Playground assembly complete!

At least, the structure itself is complete. We still have to finish the edging and add mulch.

The rock wall, assembled on the garage floor

The rock wall, assembled on the garage floor

The rock wall, with rocks attached

The rock wall, with rocks attached

The swing arm, with hardware attached

The swing arm, with hardware attached

Kyle, showing off his climbing skills

Kyle, showing off his climbing skills

Land Ho!

Land Ho!

Wheeeeeee!

Wheeeeeee!

A wide view of the playground. The swings are all that remains to assemble.

A wide view of the playground. The swings are all that remains to assemble.

The three boys having fun on the swings

The three boys having fun on the swings

The completed playground

The completed playground

Playground assembly continues

After I installed the ladder, Kyle climbs up into the playset for the first time

After I installed the ladder, Kyle climbs up into the playset for the first time

Daddy! The slide is missing!

Daddy! The slide is missing!

Uh-oh...

Uh-oh...

Tuesday evening I installed two of the roof panels. They were still waiting to be raised on Wednesday

Tuesday evening I installed two of the roof panels. They were still waiting to be raised in this photo

Wednesday evening, after finishing the two roofs and installing the fence panels and climbing handles. All that is left is the rock wall, slide, and swings.

Wednesday evening, after finishing the two roofs and installing the fence panels and climbing handles. All that is left is the rock wall, slide, and swings.

Playground assembly, day 1

This weekend we began assembly of the playground. We started by sorting all the parts.

The four boxes of wooden parts, sorted and labeled by part number

The four boxes of wooden parts, sorted and labeled by part number

The hardware, sorted and bagged up by assembly step number. There are 38 steps in the assembly process, and we have a separate hardware bag for every 1 or 2 steps.

The hardware, sorted and bagged up by assembly step number. There are 38 steps in the assembly process, and we have a separate hardware bag for every 1 or 2 steps.

Assembly started with the main structure, which includes six vertical posts and a number of connecting planks

Steps 1-5 completed. Only 33 more to go!

Steps 1-5 completed. Only 33 more to go!

Hard at work

Hard at work

At the end of the day, 7 steps completed.

At the end of the day, 7 steps completed.

Kyle is so excited about his new play set. He kept coming over during the day to see what we were doing, and near the end we couldn’t stop him from climbing around on it.

The yard work never ends

We started out the day with a delivery of 2-1/2 yards of garden mix soil.

mmmmmm...... manure

mmmmmm...... manure

Katra brought wheelbarrow loads to the back and began filling in the beds where they were still low. We never had a chance to fill in behind the new garden wall last year.

The flower bed by the pergola, before the new soil

The flower bed by the pergola, before the new soil

The same bed after Katra moved some plants, installed some other plants, and filled up the beds. We still have to mulch.

The same bed after Katra moved some plants, installed some other plants, and filled up the beds. We still have to mulch.

During lunch and later in the day, I began widening another bed over against the east fence. We decided to do this to make the bed blend more with the play center area, and because it was too narrow in parts.

After lunch, with the sod cut back part way

After lunch, with the sod cut back part way. If you look closely, you can see the cut line extending towards the back of the yard

The final product, with the whole bed tilled and a few plants moved in from other locations.

The final product, with the whole bed tilled and a few plants moved in from other locations.

The sargentina crabapples are in full bloom. The smell of these flowers fills the entire yard.

The sargentina crabapples are in full bloom. The smell of these flowers fills the entire yard.

Just because we’re crazy.

Katra and I realized we were in danger of actually finishing a few of the projects we’re working on, so we decided to add a new project. A BIG new project. For several years now, we have been talking about installing a play center (swings, slides, etc.) for Kyle and Ian in the back yard. With this year’s tax refund, we decided to pull the trigger. Costco has a new set this year made by Rainbow that fit the bill, so yesterday we rented a truck from Lowe’s and hauled home the 7 boxes (4 of which weigh 200-300 pounds each) and installed them in the half of our garage that wasn’t already occupied by miscellaneous detritus from other projects.

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More screws than the crew of This Old House has installed over their entire careers

More screws than the crew of This Old House has installed over their entire careers

Ship's wheel, telescope, swings, etc.

Ship's wheel, telescope, swings, etc.

The play center will be installed in a mulched area of our back yard, so we also bought some concrete blocks to do edging around the mulch.

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Today we plotted out the play center area in the back yard, brought in 600 pounds of topsoil to level the area the play center will be sitting on, and dug a small trench around the play area to install the blocks in. I plotted out the play area in the computer, then we transferred the measurements out to the yard. We’re still trying to figure out to do with the sod we dug out of the trenches (anyone need some 4″ wide strips of sod?)

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Incidentally, you can also see our redbud and cherry plum trees behind the play area, which are currently in glorious full bloom.