Math Is Real Life! Landscaping Math

It’s the first Wednesday of July which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!!  If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!  
If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs – feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!
A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by
So…it’s been a long time coming, but our landscaping project is finally finished.  We met with the landscaper LAST FALL to get a plan…we had some settling and were starting to get water draining back to the house.  We live on a ravine so we have kind of left our backyard a little…um….”natural” to this point.  So here’s what we started with…

Hard to tell..but this part of our lawn was like a roller coaster.
Here’s where we had CONSIDERED maybe sort of trying to level things out on our own.  Fail. 

So…after the weather finally cleared enough that our landscaper could drive his big equipment back there…the fun began.

Step one…a little bobcat to start leveling things off and delivery after delivery of HUGE amount of “nature”.

15 tons of this 
10,000 pounds of this 
25 cubic yards of this… (It is SO hard for me to visualize “cubic yards”!)

Seriously…the “numbers” just astounded me.

15 tons of boulders
10,000 pounds of clear rock
1,500 pounds of river rock
15 cubic yards of mulch
25 cubic yards of soil
1200 square feet of landscaping fabric
150 ft of drain tile
50 feet of edging
50 pounds of grass seed
30 pounds of fertilizer
8 bales of straw
5 inch drop in elevation for drainage

I just knew I had to blog about it…I was just amazed at our landscapers estimation techniques!  He paced off areas….stopped and thought…and then would say “That looks like about 15 yards of soil there.” or he walked the length of the “soon to be wall” and said…I think I can do 3-4 courses of stone…will probably need 15 tons of boulders.”  And he was RIGHT!  Always!

He had 6 rocks left.  SIX.  That’s IT!

He had exactly the right amount of straw…
He had exactly the right amount of river rock…

So…in addition to be amazed at the huge amount of weight added to our yard…I totally saw estimation skills and math at their finest!  It was interesting to watch.  He got out the transit to make sure the elevation was correct, but he had even eyeballed that correctly.  I definitely felt like NOT an expert, but it was fun to watch someone totally in their measurement element.  Of course…there was even MORE math involved like…

The PRICE!  Yikes…

The number of gallons of water used to water the new grass…

The number of hours spent moving sprinklers…

..and so on!  Hope you take the time to check out the other “real life math” examples in this linky!  Thanks for stopping by.