Saturday, June 29, 2013

"BEFORE" and maybe "HALFWAY" ?

I've been working on the yard....
And I've decided to share the awfulness of it.
But I could not find any "BEFORE" photos, when it was REALLY awful.
Only when it was just plain AWFUL.
So maybe if you try really hard, you can imagine an outdoor space
with an enclosed backyard area.
A tall privacy fence that I had made of discarded wood of varying colors.
Here's a photo of it covered in snow. 
Snow makes it look better, more clean.
There's crazy little Ralphie, just before jumping into the tree.
(I don't want to talk about him, that makes me sad.)
Here's a good ugly photo.
Not sure why I took that except maybe to show the tops of the trees?
Tall trees arching over from the neighbors yard to meet my huge Weeping Willow.
Those formed a shady spot where the ground was pounded down to dirt and only weeds like creeping charlie attempted to grow.
While this formed a private place away from prying eyes, 
it also refused to let the sunshine in.
And then of course the Weeping Willow was starting to die.
One huge limb came down on my house.
and it was just a matter of time before the rest would come crashing on my or the neighbors house.

Do these poor photos help you to imagine the awfulness?

Here's the bottom of the backyard, behind the patio area.

Photos from last year where you can see many of the limbs and smaller trees propped up that I had cut down.

It's actually much steeper than these pictures portray.
Another photo from another angle.

Just to the left of the tree in the middle, the hill drops sharply and has ridges and there's a hole dug in the middle of it and I think some creature lives in there. I told that to the neighbor man and he came over and peered into it.
This was before it was waist deep in wild weeds.
"Yep, there might be a groundhog or something living in there.." he said.
As he poked around, "Nothing right now but..." and then we started talking about the deer that he had seen in the yard early one morning.
I've never seen deer in MY yard but in the winter there are tracks running through it.
Anyway...I KNOW there are not any snakes down there.
They are not allowed in my yard.

So, I'm slowly clearing it. I stomp around and make noise and pull up stuff and then I've sprayed the whole area with weed and grass killer.
I'm also laying down heavy cardboard and topping it with mulch.
On the hill, I'm doing section by section.
Clearing and putting rose bushes on the borders and then hostas.
It sounds random but I do have a plan.

I do not have an AFTER because I'm not there yet.
But I do have HALFWAY photos.
The neighbors trees are gone.
The Weeping Willow is gone.
The tall fence is gone.
I took it apart and built another closer around the patio yard.

Leaving a lot of the yard open.

A new fence is in place but still a work in progress.
I've decided to cut it down more on the other side facing the lower backyard.
Slightly taller than this side.
I want it halfway as tall between this and the back fence.
So that I can put more flower boxes and things on it so that visually it will look as tall as the back one.
Does that make sense? I might not be explaining that very well.
But the back one needs to be HIGH between my neighbor on the OTHER side and me.
(Rowdy boys and dogs that might be able to see them type of problem there.)

I'm working to get it as I see it in my minds eye,
perfected but not to perfection.
I only put on one coat of FENCE & BARN paint. 
While I would love bright white, it would not flow with my faded white house.
I've decided to embraced the cottage look and go with shabby chic.
Make it quaint and quirky with a little bit of Mod thrown in.
The stump where the Weeping Willow is currently being used as a platform for flowers.
I've told that if I keep pouring weed/grass killer on it, that eventually it die and I can hack up it's remains.
(Sounds like a Fall project to me.)
Here you can see the flowers have grown and I've planted pink roses among them.
I primed and painted little Dollar Store window box planters
and attached them to the top of the fence
I got the bird houses at a Art Fair for $5. and I've painted them white  but I will also eventually be painting accent colors on those.
On the fence area directly behind all this, the one that divides the yards, I have plans on painting some sort of design on it or maybe just painting a HUGE painting and weatherproofing it and hanging it off the fence.
Yep, Quirky, Folk Arty...I'm just going with it.
anyway...this is where I'm at right now...
with a long way to go....
and I haven't even shown you my raised vegetable garden or the big flowerbed running the length of the driveway and down the fence on the other side or my front yard or parkway/boulevard/road verge thing!
So much to do and so little time...


sassypackrat said...

It all looks so nice to me. My yard is a horrific mess and I have no desire to do anything to it.

Cynthia Myers said...

Thanks Jen!
My neighbors on either side used to have bad yards too. Then the neighbor to south had a professional landscaper come in a terrace her yard and then lay a brick patio down on the bottom.
The neighbor on the north cleared his yard and enclosed his dogs in an area and then built a swing-set and play area for his grandson who lives with them.
I don't want to be "that" house in the neighborhood. So instead I'll be "that quirky" house.

Pamela Smallcomb said...

It looks so pretty! I am doing battle with these horrible Maryland vines that invade everything. Trying to get a nice butterfly garden going...haha. If it starts to look less like a jungle and more like a garden, I'll take pictures. xo

Cynthia Myers said...

Thanks Pam!
I still have a long way to go but it's nice to drive up and not have all those trees hanging over everything.
Good Luck with your Butterfly Garden!
Yes, please take photos!
I have a Butterfly Bush along the drive and it finally is starting to bloom! I think the "shade" from before wasn't allowing it to grow.

Nita Stacy said...

Well, I think this is all looking very nice! I love the white fence with the flower boxes on top. I read on Pinterest that if you drill holes in a stump and then pour epsom salt in the holes...

Anyway...I think your yard looks like it's shaping up nicely. I've worked in mine and to me it looks much better but is not up to par with most of the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

This was the wrong day for me to come here, my internet is slowed down so much that I can't see any photographs, the speed will come back tomorrow though.

I'll come back tomorrow so I can see what it looked like :-)

Have a great day!

Cynthia Myers said...

Thanks Nita! I will definitely try that Epsom salt trick!
I missed that on Pinterest. God, I love that site. I always spend too much time over there.
I hope you post some photos of your yard! I'd love to see what you've done in the area where they had to dig it up.
I think that's what motivates us all. Trying to keep up to par with the neighborhood. I know that when I did my front yard, then my neighbor hired someone to do hers to make it just as nice and then she had her back yard done too, which started the OTHER neighbor working on his! LOL!

Cynthia Myers said...

Christer! Yes, please come back to see the photos!
It's hard to understand without them, I would think.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I am happy I could finally see the fruit of your labors...what a sweet retreat right out your back door. My yard is trying not to drown...we have had torrential rains for the last 14 days. Beautiful work here lady! i envy your energy. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

An Urban Cottage said...

Wow, you've done a lot of work! I think the fence and its planter and bird house toppers are totally charming.

That sloped yard is a huge task. I just wouldn't know where to start. I think you need a brush hog or something.

Sandy Mastroni said...

it's too much work for one little lady ..... I finally accepted that
I love quirky , ..... crazy ..... quaint !
it is so YOU
I love it
do what you CAN do

Start where you are
use what you have
Do what you can

mine is the same way , sometimes I get so depressed because I can't do it all , sometimes I'm just so grateful and happy as I watch the birds in the birdbath { which is actually a bathroom sink }
thank you
I don't know what is going to happen with the blog lists , but I just finished going through all my favorites and I put them on my blog page as links
at least I know I still have them there

thank you're the best { and funniest ! }

I love the things you write on face book too
I laughed when you wrote that you know what you are eating is bad if you won't even give a taste to your dog { ha ha ha }

Cynthia Myers said...

Steve, A Brush Hog? Do they eat a lot? and are they good around dogs?
Seriously, I will just do a little bit at a time and one day it will be magically done.
Thanks for the saying that my fence and etc. looked charming.
Charming is even better than quirky!

Cynthia Myers said...

Sandy! Yes, you would know!
I love your garden and I really need to start looking for some cool old doors. Maybe.
Or maybe I will build a cat enclosure! Ha! I've been on Pinterest today and OMG!
So many ideas.
Thanks for the sweet comment and I'm glad you saved your favorites!
Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Robin Kent said...

Looking good. Mighty fine. Charming is the word. I have a weed garden growing. Have given up on a veggie garden. Couldn't bear to again see the tomatoes rot in the dirt before I found time to rescue them. I feel good supporting our local farm stands instead.

Jan said...

Your efforts are paying big dividends and things are looking good. Seems you are doing it the right way, not trying to tackle the whole job at once, getting burned out and giving up. A little here and a little there adds up. What a charming place you have now at your halfway point! It will never really be finished, it will morph and grow and cut back and adjust and you will always love it. That is my prediction! ha ha
p.s. I did cut Sadie's hair and she seems much cooler and doesn't look all that bad either!