Taking a break from writing anything too controversial over the summer, my wife and I have been renovating the backyard of our parents’ house. My father has never been much of a landscaper. This isn’t to say that he didn’t have a green thumb; one of my clearest childhood memories is the garden we had out back, full of lettuce and strawberries and carrots and so forth. He just hasn’t cared much for keeping up a lawn when you live in Seattle and sometimes it feels like lawns are optional when you can also just let the forest take over your house. Thus, we probably have more square feet of ferns than grass in our yards, and nobody really seems to care.
Our house is shaded because we live in the forest, but this hasn’t stopped me from trying to grow a garden. Yesterday, we both had the day off so we decided to work on trying to figure out what to do with the backyard. As we walked around the overgrown yard, we noticed a small concrete slab sticking out of the moss. Taking our shovels, we begin to uncover what we thought was at first a single piece of concrete. It turned out that buried under an inch of moss and rich dirt was an entire patio.
We felt like Indiana Jones. Both my wife and I have always had that childhood dream of digging in the backyard and discovering something before your time (who hasn’t had that childhood dream?). The exhilaration of discovering this led to an afternoon of digging and scraping and brushing until we finally uncovered the entire patio.
When we lifted up the stones, though, to examine what lay underneath, to our dismay we discovered construction sand and a concrete foundation that most likely stretches throughout the entire backyard! It turns out we’re going to have to build containers for our garden, but this only served to slightly dampen our otherwise epic discovery.
We have great plans for the backyard this summer. Notably, we may look into building a fire pit (depending on the city’s codes) and having s’more parties and barbecues. And, of course, we look forward to planting, growing, and harvesting a bounty of vegetables and herbs in the coming months!