We Really Dig Dirt

In fact, we dug dirt all weekend.  Anything in the name of patio progress.

You may recall that we removed The Ugly Shrub and loads of pachysandra from the future patio area.  However, that was just the first step, especially since we are building into a hill.  We are expecting the next step to actually be the most difficult of all – removing all the dirt so we can have a flat/level patio area.

Kristin’s first response: “Let’s get an estimate on having someone else do this part becuase it’s going to suck.”  That estimate?  $5,000 to dig and remove the dirt.  YIKES.  In fact, it would cost at least $1,000 to have someone haul our dirt away if it were in a neat pile somewhere convenient for pickup.

As you can imagine, we have a lot of dirt to get rid of, so we spent the last few weeks thinking about where to put all the dirt.  In fact, we had an enormous pile after this much digging (sorry, no photo of the huge pile of dirt):

 

We wanted to put the dirt way back in the woods, but there are two problems.  First, the dirt will probably just wash right back down the hill and onto the new patio.  Second, we cannot reasonably get the wheelbarrow up the hill because it’s too steep.  (We thought about carrying buckets up, but that would’ve taken forever and been way too tiring.)

We evaluated a few other options, such as building an elevated bed next to the garage, but none of them seems truly feasible.  Finally, Krister came up with a great idea.  We’ll build up the hill on the side of the patio and build up the existing wall (and probably push it back some too for a bigger patio area).  Krister put up a temporary retaining wall, which will move once we put in the wall, so it looks like this:

We actually scored the pots from the existing retaining wall, which we will be replacing with a nice stone wall.

Then we spent the whole day on Sunday digging and moving the dirt.  Nothing too thrilling, just sheer exhaustion.  By the time all was said and done Sunday night, the future patio looks like this:

And our dirt pile looked like this:

Kristin had the biggest surprise of the day whil she was digging – a huge piece of marble!

We are hoping to use it for a side table or something.  Hopefully we’ll find another so we can have a matching set! 

We’ll keep you posted as the patio progresses, but for now, we just need to keep digging.

By the way, a little-known fact about Gigi – her favorite song is “Diggin’ Up Bones” by Randy Travis.  Kristin sang it to her a few times while they were all working on the patio.

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