The Dirt

Neighborhood Workday to the rescue!

John and Michael spread mulch in the front yard.
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Miyako offered to transplant my ‘Casa Blanca’ lilies that were buried in the weeds in my back yard!
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Kerry and Dave set stones for the patio extension.
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Break for lunch!
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Weeding and mulching near the driveway.
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
My father-in-law, the hardest-working man I know, taking a breather at last.
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Rob spreading concrete in the basement. Go Rob!
We’d made quite a dent in the mulch pile by lunchtime!
Mulch is a wonderful, wonderful thing, on so many levels!
All set up and ready for a baby shower!
Party time!
A beautiful day for a baby shower! Made possible by the Five Families. Thanks, guys!
John and Michael spread mulch in the front yard.
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Miyako offered to transplant my ‘Casa Blanca’ lilies that were buried in the weeds in my back yard!
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Kerry and Dave set stones for the patio extension.
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Break for lunch!
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Weeding and mulching near the driveway.
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
My father-in-law, the hardest-working man I know, taking a breather at last.
Photo/Illustration: Photo by Laura Allen
Rob spreading concrete in the basement. Go Rob!
We’d made quite a dent in the mulch pile by lunchtime!
Mulch is a wonderful, wonderful thing, on so many levels!
All set up and ready for a baby shower!
Party time!
A beautiful day for a baby shower! Made possible by the Five Families. Thanks, guys!

I can barely move this morning. My joints are stiff, my muscles are screaming, and I’m so happy! On Saturday the “Neighborhood Workday” came to my house.

For those of you who have never heard me talk about the Neighborhood Workday, I’ll explain. I live in a closely knit neighborhood. We call ourselves “The Five Families,” and we spend lots of time together for barbeques, potlucks, competitive games of pool, and bonfires by the river. But our friendship goes beyond fun. We share a communal lawn mower and snow blower, and we’re always available to help each other move heavy objects—which happens more often than you’d think. We invented the Neighborhood Workday a couple of years ago. One weekend a month, we go to one of our houses where the host supplies breakfast and lunch, and everyone works on the house and garden for the day.

My husband and I had a long list for our workday this year.

-Pour a concrete slab in one room of the basement

-Weed and edge all the garden beds

-Spread 4 yards of mulch onto said beds

-Extend our stone patio about 5 more feet with leftover stone from the original project

-Prepare the patio for a baby shower that would take place there the next day

After a breakfast of eggs, sausage, bagels, donuts and coffee, we all got to work. The men sequestered themselves in the basement with the cement mixer while the ladies started weeding. By lunch time the slab was done and the mulch had been delivered and was well on its way to my garden beds. We broke for pizza and salad, and finished up the afternoon with more mulching and the patio. Amazing!

In the late afternoon we decorated the patio for the shower, and then we all collapsed. A long and productive day! It’s amazing what 12 people can accomplish when they work together. My neighbors and friends are amazing, and I can’t thank them enough. Next month we head over to Brian and Miyako’s house. Hopefully I’ll be able to move by then…

View Comments

Comments

  1. rgreayer 09/14/2009

    Wow - I love one day makeovers...my experience is that unless you do it all in one day, too much pain has set in to be up for it on day 2 or 3 or...

  2. sweetrebecca 09/14/2009

    Great Idea! I've done this a TON at our local schools, but never for my neighbors. Since you've seen my neighborhood ('patchy' in areas is an understatement)...it's an excellent idea! Especially since I have so many gardening friends that would love to spruce up our street!

    It's great seeing photos of your garden, too - so GREEN and lovely!

  3. DaffodilPlanter 09/14/2009

    What a great community of neighbors. Don't move away!

  4. Conon1 09/15/2009

    Outstanding, I love the concept. I want to move into your neighborhood. Let us know when there is an opening.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Video

View All