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Secret Project

Lloyd and Lauren are back! Yay! I can finally post about this!

After Lloyd and Lauren left, I started working on a secret project. I wanted to make a new garden bed. Beth suggested I strip away the grass immediately behind their house because they have a crazy-big lawn and mowing it takes forever. I should have been posting about this every day, but I wanted it to be a secret. So instead, here’s one super-long post:

Here’s the before picture:
So much grass to mow...

I rented a sod cutter to remove the grass. It was one of the coolest garden machines I’ve ever used.
Next year, I'm going to strip away their WHOLE lawn!

I pulled off the old landscaping timbers and took them to the dump. Then I put new ones in. I also moved the peonies. That’s when their house toad scared the bejeebers out of me.
The space is looking more defined...

Harold helped me collect a whole bunch of rocks from behind their neighbors garage. (Thanks Harold! You rock! Ha!) That’s when I got poison ivy and was nearly crushed by a tree limb. Deciding what to build was the most difficult part.
I just dragged and rolled the heaviest ones.

I decided on a firepit. It came together really nicely. And I didn’t hurt my back.
Thank goodness for ibuprofen!

I filled the spaces in with plants and mulch. Beth suggested that I “stage” the firepit with some wood. The fallen limb gave me all kinds of sticks.
Pass the marshmallows!

The rest of the garden bed is unfinished. I have some plants to get in the ground still, but all the empty space will give me work to enjoy for the next couple of summers.
Tons of space for future planting!

And, for comparison, the “before” picture one more time:
I hardly even remember it anymore.


  1. Karla

    That’s beautiful! When will you come to my house and do something like that?

  2. Lloyd

    It is simply lovely. If I would have known I could have brought more rocks. Missouri was having a sale.

  3. Beth

    It is awesome!

    I should have taken a picture of Brad using the sod cutter. It was very cool.

  4. Lauren

    It’s crazy fabulous, that’s what it is! I love, love, love, love, love, love, love it! You can rip out as much grass as you like whenever you like. My favorite part is how you did everything.

  5. Deanne


  6. Peggy

    LOVE IT!! The firepit area is AMAZING!! It looks like something right out of a magazine! Beautiful!! Hey, is it cool enough in the evenings in Seward to fire up that baby tonight?

    1. Where were the old timbers? I don’t see them in the before picture.
    2. The hexagon stones are really nice…are they a path or will you be expanding them?
    3. I have LOTS of lawn. How do I go about ordering one pond & firepit?

    • Lauren

      I christened the firepit last night – how could I not? Dry, crispy wood just crying out for flames…… good times.

      • Peggy

        How about a picture or a video of the cracklin fire?

        We have a store bought fire pit…but we’d like to put a permanent one in the ground this fall. Which means never. I LOVE a fire in the fall!

    • Brad

      1. The old timbers were where the new ones are. I just replaced them because they were old.

      2. The previous owner used the hexagon stones as step stones. I dug them out of the ground because they were FREE! It will just be a path. I intend to eventually fill the rest of the space with plants.

      3. I’ll have to write up an estimate. But I have to warn you: our prices have really gone up lately.

  7. Carol

    This deserves its own show on PBS – anybody have any connections there? Great job, Mr. Landscape Gardener (working title for your show. Will half an hour do ya’?)! What will next month’s edition showcase, I wonder…? I think L&L are very blessed to have a neighbor with a talented and generous brother such as yourself. Once you get back, if you need a “yard in need of serious attention” fix….well, you’ve been here…

  8. Michele

    I’m thinking new middle school enrichment class … “Your Back Yard: Drab to Fab with Brad”

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