Since we did not have random firecrackers shooting all over the land out here, we were spared from any sudden wildfires burning up the place. I think the trade off was pretty fair. But my wife still wanted her star in the front yard, so this extra long weekend, a star is what she got.
The plan all along has been to find different areas of the yard that we can create small "islands" that are not filled with grass. In reality, our entire property is one big island not filled with grass. The idea though, is that if we create these different landscape features first, it will save us on putting down grass where we later end up removing it. Some of the features will have ground cover, something like an Asiatic Jasmine that is easy to maintain once it is established (hello, Mr. Weedwhacker!), or maybe some small places with annuals. Other places will be more functional for enjoying like our two islands in the back filled with decayed granite and outfitted with chairs and such. Eventually, where we have clumps of several trees close to one another, there will be some sort of border around them. Grass never wants to grow under them, so I may as well not spend the money on sod.
But, to the star. We had seen a house in Castroville where somebody had made a really huge planter in the shape of a star and my wife fell in love with it immediately. In the case of that one, it was very well done with nice rock and limestone, probably 12 to 14 inches high and at least 20 feet from top to bottom and side to side. We have driven by the home and seen it filled with a variety of flowers and it really looks nice. I have not yet learned the skills be a stone mason or brick layer, and certainly don't care to experiment in my front yard, but I have figured out how to build some forms and pour concrete in between them. And since my wife doesn't mind getting her hands dirty, she can go behind me with a trowel and make things all smooth.
Sonic (how thoughtful was that?) she confessed that she had no idea what I was doing, and how a square would turn into a star.
Quikrete. Since we have been out here, I'd say I have mixed about 50 or 60 bags. You'd think at this point I would just buy a cement mixer, but I'm pretty happy with the old fashioned wheelbarrow and shovel method.