Hey, what's new with you? Tell us about yourself.
Things have gotten pretty crazy around here the past couple years. All good things I guess, but I didn't have time to post much at all this year.

My wife went back to work in April 2013 and I got 3 new university classes to teach. The classes eat up two weekday mornings I used to have for Halloween. Great to have work, but it means less time for other things.

I also started running and exercising regularly about 2.5 years ago. I run 5k and do some push ups and crunches, 3-4 times per week. Again, it's good that I've been able to keep it up, but it makes me tired :lol:
I don't have a lot of energy after that and work. I read the forums and just want to head to bed ...

However, the big (new) drain on time this year was a small park (just a front yard really) we built this year in front of our house.


While I say, "we built", I really mean we paid people to build it and then took care of it. I personally planted some of the flowers :)
I can at least say that I designed the place (a bit.) I gave some drawings to the landscaper and it took shape from there.

Here 's a look at the start:

the land as it was


had a good amount of unkept forest cleared:

guys building the front parking area for my English school:


filled the place with 5 truckloads of dirt:



add grass:


From there it would seem pretty simple to just water and move on, but I spent hours every day in spring weeding, watering all those flowers and new trees in the rocks, clearing sections to plant ground cover and cutting the weeds in the adjacent land. The effort was worth it in the end, but I'm not sure I can keep it up year after year.

Anyway, just sharing some good news with you guys. Unfortunately it keeps me from the posting on the forums, but I'm still here every day. :phantom:
What a progression your landscaping project has seen. From just a plot of unkempt land, to a smooth and inviting "park." Good work! (the flower planting and hiring of other people, hehe). Seriously, the project must give you a sense of accomplishment.

I like seeing updates like this. Happy to hear that fitness and work are going well and keeping you busy. mesmark, you'll always be considered a "regular" around here, even if you don't get to post much during some phases of life. Cheers!
Wow! :shock: What an amazing difference! Even if you didn't do all the initial work, it takes a lot of work to keep everything looking the way you want and planning everything out. It really looks amazing and something you will all enjoy for many many years!
That's a real transformation Mes. It looks fantastic. I know the perils of gardening myself having a reasonably large one. Weed, weed, weed, every year those little blighter's come back with a vengeance. I've settled on a semi wild look it's much easier. Yours is gorgeous and i'm sure it'll stay that way. And it's great to hear you're doing well both work and fitness wise even if it does take you away from the forums. Just don't lurk too much, I need prop inspiration! :D
I agree! I haven't been around as much as I would have liked but you had undertaken a massive project. Going to have to start calling you Capability Mark! Massive transformation on a huge scale.
Thanks! The new yard project is definitely worth it for me. I have a small strip of land behind my house but I rarely see it, other than when I go back there to tend it. The front area I see all of the time. So, it''s nice to walk out and see it looking good.

I still have a lot to do, but some of the ground cover plants have spread a bit . Hopefully those will reduce weeding a bit,

MM - yeah, I need to find a balance at some point. My wife doesn't want me to use any chemicals on the place, so it really is a battle. (I agree with the organic lawn idea, but sometimes I go back and forth :) )

There were a lot of great patterns this year that I didn't get to carve. That ought to get me into the mood a bit more for Halloween 2015.