Once an idea had been formed about the divisions of the property, I rolled up sleeves and began to dig in. Literally. It didn’t take long to realize my little endeavor was a larger undertaking than I imagined. Landscape paint helped with the lines, once I finalized the patterns and spaces. But oh… my plot grew exponentially to my efforts. It was going to take more than my army of one to win this battle. Even with Jim’s encouragement and help, my grand plans were overwhelming me.

At least my beds were marked and decided upon. It was just a matter of execution with the least amount of time and effort. To be honest I minded the time it was going to take more than the sacrifice of my body to make it happen. All that was needed initially was to get the grass up. So a sod cutter was the solution. To rent one was nominal. It was initially $40 at the time. I decided it was affordable to use it two days. That cut the time it took from maybe months, at my pace, to a day or two (I actually had it done in hours). Once the sod was up the garden began to emerge and excite my imagination even more than before. It looked like something, even if the plants were missing. You could see the plan… not just imagine it. It was more than “ground breaking”. It was transforming.

Once the sod was cut and the strips could be rolled, it was a question of what to do with it. Compost it? Dump/haul it? We decided to offer it on the neighborhood website to anyone who needed instant grass. First come first serve. It was snapped up in hours. People with dog trots, with new construction, and various reasons were glad to pick it up. We didn’t even have to deliver it. We learned, however, to make our rolls small. It gets heavy quickly.

If I had it to do over again, I might possibly have just tilled the grounds and dragged a stripped old fashioned bed boxspring back and forth to level the lot (if you can find them anymore). Then resow the grass paths and “rooms” where I wanted it between the lines. Kind of the reverse of what I did. Maybe? I’m not sure. But this is how the vacant lot went from empty… to the promise of more to come.

Taking shape. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

Digging in. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

Roll ups. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello
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