WELL, PEEPS, I'M finally finally ready to reveal our big project of the summer (and fall). Before and after photos are always fun and I took a boatload of photos of this project. But, rather than bore you with a bazillion depictions of the same thing from a slightly varied angle, I'll keep to the highlights.
|1. This photo shows "The Final Straw." See that broken board?|
Fortunately, I wasn't mortally wounded.
|2. This is the opposite side of the deck. That rug covers an earlier board fracture.|
Rugs are great for helping us ignore things.
|3. Our deck really is an "outdoor room." We are always out here and I'm afraid |
this photo correctly depicts how very lived-in this space is.
|4. This is one of the escape routes.|
|5. More rugs and boards covering a multitude of sins of the tripping kind.|
|6. I always enjoyed these cute little steps, however my Rose de Rescht|
had the unmannerly habit of sending up runners between the deck boards.
|7. If you scroll back to photo number 1, this is the same area with the final straw, that broken deck board. |
That monstrosity in the background is a shelf tipped on its side.
|9. My son Dan was a tremendous help with this project. One of his genius undertakings|
was to create temporary supports for the deck roof.
Here you can see two of them precariously positioned.
On the right is the now cut back Rose de Rescht.
|10. Horrors! One of the unforeseen tasks (aren't there always a few of those?) was to |
redo this wonky gutter drain pipe. Dan to the rescue. Man I love that kid!
(Okay he's 30 but he'll always be my kid.)
|11. I took a lot of photos of this area because I not only dug out the Rose de Rescht,|
I removed this hedge. This area looks totally different now as you'll see ahead.
|12. Interestingly, below the deck boards we found a small cement pad,|
the point of it escapes me. Fortunately we were able to leave it in place.
|13. Just about the time I was going to commit myself to the psych ward, the gravel was delivered.|
What a pain the back, and shoulders, and legs and every other muscle
in the human body this undertaking was!
|14. Foolishly (and to save money) we told the contractor we'd haul and spread the gravel. |
Fortunately the whole family (and Bryan) helped.
Unfortunately it was freaking 95 degrees.
|15. The pathway obscured a bit by that stupid board, is photo number 4 (above).|
|16. Then the contractor came and put in the forms. There is a step down right here.|
|17. The contractor then used his handy dandy thumper thingie to compact the gravel.|
|18. The next day, I arrived home from work to see this!|
|19. And this! Photo number 6 (above) is how this used to look.|
|20. Zip the cat had to break it in and make sure it was safe for his people.|
|21. This is the new look. Photos 1 and 7 (above) show the befores of this spot.|
While the cement did its curing thing, I went to work on the former Rose de Rescht patch. (That rose had been in the ground over 10 years. Growing on its own roots, (not grafted) it really spread out. I saved a few roots and used herbicide on the rest. Sorry.
|23. This is where the hedge was, (photo 11 above). I've still got a lot of planting to do|
but it's coming along nicely.
My youngest daughter Susan is very artistic. She convinced us to let her paint a faux flagstone motif on the cured cement.
|24. Susan's faux flagstones. My camera depicted the colors a little inaccurately but you get the idea.|
The finely detailed edging of the "stones" is time-consuming for my college student
so she will be working on this as time permits.
And finally, photos I took this evening. We're finally settling in.
|25. No deck railing means the area is much more open.|
|26. It's so nice to walk out here and not be assaulted by an unstable deck.|
|27. The former jungle (photo number 8 above) is gone. I've got several pots here|
now debating on where the plants should go.