Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reclamation Days 15 and 16

Monday and Tuesday, Days 15 and 16.   Weeding and edging and mulching. The backyard is almost done--at least Phase 2 of the Reclamation is.  Phase 3 is so far only in our heads. And perhaps ill-advised for these two amateurs. But we already bought landscape fabric for it, so we're committed. I'll tell you what Phase 3 is in the next post.

As always, recall the "before."

And now, AFTER. 

Yes, this is the front yard, but it looked so nice that day,
I had to include a picture. I love a grey spring day; everything
looks that much greener.

It's like a whole other yard, yes? HEY, the sour cherry is blooming!
So much better. Also, a closeup of my finger.

Mulch Madness: Epilogue

How much is too much mulch? 

Not seven cubic yards, as it turns out.

I hear ya, Janis

Arlo and Janis

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reclamation Days 11, 12, 13, and 14

Well! Phase 2 of the Reclamation has begun. Sunday, March 18, was Reclamation Day 11. This is the day we took the "before" pictures of the backyard, and then proceeded with step 1 of cleanup: raking and raking and raking and raking and raking.

This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were Reclamation Days 12, 13, and 14, and most of the credit must go to Mulch Boy, who is more than living up to his moniker. Friday we rented a turf cutter, and Mulch Boy proceeded to spend his evening sodbustin' the bed areas that had been completely overrun by weeds. Thankfully, Jack Palance did not drop by to protest.
Oh no! Look out, sodbuster!

Meanwhile, I mowed the back with my rotary mower, Moe, and then worked on restoring the edging on the beds on the right side of the yard with the help of Crappy Knife.


The weekend weather was rainy, and delicate flower that I am, I chose to stay inside. However, Mulch Boy, mighty man that he is, decided he was going to drag as much mulch to the backyard as was humanly possible between raindrops. I expressed my deepest gratitude by meeting him at the door with dinner and mojitos.

And now, in no particular order, pictures of Where We Are Now in the Process. Again, please check out "before" to better appreciate the following AFTER.

My one contribution: re-edging the border on
this bed (and some weeding) with Crappy Knife.
Pile of sod. From sodbustin'!
The mulch isn't even spread, and everything
looks so much better.
Lookin' good.
(Mercifully blurry) candid of the Potato Queen.
Strike a pose!
That sod was BUSTED!
You can see the patio again.
Really, no order to these pictures at all.
Again, the mulch isn't even spread yet!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Reclamation Days 8, 9, and 10

March 13, 15, and 17: The front yard is done! For anyone who has ever doubted that they can garden, please look to this and remember: this was accomplished by two know-nothings, one using a steak knife.

First, do revisit the "before."

And now... AFTER!

Sneezy, Sleazy, and Carl.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Full Disclosure: More "Before"

I believe I've mentioned previously how bad I am at remembering to take "before" pictures. Well , not this time, bub! Here I present The Backyard... BEFORE.

These first three pictures give you the panoramic view:

Well, that's not SO bad, is it? Oh yes it is. And here are the closeups to prove it. I'll be walking you around the entire back, starting at the left beside the deck.

Ah, the pile of leaves that's gathered in the corner,
burying the old recycle bin we no longer use. That giant
plastic container of paint and ancient fire extinguisher
were left by the former owners in the shed. Five years later,
we're only now getting rid of them.

Check it out up close to see all the weeds.
See that darkish line down the center of the picture?
That WAS the border of the bed.

Enough weeds to make a salad.

Actual would-be vegetable garden, with the one and only vegetable
I planted and that lived last year. I have no idea what it even was.
Charlie with his "Who, me?" face pretends that he does not routinely
sneak through the fence to graze in this "garden."

"Seriously, how can you think that of me?"
The hydrangeas: the glory of the backyard. Normally I clip all
of last year's dead flowers, but I think there are more pressing
tasks this year if the back is to be reclaimed.

Our patio. So inviting.

Behind the patio. Looking AWESOME by comparison.

This here's a favorite spot because of my climbing rose and,
more importantly, my boulders! When it's looking nice, it's
oh so nice. Today... not so much.

When we moved in five years ago, this hydrangea was literally
a stick in the ground.

Unhappy hellebore, beautiful dogwood, sour cherry tree, and
the magnolia that someone planted WAY too close to the fence line.

Volunteer butterfly bush on the left; mahonia, heather, nandina,
and in the very corner a volunteer shrub whose identity I've
forgotten. Behind the gate is the vegetable garden. In the right
foreground is the little compost pile

The smoker, sitting in what should be a completely non-green,
mulched area.

Front of the porch, with Rosie. Chicken wire, stones, and various
pavers are all there to prevent Charlie from going on adventures
under the porch.

After? We haven't made it to "after" yet. But with the completion of the front yard (posting about that tomorrow), Reclamation Phase B: The Backyard will begin this week.