We bought the house we now live in late last year and when I first toured the house with the Realtor (I’m not sure she’s an actual REALTOR) one of the first things I did was look at the backyard. After walking out on the deck and peering over its edge onto a backyard that had a severe slope that started right after the deck supports and ended up about 12 feet down the hill, I immediately said, “No way!”
But after looking at a dozen more houses and finding nothing comparable for the price, I did what we all do when we REALLY want something, but when there are valid reasons for not getting it…I rationalized.
I rationalized that I could plant grass and shrubs on it and it would be beautiful. I rationalized that I could build steps down the side leading to the flat area down by the creek. And indeed, all these things have come to pass (well, I wouldn’t call it “beautiful” at this point just yet).
However, having had to weed-eat this hill (since it’s far too steep for a mower), while trying to keep from sliding down the hill at every step, I finally decided maybe it was time to re-think my idea. And again…I rationalized, except this time I started thinking about this hill and my caring for it when I’m in my 50s. It went something like this:
“Do I really want to be trying to cut this grass without breaking my neck when my body is 15 years older and more beat up than it is now? Will I be able to afford some kid to come do it for me? What if they don’t do a good job? What if he hurts himself while trying to cut it and he sues me?
So, I finally decided that, while I could leave the shrubs and small trees, perhaps I should just lay down a thick carpet of pine straw and be done with it. And so, I headed to my local Mega-Home Upkeep Mart and bought 12 bales of pinestraw.
It didn’t even cover a 1/3 of it. And have you ever tried to walk on pinestraw? It’s very slippery, especially on a 15 degree slope. There’s apparently some trick to laying down pinestraw on a hill and as far as I can tell, it’s basically that you put the bale on your left, grab some in your hand and throw it on your right. Forget trying to do it uphill/downhill. As I found out, you’ll only sliiiide down the hill every time.
So now I’m considering having someone drop me off another 30 bales and finishing the job. They wanted about $5.50 per bale (spread) for someone else to do it and I can buy just the bales for $3.49 at the Mega-Home Upkeep Mart, so that’s a good bit o’ savings. My only question now is how I’ll refresh it every year. I won’t be able to climb all over the hill to lay a new layer like I did this time. I might just have to stand at the top and toss it down. I’m sure the coverage would be excellent (NOT!).