Look what emerged!

Okay, if anybody’s yard is going to spit up a sewing machine foot, it would be a quilter’s, but really? How did it get outside and when?

After putting up with a pounded dirt backyard for three years, we got quotes to re-sod it. I’m not a committed suburban lawn grower — there are the sustainability issues, the possibility of poisonous treatments, not to mention the huge cost of weekly yard crews. But the mud is untenable. It’s not just ugly, it’s super inconvenient (think: four muddy paws at the back door ten times a rainy day). And that’s where I draw the line. My convenience.

The quotes were astronomical, so even with tree-insurance money, we’ve decided to do it ourselves. What else is new? I get it: two or three guys, a batch of hours, plus the cost of the loam and sod (and — pretty sure — a hefty mark up for a Newton address). Ugh. What’s a couple of grueling days to us?

Even with paying for the sod to be delivered and renting a tiller, we’ll come in at $1,000 cheaper than the lowest bid, which was itself $1,000 less than the next lowest bid.

While we’re at it, we’ll reduce the size of the north bed (and straighten it) and extend the bed at the back southwest corner. The plan is to plant some fairly mature scotch pines in the corner too — both to keep Finn from going nose to nose with another dog-reactive dog and to screen the lot line where three large trees have come down recently.

After a stretch of relentless insistence on ball play, I’m happy to report that Finn finally understood that he doesn’t run the show out back. After a while, he gave it up and relaxed in the sun. Meanwhile out front some marsh mallows (is that their name?) that I never planted are thriving. I love it when that happens.

A mini-clothes line nearby affords good back light for viewing a nearly finished Village Quilt. I’m pleased with the translucent quality of the gauze backing (90 weight), but need to figure out how to better integrate the two layers next time. There was some bubbling that I’m pretty sure could have been tamed with a traditional batting/cotton backing layering. Any suggestions? Maybe an all over invisible baste first (a la Jude/spiritcloth)?

Have a nice weekend all!

Maybe by the next post, we’ll have a back lawn (but my sister will not be unpacked. That is certain). Talking abut grueling days — Thursday, Move Day, was a total grunt — even WITH a crew of three movers and her PCA present for three hours.

30 thoughts on “Look what emerged!

  1. Mo Crow

    (((Dee))) Old Man Crow & I recommend for people with active dogs to just mulch and use hardy groundcovers, relaying turf looks good for the few weeks that the lawn area is fenced off to allow it to settle in but once the dog is allowed to run on it again, it all gets worn down, dug up and used as a dog toilet. Mulch improves the soil & hardy groundcovers don’t need mowing, we haven’t mown a lawn in years!

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Well the sod removal rental just crapped out, so. Not sure here. Mulch would track in the house too and looks kind of crappy. We thought of it and rejected the idea. Finn seems past the digging phase but will continue to play out here. Thanks for your input.

      Reply
      1. Mo Crow

        most dog owners love the idea of having a lawn so the dog has somewhere comfortable tp play and run however they have to replace the lawn every 18 months which is hard work and expensive, mulch needs to be topped up every year but it improves the soil and with the right ground covers eventually you don’t see it!

        Reply
        1. Mo Crow

          PS you have a very different climate up there, I noticed last time I was in the US that mulch is not used as much it is here in Australia, we work with a very thin & fragile layer of topsoil over free draining sandstone combined with fiercely hot summers so mulch is a necessity & lawns are folly in this dry ancient land that the ecosystem can’t afford.

        2. deemallon Post author

          We used to have grass back there which we let brown out every August. We didn’t water, aerate or so much of anything. We don’t want perfect grass just some. We can’t seed because of the Dog.

  2. tina

    Ummm I used to get notifications when you would post .. but not lately. Anyway sorry about all your waiting for this and that. We decided to drive to Alabama in a few weeks to visit my brother .. this cool weather and lack of sun has gotten the best of me. I totally understand getting bids and in the end doing what you can yourself. The story of our lives but in the end it always feels good that we were able to save money that really we didn’t have to spend in the first place.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      I looked through my dashboard and don’t see why you might not get email. Maybe unsubscribe and resubscribe and see what happens? I want to go to Alabama this year to see the new National Monument for Peace and Justice.

      Reply
      1. deemallon Post author

        Thanks Liz. I’ll take a look. Readers are reporting quirks when I have changed no setting, so not sure how to fix. But will check spam email and see if there’s anything.

        Reply
  3. June Wildflower

    Lawns…what a fruitless occupation, IMO. You can’t eat them! And statistics show they put more pollution in the environment than field crops. I’m already dreading mowing season here. You’re guaranteed to hear one damn lawn being mowed after another, day after day, usually about the time you’re finally enjoying a moment of peace and quiet. Now that really helps your situation, doesn’t it? Lol

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      I go nuts listening to my neighbors’ leaf blowers. They are why I own noise cancelling headphones. Fortunately newton has banned them from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

      Reply
        1. deemallon Post author

          Now if only someone would outlaw those beeping alarms on trucks in reverse.

  4. Nancy

    Wow, so much work…good for you being able to get it done! I thought the machine foot was a tiny hammer at first. Haha Love the light through the quilt of course. Hang in there with your sister 🙂

    Reply
  5. Michelle Skater

    It took three years and I’m guessing you want a Now solution but my Massachusetts friends got sick of their difficult expensive lawn and planted a wild flower meadow which solved the problem and is a joy to behold. However, whatever you do, don’t wear yourself out and good luck.

    Reply
    1. Mo Crow

      a weed is just a plant growing in an inconvenient place, as a gardener I love weeds, pulling them out provides us with a roof over our heads and food on the table!

      Reply
  6. fiberels

    Ha, ha, ha : that sewing machine foot is really something !!!!!
    Next : you are a brave bunch …. I’m happy we only have a small
    garden with only plants and a small terrace (and no dog running
    around 😉 !)
    Be strong and persistent !

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Thanks Els. Yeah can you believe the foot emerging from the dirt? It’s not as if I’ve ever had a machine out there!

      Reply
      1. fiberels

        (ha, didn’t think it was yours … otherwise you would have said : Ohhhhh, thére you are, I’ve been looking all over the place … 😉

        Reply
  7. Hazel

    What a fun find in the yard, there was a horseshoe in ours once. The glowing of your houses in sunlight is always a delight. I’ve found that Jude’s invisible basting cures a multitude of issues (& calms the spirit, too). Good luck with your yard.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Well I went ahead and added tons more stitching — tho not exactly invisible — and it looks a ton better.

      Reply

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