Posted by ngs123 | Posted in Generally Speaking, Past meetings | Posted on 02-10-2011
Our task this meeting was to take the dry creek bed that Suzi had started some time back and bring it to the level of excellence that we have come to expect of the B’z.
Runoff is a frequent problem in yards with a steep slope, and in Suzi’s yard the runoff from the downspout and rain barrel overflow needed to be directed and not allowed to just cut a gully through the yard. Suzi had begun to try to take it in hand, but it was a daunting task for one person and it was understandable that she had been putting off dealing with it.
The first step was to move the old weed blocking material out of the way and till the path intended to direct the runoff. Then the dirt was mounded on the sides and sloped toward the middle. The whole trick of the thing is to make it look natural and not like a sluice.
You need to be a bit of a Rock Whisperer to get the rocks placed so that they look like they were deposited there naturally. You must overcome your need for order and neatness, and embrace a little chaos. Keep in mind the natural streams you have seen, and allow the sloppy edges in nature to be your guide.
“Where did these rocks come from?” you may wonder. Well, some came from Nancy’s yard in the area she calls the rock garden because rocks just sprout up from the ground there. Some we dug up from Suzi’s yard or relocated from other areas. Any unattached rock is fair game as far as we are concerned, and we are not above stopping on the side of the road to pick up a worthy specimen from the ditch.
All of the toting and hauling and rearranging paid off big-time in the end. Some plants and some big chunks of the pine trees that fell in the yard one rainy, windy evening were relocated and the results were even better than we anticipated. Sometimes we shock and surprise ourselves, and this was, I think, one of those times. We were amazed at the transformation – the best part of every meeting! And we could hardly believe how easy this was to do.
Another thing we have fun with is what we call “gilding the lily” which is where we add the little touches that put the design over the top and really bring in the “oohs” and “ahhs.” Here a red chair adds some pop to a corner that wasn’t even noticed before.
Practicality comes through all we do, too. Suzi needed a path across the creekbed for a wheelbarrow or mower to traverse, so we took some of the flattest and largest stones and made a path that won’t stop the water’s path, but will allow her to get from one side to the other easily.
We all agree that the B’z meeting days are among our favorite days of the month. When we began this adventure we never realized that it would be just as much fun to work in someone else’s yard as it is to work in our own. The synergy of ideas that we have when we all come together is what makes it such a transformative experience – for the yards and for us! Each of us contributes a unique perspective and a unique talent, and we are all important to the process. I would recommend starting a group like the Backyard B’z to anyone. But you would be fortunate indeed to find a group of women as fabulous as our four!