We’re Investing In Dirt

[Sub-titled: The Big Dig Begins]

Two weeks ago while the 112th US Congress was destroying the credit rating of the USA, we were investing in something a little bit different from the usual.  Something that is a known commodity, but generally is just there when you buy a house.  Unless, of course, you have a non-traditional property with a swale in the backyard that needs to be filled in. In which case, you need to buy dirt.  Lots of it.  So…

We bought 110 tons of dirt.  Really.   

In the past I’ve mentioned the sad shape of our lawn.  Our Lawn Has Mange

I’ve talked about my meeting with a land planner.  Talking Dirt

I’ve even told you about my anxiety about our backyard renovation project.  Rambling Thoughts From A Sleepless Night

But it wasn’t until this project finally began that I realized what the heck I’d gotten us into this time.

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Below is a photo of what the swale looked like right before the Bobcat operator began to push the dead wood and half-dead trees out-of-the-way for the dirt.

While the first man in the swale cleared that space, a second man in a different Bobcat moved the dirt from the street in front of our house to the back of our property.  He drove over, and piled it on, what used to be a lovely bed of pachysandra and juniper.

Then the first man, working at a precarious angle on the side of the hill, used the new dirt to fill in the swale.

# # #

[Amazing as it was to watch this phase unfold, the words “liability insurance” kept dancing through my brain. You can tell that I’ve been around lawyers all my life, right?  But I digress…]

Here’s a photo of what the former swale looks like now that we’ve completed Phase One of our project.  Our property is almost flat, open to sunshine, and ready for the next step– which is a poured concrete wall.

[Please note: This is Phase One of a three-part project.  Much more about this later.  Phase Two is here.  Phase Three is here.] 

8 thoughts on “We’re Investing In Dirt

  1. Margaret, that’s good advice. This project is one of the biggest we’ve had done around here. And it’s taking its toll on my sanity. Makes. Me. Nervous.


  2. Outstanding summary of events to date. Perhaps the next picture should be the recycling bin full of empty beer and wine bottles to demonstrate the emotional toll 🙂


  3. Z-D, that would of been a good idea… except that the trash went out this morning with all the “evidence” in it. So no more photos of this phase of the project.


  4. I’m amazed at how much dirt costs. We did a “little” project of building raised beds and a pergola, and had to haul in dirt and rock. Fortunately, my dad has a dump truck (the kind that hauls dirt and rock) and so we didn’t have to pay for the delivery charges. And also he owns a front-end loader, so that made the job easier.
    It’s very handy to live next to my parents who have accumulated many years worth of big farm gadgets 🙂
    Looking forward to your next set of pictures. Retaining walls are serious projects!!


  5. Stephanie, we, too, are amazed by how much dirt costs. You’re lucky to have access to all those machines. We’re happy with how things are working out, but dealing with the various personalities that own these machines is– well, interesting.


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