Sunday, March 22, 2009


Our backyard is not finished. Well, not completely. We have sprinklers and grass, a few trees and a play area. The border area around the yard, intended for plants at some indeterminate time in the future, is void. It is supposed to be covered in mulch, but over time, the mulch has been shifted and relocated. Mostly by the dogs. Mostly by Jake.

There is little point in trying to plant anything along the back fence line because Jake has a friend behind us. Another dog. They bark and bark at each other every day, running up and down the fence line. We've spread the mulch back out along that fence more times than I can count and it always ends up in mounds on the edges within a few days. Funny thing is that if Jake and this other dog ever got to meet in person, without the fence between them, they would probably be buddies. Jake is a friendly dog. But, they bark and run, run and bark.

I hate mulch. Partly because of Jake, but mostly because of it's general ineffectiveness. Because of the wind here, it tends to fly away. You have to rake it every season, and should replenish it often - which we don't do. We got some free mulch from the city last year and won't make that mistake again. It was free for a reason.

When we first landscaped the backyard, we opted for mulch over rocks because it was what we were used to seeing. Coming from California, rocks weren't a normal part of landscaping. But after being here for a few years, I see the practicality of it. They don't dislodge from dogs running on them. They don't fly away in the wind. Once they are in, they are in.

We do have a large area of river rock on the side of the house, which currently is a thorn in my side. For whatever reason, the girls love the rocks. They play with them. They move them all over the backyard, leave them at the doorstep. They put them in the play area, where the mulch is supposed to be. Ally is particular is fascinated with the rocks. I wouldn't mind so much, but I've grown tired of the mulch being in the wrong place and the rocks being in the wrong place. It's time for a change.

What I would love to do, which may or may not happen anytime soon is to change the backyard. I want all the mulch out of the back. I hate it. Really, I hate it. It sticks to everything and gets all over the kids clothes. I want to put sand in the play area and put rocks all around the perimeter.

We'll see if it happens. I doubt it, but a girl can dream, right? Maybe the backyard fairy will come and magically change it for me. ;)

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