Anyway, this represents one catalyst for a proper revamp of the necrotic plot. Spring's arrival further warrants an outdoor sanctuary. Moreover, as many of our associates are at some stage of child-bearing, we'll need to entertain ourselves and the occasional barren buddy or two. As it so happens, a favorite pastime of one celibate crony involves studying the natural history of raccoons while intoxicated (this is rather cerebral compared to a historical fondness for mattress surfing). The mead and amber are bubbling away in anticipation so it's on to seducing raccoons...
Raccoon seduction requires professional guidance, which we have obtained. The garden design is quite alluring, even for non-Procyanids - it incorporates a number of local plants, a vegetable garden, a patio and, potentially, an herb spiral (welcome to the Northwest). The re-model is rather intensive, and will proceed slowly given other commitments, but the first stage has now been completed. This is the before photo of the South side yard:
To begin, we hauled excess dirt, compost and mulch from the side yard into the back yard where we will use it to level the ground before laying the patio (lest we be sued by intoxicated natural historians). This involved a lot of digging and, because this is the space we have around the back staircase,
a jury-rigged way of getting the dirt into the back yard:
Digging and hauling have now been completed, and the roses and irises have been temporarily relocated. It's not an attractive pit, but the dirt now exposes 6" of the foundation, which is required by law.
This will eventually be re-planted, but first the patio needs to be laid. In the mean time, Peter has laid claim to the South side plot, having taken on the epithet, Lord of the Mud Pies.
To be continued...