Sunday, July 1, 2012

the yard: part 1

We have been working on our yard lately, and it (like all projects in this house) has been HUGE, and time consuming and exhausting.

But we were super excited to get an early start on our yard this year, and it is a good thing too, because it has taken us a lot longer than expected, but we can't wait to have it all done, and to have a nice backyard for our kiddos/dogs to run around in! We will have it done just in time for winter :)

Cutting down the trees

The first Saturday in April we had a Tree Cutting party, and we got  A TON of help and a TON done. We are so grateful for everyone who came and put in some time that day to help us out, it was a huge help! We cut down a BUNCH of the overgrown Chinese Elms, a chain link fence, and an entire row of lilac bushes!
                   Before                                            Cutting                                         Chopped

It was a very productive day! Big thanks to Ash and Nick, Lisa, Nate and kiddos, Grandpa Anderson, and Kyle for giving up a big chunk of your day to make this happen.

Chopping up the trees.

It rained for a few weeks so we were finally able to get to chopping up the trees. Kory's dad brought over his wood chipper and we literely did that all day long one Saturday and then for the next two weeks.  It was a big job, but easier than trying to haul those trees off to the dump a million times.

It has been a much bigger job than expected, and every Saturday we go to bed sunburned, and sore, and the progress is slow. Our yard is SO overgrown, and in pretty bad shape, but we are seeing the fruits of our labor, slowly, but we are making progress.

Pile of...

We got it all into nice organized piles, some to landscape, some to burn in our future fire pit, and some to take to the compost yard.

We then raked and tilled the crap out of the soil. Our back part of the yard is a GIANT weed pit. I even tried to rake all the weeds up early, and they still came back!!! GRRR so we tried again...and then finally I decided to borrow my sisters weed wacker and hack the crap out of it, and it was SO much easier than my previous attempts, and it helped me not get so overwhelmed by it all. Thanks to all who came and helped clean up!

Landscape schmandscape

Moving the wood chips was SO hard, I made a goal of 5 wheel barrels a day, because I was getting quite overwhelmed every time I went out there. We have a row of Lilac bushes along the fence, so we trimmed those up and put wood chips under it so that we wont have to try and mow under them.

While trimming them up we were so surprised to find not 1,  but 7 semi mature plum trees growing alongside them! We sadly have to cut most of them down because they are all over crowded,  but I am excited for the future years to get to pick plums with my kids, along with the Red Haven Peach Tree & a Bartlett Pear Tree I started to grow this spring!

One day while I weed whacking, my eyes started to burn and I started to smell onion really strongly! Then I looked down and sure enough there was a whole patch of green onions just growing randomly!

I also cleaned up this flower bed, and came to the realization that these "weeds" that don't ever die, are actually in fact Lillies! (We always mow them down before they get a chance to show there buds) Aren't they so pretty! So glad our lawnmower was broken for so long (Didn't think I would EVER say that)

I have come to terms with the fact that I wont be having a vegetable garden this year. We just didn't get the back yard cleared/ cleaned up soon enough. I was pretty bummed about it at first, as I wanted to do one last year, but was hugely pregnant, so this was going to be my year to do it again, and do it differently than my first year. Instead I decided I would focus on my flowers. I really do love gardening. I love planting flowers, trimming them and making them beautiful. I think they add so much! I planted a whole bunch of petunia's in our front flower bed.

And then found a bunch of these AWESOME pots at the dollar store and planted some more and we hung them on our fence, and I LOVE THEM! I seriously love going out into our yard and seeing them first thing! What do ya think?

One mans trash is another mans treasure. 
Sometimes this rings true. Kory's sister Shauna gave us this GREAT table and chairs for our yard. We have LOVED having them to eat outside on, and they are in FANTASTIC condition. It has probably made this whole thing 10 times more bearable for me. Because it gives us somewhere to be.
Along with that, that very same week my sister gave us a great BBQ and it has been FANTASTIC. My kids LOVE eating outside! And I love the flavor the charcoal smoke adds to my food! So much better!

We also got a three times hand me down swingset from Kory's sister Kelli. Kyle didn't want to try to move it with them. I don't blame them either. When we took it down at their house, I am not going to lie, I was seriously doubtful it would EVER go back together. There were more broken bolts than not, and it was pretty sketchy. It was a lot of work taking it down. Dani was irrate the entire time we were there, and it was SO HOT even though it was earlier in the day. It took us a LONG time. But we did it!

When we first were taking it apart, Kory and I were taking pieces off one by one, and we look over and notice Axel already had a bunch of those pieces loaded in the trailer for us! He is such a good helper!

When we got home with it, it went a lot more smoothly, and Kory did an awesome job at putting it together! And dani slept like a champ so we didn't have to worry about her crying or running in the street, or pulling Axel's hair...

 Now we have a great swing-set, and my kids LOVE it.

However, sometimes one mans trash is STILL another mans trash.

So upon removing one of the piles of what we thought was yard waste in our back yard, we stumbeled upon a HUGE garbage pile. It was DISGUSTING. We found bags of kitty litter, lunch boxes, soda cans, diapers car engines! was NASTY. No wonder we have so many stray cats!!! SHEESH! All these years we thought it was just a yard waste pile that he left.
Speaking of cats as we were moving said pile into the trailer and garbage can, we stumbled upon a little femir bone, then another, then a tiny hip bone, then a set of tiny ribs, some spine, and finally the skull of a cat! I will be honest though, I was quite relieved that it was a cat and not something else! After everything we have found in our yard who knows what else is burried there! Most likely one of the many stray cats died while trying to get to that pile of kitty litter. Don't worry though our neighbor took the skull! SICK
 We were able to haul the big things off to the dump this Saturday, and now are just dealing with small pieces that we will just put in bags then into our dumpster.

I know it doesn't look like much, but just looking back at the before picture I am reminded how much we have done. I will save the after picture for when we are farther along, but it is quite the difference! It is crazy how open it all feels now! We still have ample shade and plenty of room for our kiddos to run and explore!

Soon enough we will be ready for that fence! Can't wait!


Melonius said...

doesn't sound like much??! uh, it sounds like a whole heck of a lot! good work!! you are going to love it when you are done.

Jess~ca said...

That is awesome! I can't wait to see it when you are completely finished!! I will be calling on you for tips when we try to tackle our new back yard-- it's a bit of a forest right now :) I think that when you have little kids and you get big stuff done, it is AMAZING :)

Loved the update!


Ashley said...

Wowza this has been quite the project! Good for you guys for sticking to it. Yard work it not so fun especially when its overgrown. Its looking great though, cant wait to see the final project.

rain said...

You guys have done tons of work. I love how much satisfaction yard work brings--once you get to doing it, anyway. Excited for the end result!

Jessie Eyre said...

You guys are so good at seeing what needs to be done and digging into projects. How I wish I were that good at those things!