Mar 13, 2015

An Area to Play

Recently I shared with you the new-to-us swing set our friends were kind enough to gift us. And when Cameron and Pat installed the swing set, there were no weeds/grass to obstruct the girls fun here. But, as you saw in the pictures, the weeds/grass were quickly taking over. 



On President's Day, when the girls were playing and I was stomping down space for them to swing through, I thought back to the swing set I had growing up. And I remember that my parents had the area surrounded by gravel on top of a weed barrier to prevent exactly this from happening. So of course I mentioned this to Cameron. And he was right there with me in our need to do the same for our girls. Since we have some wood boards left over from when we had the dog pen patio poured, we thought we would repurpose these framing boards for the girls play area.



But first we had to remove the weeds, which were now about 2 1/2 feet tall, and thick! This past Sunday, I got the process started. Cameron was up in Chico most of the day and had taken Sydney to spend the day with her Grammi so it was just London and I. After London and I made our weekly journey to Costco and had a lunch date courtesy of her favorite place, McDonald's, I asked if she wanted to go play on the swing set. Of course she did - she asks almost daily if she can. 


While London played, I got down to business, clearing a good chunk of weeds for the space we planned to frame in and cover with gravel. 

After Monday, all that was left of the weeds was that pile of green in the back right corner.

Luckily, Cameron had shown me a great and easy way to rid the ground of weeds when we were out planting more trees in our growing orchard the day before. Basically, you use a shovel to scrape the first layer of dirt and weeds away. Instead of digging the shovel in deep to the ground, you tilt it to almost parallel to the ground and almost slide it across the surface, maybe getting the end of it a 1/2" to 1" below the surface. 


Obviously this won't fix the weed problem forever, since not all the roots are being pulled up, but this clears the ground long enough for us to get a tree in the ground or to get weed barrier paper down and gravel on top of that. 


Cameron and I continued the removal of weeds this week, working on it as soon as we got done with work Monday and Tuesday. The weed removal was completed Tuesday and Cameron was also able to complete the small trench he created using a pick ax on Tuesday as well. We sunk the wood boards into this trench for added support and so the gravel doesn't slip out below the wood frame. 



Yesterday, after work we were able to not only build the frame and lay down the weed barrier paper, but we were also able get most of the gravel into the frame, just before the sun went down. 


Can you tell the girls are enjoying their new play area? Now on to the Chicken Coop!


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