We rented the Bobcat on Saturday, and Rick did a masterful job of scraping away our grass and leveling out our yard to prevent water from pooling in our entryway. Masterful except for the little boo-boo of cutting our Verizon fiber optic cable, thereby killing our TV, Internet and telephone service. In all fairness, the cable was only buried about 4 inches deep. Still I couldn't resist the opportunity to remind my husband (a Risk and Safety Manager) of the admonition to "Call Before You Dig."
The very nice Verizon repair technician who repaired our cable Sunday afternoon said that those little accidents happen all the time, and we weren't even charged for the repair!
Rick became quite proficient in using the mini-Bobcat, as you can see from the video clip I attached to this post, and it only took about half a day to completely scrape and level our yard. Several neighbors stopped by to observe. I think the men were jealous of Rick and his Bobcat.
Our yard is completely naked now (one neighbor described it as "Armageddon") but we are now almost ready to begin planting new plants in our backyard. I expect to have the design for our backyard landscape this week. All we have to do then is to roll out ground-covering weed mat, spray paint where our walkways will be and then begin buying and installing plants! We have 15 cubic yards of mulch being delivered on Wednesday and it will have to go in our front yard. The pile will be there for several weeks while we plant, so we feel very fortunate to live in a neighborhood where people will tolerate a temporary Mulch Mountain in someone's yard. I did manage to transplant lots of African iris from the front and back yards to either side of the house,and Mother Nature was kind enough to water them well on Sunday.
Speaking of water, our other major accomplishment this weekend was in finishing our rain barrels and completing our gutter installation. I spray painted the barrels and we had the gutter installer cut and angle the downspouts so they empty directly into our rain barrels. Sunday's downpours were a test drive and they worked beautifully. In fact, our rain barrels filled up and overflowed, just like they are supposed to do. I will use the barrels to supply water to my transplants this week and, soon, to our new landscape plants. It was a good weekend!