Pictures from Ian and Kat's Digital Camera: In the backyard
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Here are pictures of our house in Toronto, taken at various stages.


Pictures from the backyard.
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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
We went outside to dig up weeds from the backyard.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
But while we were out there, we decided to have a go at making a patio. The previous owner had left a bunch of patio stones just piled up in the backyard, so we started moving them and stacking them up, clearing a space.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
Here's some more of what we had to work with.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
There was also a whole lot of junk that we'll have to find some way of removing.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
Just sticking out of the ground are these really big blocks of concrete. I have no idea what they're for.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
They run at least as far as from where Kat is standing, to the spade.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
Kat digs around the one that's sticking out of the ground.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
She managed to get it free. If we removed it, though, we'd not only need to get rid of it somehow, but we'd need extra dirt to fill the big hole. So we opted to just dig out some extra dirt from the hole, and bury it entirely.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
Kat walks on it to push it down.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
And reburying it.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
Another job, while we're resting from the patio: the last of our back steps is pretty high off the ground, and supported by a random assortment of wood and bricks.

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Closeup of the support.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
Replacing the old support with a concrete step solves both problems.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 2 Jun, 2005)
Back to the patio. We did our best to level the ground, but some parts are packed down, and some are loose. So we covered the area with what weight we had; the plan is that over a couple of days, it'll pack down, and then we'll do another levelling. We'll also need some more patio stones.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 5 Jun, 2005)
Day 2: We strung a line parallel to the fence. This will be the edge of the patio. Next we started to move the bricks, relevel the ground, and carefully replace them.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 5 Jun, 2005)
We started in the corner; the first three bricks are placed. Each one takes a number of iterations of "remove brick; level ground; place brick; check", so it goes very slowly.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 5 Jun, 2005)
We got the four bricks in the corner levelled out with each other, and then called it a day.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 7 Jun, 2005)
Day 3: We bought eight more patio stones from Home Depot, and rented one of their 90-minute vans to bring them home.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 7 Jun, 2005)
We started laying the new stones, and made sure they're level.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 7 Jun, 2005)
Kat sits, after we laid the second set of four stones. They're different from the ones we had, so we're making a 2x2 checkerboard pattern.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 8 Jun, 2005)
Day 4: Kat levelled the ground for the next day of stone-laying.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 8 Jun, 2005)
We got through the next set of four white stones pretty quickly (they're quite a bit lighter than the grey stones), so we decided to just press on.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 8 Jun, 2005)
All sixteen stones laid! That was by far the hardest part of the job (or so we hoped).

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 14 Jun, 2005)
Day 5: We bought some soil to put around the edges of the patio, since the existing dirt probably isn't so plant-conducive.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 14 Jun, 2005)
Kat spreads the new soil.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 14 Jun, 2005)
Meanwhile, I tackle the path from the driveway to the patio (currently empty).

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 14 Jun, 2005)
We put bee balm near the corner of the patio.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 14 Jun, 2005)
The finished walkway consists of three steps, each one of the half-stones.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 14 Jun, 2005)
Over to the right of the shovel, you can see the lamb's ears.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 14 Jun, 2005)
Kat places the small stones around what will be the flower bed.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 14 Jun, 2005)
At the end of day 5.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 18 Jun, 2005)
Day 6: It's time to tend to the sorry state of the lawn in the rest of the backyard.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 18 Jun, 2005)
The first pass involves digging everything up to a depth of about 3".

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 18 Jun, 2005)
And then a second pass with the rake to break up all the clumps.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 18 Jun, 2005)
Meanwhile, Kat plants some more things in the flower bed.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 18 Jun, 2005)
After the yard is tilled, we pull out the grass seed.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 18 Jun, 2005)
We bought this handheld spreader, as the package of seed suggested.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 18 Jun, 2005)
But it turned out the spreader sucked, so Kat spread the seeds by hand after all.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 18 Jun, 2005)

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 18 Jun, 2005)
Another pass with the rake, and some watering, and we're done for the day. We only seeded the part of the backyard near the patio; if it works out, we'll fill out the rest.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 19 Jun, 2005)
Day 7: Kat adds more plants to the flower bed.

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The plants along the back porch.

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The plants along the fence.

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The plants in the standalone pot.

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Comment on this picture (Last update: 26 Jun, 2005)
One week later: in this extreme closeup, you can see that the grass is indeed starting to come up.

Up to Pictures of our old house in Toronto

This page last updated: 26 Jun, 2005


Ian Goldberg, ian@paip.net.
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