Home ownership has a middle name. It’s called “continuous work.” For the past couple of years, I’ve had work done on my house that has caused both my front and back yards to not get the care they needed.

When the steps to my bungalow almost collapsed last year, I had to have new steps poured and new side walls built. I was left with a bunch of old bricks that I preferred not to throw away. So I ended up lining the front of my house with those bricks. I also had some brick pavers. I ended up paving the little bit of yard between my front walkway and my neighbor’s gangway.

I will not miss having to mow that little piece of grass. I left about a foot of dirt so that I can still have a flower bed on that side. I planted about a hundred tulip bulbs, and this spring, it was absolutely enjoyable to watch all the different tulip colors slowly emerge from the ground. As the tulips died back, I had zinnia flower seeds, which I sowed, and now they have grown into a beautiful floral border for the sidewalk.

I laid in a bunch of grass seed and my front yard is green, although there is still a significant amount of weeds in it. I will be spending time using weed-and-feed to kill the unwanted green growth. But it’s looking very nice out front and the hard work I put into it is paying off.

I also decided that since the front yard was coming along so nicely, I should tackle the backyard. Years ago, I built a retaining wall. It’s the perfect seating area should I have a large gathering, but it’s also difficult to get the lawn mower to cut the grass in front of it. So I decided to take on a new project. I decided that rocks in front of the wall would be my updated look.

At the same time, a friend who lives way south in Park Forest decided she no longer wanted the rocks that were in front of her house. She hired a man and he dug up 29 black bags of rocks. I’d say each bag held over a hundred pounds of rock.

The man took 20 of the bags away, but left nine. And after repeatedly calling the man to get the final nine bags, my friend was frustrated because she just wanted them gone.

Since I needed rocks for my now redesigned backyard, I told her I would take the rocks. I took my own black bags and divided the rocks into second and third bags because they were so heavy. On my last trip home with the rocks, there was a young gentleman who stopped his car and asked if I needed help getting them out of the car and onto the back sidewalk. And I admitted I did. And he lifted those rocks like they were nothing. So to the young gentleman driving that Jeep, thank you so very much!

 I ended up spending over two weeks cleaning those rocks because they were covered with dirt, dried grass clippings and other miscellaneous garbage. I dug up the dirt from in front of the wall, added a double layer of landscape fabric and slowly but surely added buckets of clean rocks to that area.

If you don’t like doing yard work, rocks are a great way to decorate.

But be forewarned, it takes a lot of rocks to fill an area nicely.