawn so we followed its border. The trench only needed to be 4″ deep but my husband went a little overboard and built a fortress. (And used twice as much concrete as we needed in the process, something to consider if you are also over-cautious in this manner.)
Frame out the curb. We started with cut strips of masonite, but those were too weak and wobbly.Frame the curb again. And again. Next we tried 1/2″ plywood, which was too firm to bend around the tight curves. Then we finally settled on 1/4″ plywood, which hugged the curves perfectly and seemed strong enough. Only as concrete was poured was it apparent that 1/4″ was insufficient as the sections in between the stakes began to balloon under the weight and moisture. The hindsight solution would be to use two 1/4″ strips for the perfect combo of mobility and strength.
Screw the frame into stakes. The more the better in our situation, but I imagine with a stronger frame, it wouldn’t matter so much.Fill the frame with concrete. As you can see, we overfilled in many spots, which made stake removal a beast. Level the concrete.Round the concrete edge with this special tool.
Wait days for it to dry. We went with 5.Remove the frame to reveal a wobbly, though still very attractive and functional, curb. Many thanks to my father in law for all the guidance, tools and free labor!
In related news, you can pay to have a special machine brought to your house that squeezes out curb logs. It’s mindblowing and so, so funny if you have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy (hi!).
And in other related news, how is this kidney shaped patch of grass NOT A KIDNEY SHAPED POOL? I feel gypped every time I think about it.The backyard has come so far since these photos and I can’t wait to share more, after I complete my full time job’s worth of painting and landscaping first. I think I’m almost not ashamed of it. The front yard, a total different story, but we all do the best we can… Thanks for reading!!!!