The reasons for this is the combined lack of effort from a contractor initially, compounded by my own lacklustre performance at completing the tasks that were left over. Another factor that contributed to the mess was one that many people may have experienced with their own DIY efforts, which is that we kept changing our minds over what we were planning to do.

Firstly, it was going to be a ‘simple replacement of retaining walls,’ (oh how I wish it was that easy.)

Then we thought that having some chickens would be good, considering the space we have available for our desires.

Afterwards, we decided that we would level the back lawn, put in a fenced-off kids’ area, an extended paved area to supervise the kids while they play in the backyard, straighten and redo the path along the eastern fence-line.

As a result, the backyard has resembled a wasteland for almost two years, with materials for retaining walls creating some issues, mostly visual (eg: the front carport and backyard look less than appealing.)

And so the challenge is laid bare for all to see!

And so the challenge is laid bare for all to see!

The rules for the challenge have been put in place by my wife Linda and they are as follows:

1 The budget for each week of the challenge is, surprise, surprise, $20.
2 I can’t spend any of the budget in advance.
3 If something costs more than $20, it has to be paid off in instalments.
4 Receipts for ALL items, materials, etc, have to be kept and displayed.
5 If I don’t/can’t spend any money in a particular week, I still have to do something in the garden, (for example pruning or removing trees, making a garden feature from available materials/items, or from items I salvage, have donated to the challenge, etc.)
5a If friends or relatives want to help with the challenge, paying them in kind with BBQ and some beer/wine, etc, is perfectly acceptable.
7 Have approximately two years to complete the challenge.

(No doubt there may be a bit of tweaking of the rules during the ongoing challenge, but that just makes things interesting I reckon.)

Well, any comments or thoughts, suggestions or otherwise, within reason and taste will be gladly accepted. Also, if you’re having a few issues of your own and you’re after some gardening or building advice, do as I do and ask someone who knows what they’re doing.

As for me, I’m a pretty much learning as I go, and bringing everyone along for the ride. (Hope it’s not too much like a trainwreck lol).


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