29 March 2012

The worst is... not so bad

Post title references this post.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, dear readers: I didn’t want to buy a house. I wanted to buy a condo. Why? I never, ever wanted the responsibility of yardwork. Ever. Ever! But for reasons that aren’t worth divulging in depth (let’s just say an ex-boyfriend was involved), I bought a house instead. It sits on a whole whopping one-tenth of an acre. And I have loved my house!

I have not loved my tenth of an acre. As I told you before, it’s showed. And it hasn’t loved me, either. Do I need to remind you again that I once landed in the ER getting stitches from yardwork?

Fortunately, Mr. P is nowhere near as adverse to yardwork as me. I doubt it’s his favorite chore, but he just sees it as a necessary thing to do that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. His feelings stand in contrast to my opinion on yardwork, which is that I want to dramatically fling my body onto the floor and remain as a lump of dead weight moaning “nooooo” when faced with the idea of simply sweeping the driveway.

But, like our inadvertent silver-polishing competition, if Mr. P goes outside to work on the landscaping, I end up running out after him to work on the landscaping too. Part of it is guilt, part of it is my need to be a control freak, and part of it is so I can show him how I can more weeds than him SO THERE.

After the past few weekends of Mr. P heading out to work on the yard, followed by me calling out “Wait are you going outside OKAY ME TOO”, followed by working together for hours here and there, filling up countless bags of organic debris, and encountering more earthworms and snails than I’d care to admit... our yard is finally, finally looking like it wasn’t neglected for years by a reluctant yard-owner!

Just one problem. I didn’t take “before” photos. S’okay, though. I have the Photoshop clone tool!

So here’s basically what our front yard looked like a few weeks ago:

Spikey overgrown bushes, front bed covered in weeds, and the irises in the corner ONCE AGAIN dealing with a massive case of overgrown grass. What, you couldn’t guess that from my awesome Photoshop skills? Hmm.

After a few hours of work that made me groan like an old lady for the rest of the day, here’s what it looks like now:

Holy macaroni, I am pretty sure that front flower bed hasn’t looked that nice since I bought the place. It’d be nice if I – and the previous owners – hadn’t let the shrubs get quite so tall and... tree-like. But hey. We’ll consider it a privacy hedge.

The rest of the front landscaping, right by the front steps, was also looking horribly unkempt, with more overgrown shrubs, a hydrangea bush in desperate need of pruning away dead branches, and a nice carpet of dead leaves covering the ground and steps.

As my artistic representation clearly shows.

But now...

It makes me smile when I come home every day!

And now.. on to the backyard! Our backyard is quite shady, at least terms of lacking sunlight, not the dangerous-area sense. For most of my time here, there wasn’t much grass. And because no grass means no mowing, I let the yard accumulate lots of sticks fallen from the trees above.

Thanks to Mr. P’s research on grasses and how to properly seed a yard and constant vigilance when it comes to a lush backyard, we now have this:

So much grass! Yes, there’s one little dirt patch, but I needed that for the clone tool. Duh. Still, even the dirt patch is sprouting a bit! And the rest is all verdant and glorious!

One last pseudo-before and after. The side of our house has a pebbly path and MORE LANDSCAPING. I, of course, let the path become overgrown with weeds and covered in leaves, even letting the grass start to grow into the path. And the side landscaping was full of dead I-don’t-even-know-what plants that were encroaching on the hostas previously planted there.

After hours spent picking little weeds and leaves out from the rocks, digging out the plants that had killed off a hosta or two, and generally sprucing it up, we have this:

Huzzah! I plan to move some of the hostas from the back property line (see the photo of the backyard above) to fill in the gaps, because I am cheap, and they are free.

Which brings me to the point that our yard still isn’t perfect. We haven’t torn down the trellis in the backyard (apparently the previous owners got married under it) despite the fact that the wisteria that was supposed to grow on it never did. The landscaping under the arch is not so great. The other side yard appears to have a few things planted, but because they’re not in beds they’re impossible to weed or mow around. And there’s a rose bush that’s seriously out of control in another corner of the yard.

But. But! Does the yard look as good as it did when I bought the place? It sure does. And I bought this house... so hopefully someone else, even someone who despises yardwork with a fiery passion, will think the yard is good enough too.


Janice said...

Wow, you really did a great yard-make-over! I need to do some replanting this summer as well. I hate to throw away a living plant, but we have some nasty bushes that have thorns and I am a firm believer that thorns should now live.