As many of you may or may not know nearly two years ago my husband, and I moved into our new home. It’s a nice place that needed a little TLC that we were more than happy to provide, and it’s been shaping up rather nicely. After small apartments and even having roommates, it’s been an awesome experience for us.

The area that needed the most TLC was the yards, yes multiple with a lot of work. The front yard was so so but with two large and neglected trees. The side yards are small but have their own issues, and the backyard was large and completely neglected.

Honestly, I was happy to take on the challenge. Apartment living has denied me a yard for several years, and while I don’t have a green thumb, I do enjoy gardening and the things that come with it.

The first year we didn’t get much done, we moved in late summer, and there was little time before we were able to really tackle the challenge.

Last year I will admit that a lot of the fault of not much happening went to me. I did not work nearly as hard on it as I should have. What wasn’t my fault was the failure of the installed sod to actually take by a large percentage leaving us with a costly mess.

This year though I am working hard on it. The backyard was a mess, there was nothing there but dirt and weeds. The soil was of inferior quality and rock hard from never having anything done with it. It has three huge flower beds that were also neglected, a fourth small one, a built-in chicken run that was never finished and overgrown, and a gardening area that was also never finished.

I filled one of the flower beds with a nice looking mulch and then put all the various fossils I had collected in it, to give me one less flower bed to work with. My other flower bed attempts did not take off. I bought a lot of seed and something to help with the soil quality, and put seed on top of the failed sod hoping for the best.

So here we are spring 2019 and… I have a lot of work ahead of me. Some of the seed actually took well, and we are seeing the beginnings of grass. One of our neighbors gave us several bulbs for the flower beds and those are in place and *fingers crossed* will get us started. I have also done some more research into various plants and bushes that I can use for the flower beds. I cannot overemphasize how large they are “flower bed” really gives the wrong idea.

The bad part is the total, and complete neglect of the yard means that all this work we have done has also brought with it a lot of weeds. We are working fairly hard on that problem, and honestly as bad as it is this year it was much worse last year. Still, there is a lot of work to do, and this is just the backyard.

Our front side yard we haven’t had access to since we moved in, it’s a long story, so now we have to decide what to do with it. Our back side yard just needs to be cleaned up and probably some seed thrown down. It has a decent amount of grass already and given its size I don’t plan on using it for much more than the current wood storage anyway. Our front yard I am hoping just to xeriscape. Put down rocks, or something similar, with a few beds of native plants that don’t require a lot of work. We had to cut down the trees, they were neglected for far too long, so at this point nothing big.

For the backyard the list for what I hope to finish this spring/summer

-Clean out the run and finish the chicken coop and then get chickens.

-Clean out the garden area and if it’s too late to plant in it then get it prepared for next year

-Dig up the Birds of Paradise that have overtaken the garden area and move them to the flower beds

-Continue to try to get ahead of the weed problem and get more grass to grow

-Fix up the spot for the fire pit (that is in the back) and get a little fire pit for it. Also, surround it with bricks to reduce fire hazard

-Get a cover or something for by the pit so it can be more weather protected

-Fill up the flower beds a decent amount so hopefully by next spring I won’t need to plant more, and just things continue to grow

-Find a better location for our composter (it’s not doing well)

-Possibly plant a small tree or two in the backyard to help make up for the missing ones in the front

It will continue to be hard work, but I am hopeful that if we keep going on this path, we should have beautiful yards and a project for me to keep up with for years to come. I like working outside, I like seeing the progress, I like watching the yard go from nothing to having life. I hope by the end of this spring/summer season I will be mostly set up for success moving forward.

7 thoughts

  1. That list is very similar to the to-do list we have at our place. Will be great to see your progress. Love fire pits so nice on fall evenings. We had to move ours and haven’t replaced it yet. Need to add that back to our list.

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    1. Thanks, it already looks worlds better than that picture, it was the most drastic look at what it was when we moved in. It will be a lot of work but between myself, my husband, and family members we have the skill and desire so *fingers crossed*

      I hope your list goes well as well lol

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  2. As a self landscaper I see from your picture you have a drainage problem that needs addressing. Then add sod to the yard with sprinkler system. Then plant trees to screen the telephone pole and house beyond. Maybe a cluster of three redwoods or birch trees depending on where you live. Buy them about six feet tall as babies so they’ll take root.
    Never buy mature trees. They grow fast.

    Then in the planting areas put flowering vines to cover the aging fence like wisteria. It will attach itself and send runners along the fence. Plant flowering plants or bushes in front of them. Add new bags of dirt to new plants. Then add shredded redwood mulch on the dirt around plants to soak up water. Hook the plants to drip line. Put a bird bath somewhere. Done.

    You can do all the planting yourself but will need help with the drainage, sod, and sprinkler install. Be sure to buy a wheelbarrow. Your yard will be full of birds and butterflies. Your fingernails will be short but who cares.

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  3. I’m excited to see what happens.. And I wish I could be there to help you out with whatever is needed.. You have a good head on your shoulders and can figure anything out.. You got this love!!! But you should totally plant some ridiculous plant and name it Hooli for me.. K Thanks!

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