You need a bicycle powered excavator
What happens in one week?
Well, you're visiting and we want to have the place looking a little more respectable... :-)
Though there's a bit more to the story.
About 25 years ago we had a bunch of work done that included changing where the main entrance to the house was and putting in some low retaining walls and steps. Used some old railroad ties. Over time they rotted some, and the ants and other critters went at them, and the steps weren't all that safe for old folks especially in the winter. So both visually and practically there was reason to change.
There is a local guy, originally from Tibet, does stone walls and other stone work. Had him over, got an estimate, seemed rather expensive. As is often our habit, didn't pull the trigger.
Funny enough, a year passes and things haven't improved, in fact they've gotten worse. Turns out there is another Tibetan guy who does stone work, don't know if they are related or not. Get this guy over for an estimate. The good news was his price was about half as much. The bad news was his English is really shaky, so communication was difficult, at best. But his references checked out and we signed him up.
He and a co-worker got to us in August. Took them about a week. They just worked non-stop, unreal. But it was always hard to talk to them. And when they were done, the steps and the walls looked fine, but several plants were now in strange places and some work was certainly needed to make the place (or more specifically, the areas immediately adjacent to the walls and the steps) look more like a residence and less like a construction site.
I thought of trying to hire a landscaper, certainly could have done that, but thought it might be "interesting" to work on it myself. Arranged to get a couple of yards of loam/compost and 5 yards of chips delivered, and then went to work, the plan being to not just cover over stuff, for which the chips would have been sufficient, but also to put in some good soil and a few plants, including rescuing a couple of plants that had been moved places we weren't happy with.
Maybe 6 areas in all. Two medium-sized ones are done, a third (clearly the largest/hardest) is just about done. A fourth (small/medium) is partly done. A fifth (very small) shouldn't take long. And the sixth (medium/large), well, the amount of work will depend on how much loam/compost is left, which may not be much. And then there is a larger separate area where we'll just spread chips, way easier than trying to grow grass or moss. And that's right where the chips got dumped, so that won't be hard.
Things are already looking better, though of course way short of Rhonda's standards. :-)
Like with anything else, I get things done only when there is a deadline. Some dignitaries are expected here starting a week from now, so that seemed like a good deadline.
Well I am pleased to hear about your enthusiasm and initiative, and also pleased that it will be completed before the dignitaries arrive, especially as that will diminish the possibility that I might contemplate helping to dig!
Wait, is Barney a dignitary? He will be most pleased to examine the new landscaping.
Barney is probably a very eager dig-nitary as are most dogs when looking for something to eat..