Logo for Being on Brewster Court Blog #13
Fight On!
September 18, 2021

Comments to: ron.evans@washburn.edu

When we moved in, the piece of territory that we assumed was our backyard was a bit weird, but we hatched a plan to improve it. 

Back view photo
Back view showing various impediments to gardening

Our first plan was to build a retaining wall near the street and fill behind it with dirt. This would create a new raised terrace that could become a garden bed, with various plants tumbling over the wall. In effect, we'd just ignore the big middle strip with its large utility boxes plus their many, many buried cables.

Then the gas company rep appeared.  “Oh my”, said she, “ but we can’t put a heavy wall along the street; that where our tender gas line runs three feet down.”  But, lest she appear too much of a Grinch, she offered to move the line.  It would cost only $10-15K, and maybe more.
We thought for a moment.  Thousands to move a gas line well below our wall.  I gave the signal and the bugler blew retreat, and we thought more about the middle third of the backyard.

Maybe we could do something about the array of electric boxes perched on concrete pads.  Along came the electric reps who also discussed moving their stuff.  The price tag, I was informed, would buy a very nice car.  Signal again to the bugler and we retreated to the area around 3-4 feet out from the deck and a bit more to the lattice below the deck.  First glance indicated not much room for anything.  Second glance, though, evolved a new plan. With no more room for retreat we would make our stand right there.

Our stand consisted of laying a 3-5 foot walkway of paving stones just in front of the lattice, and then adding cheaper loose rock behind the lattice and under the deck.  We could put cedar planter boxes on the street side of the stone paving. The cedar would match our deck planter boxes as well as the lattice. This would give us a nice coordinated perimeter with flowers on the house side and leave the swatch of utilities untouched beyond it.

Planter Boxes
Photo of some square planter Boxes; a few rectangular ones also ordered

The head village guy for building stuff liked the idea, but worried that the rocks behind the lattice didn’t match the stones in front.  My goodness, thought I, that would be at minimum hard to see through the lattice.  But the head guy persisted.

So we call our favorite landscaper and he’s is working on the cost for a fairly reasonably priced kind of gray pavers to run along the front, down the side, and under the deck.  Everything will match and there will be peace in the village.

We ordered planter boxes and I cleaned off the 8 x 10 concrete patio at the base of the deck stairs.  On there will be some large planters. Then small planters will be nicely distributed (remember, how it looks is important and everything must match) and we can grow mucho flowers when done.

No real perennials in these things but lots of room for more peonies in our farm.  There is also a bed of iris I planted there.  All other perennials will come from the flower shop at the grocery store.
Two retreats, a rehash of paving front and behind and some ordering and we will see how it all goes.  We don’t give up without a fight, with our backs to lattice work. 

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