7/25/14

I Just Want People To Love My Yard. Is That Too Much To Ask? (1920's Update) #DIY

Happy Friday! I thought I would entertain you with some yard work nonsense to get you geared up for the weekend!How about a little, 1920's Fixer-Upper, updating! (In case you are just joining this party, FTD and I just bought a 95-year-old house that needs extensive renovations to be brought back to it's old charm, and to keep things interesting for you, my dear readers, I am documenting the wild journey. Links to past posts at the bottom of this post!)

It turns out, the inside of the house is not the only part that needs serious TLC, the MASSIVE corner lot yard needs it too...
Today, we talk jungle...
I LOVE to garden. LOVE. IT.

I first saw my future yard at the end of March, when most everything was still sleeping through the winter. I was happy to see that it appeared to be mainly trees and shrubs, making it fairly manageable.

I took this photo of the yard the day we put in the offer...
The other half of the front yard looked the same.

Then, the sun came out...

So much for being mainly trees and shrubs. It's a large jungle! 
OHMYGOODNESS!!!  Do you see that mess? I just kept staring and thinking, what in the world am I going to do with this! There was what seemed like hundreds of different plants fighting for the same spot. I was SO overwhelmed. I just started pruning, and even hacking at times--think jungle machete style.

The Euonymus bushes were taking over. They were even digging into our foundation! They HAD to go! The bushes in front of them being pushed out cheered me on...
I hacked away until they were stubs, then dug them up with a shovel.
'Cause, I'm crazy like that.


Once I was finished cutting everything back, I was left with an even bigger mess, and a clear picture of how wrong I was about the yard. It was an extremely mature yard, and clearly well loved and gardened at one point. In the words of my mom, "The landscape was planted by a very sophisticated gardener." My mom said the plants that were in the yard were chosen to ensure that something would be in bloom for 8-months of the year.

Well.

Shit!

I said I loved to garden, not that I had a clue what I was doing!

There are NINE different types of plants just there alone!
And the ground cover is possessed!!!!
And the grass... that's a whole other post.
It's a process. A very long and confusing process... 
I kept pruning and chopping my way around the house. Actually, I have not made it all the way around yet. I've worked hard on the front, and part of the side. It's just SO MUCH yard, with SO many plants! Every weekend, in an effort to figure out what all of the plants are, I go to the garden center with few of the plant's leaves to try to match them up. It's like a scavenger hunt from hell.

FYI: It's a Day Lily...  I had to look that up too.


I've begun to set my sights on the backyard. SURPRISE... It's a HUGE mess too!

This pretty much sums up the entire backyard. Something going on everywhere. Some of the weeds are so big, I have had to ask if they are in fact weeds, or part of the landscape. 
The backyard is so out of control! Currently, there are two Dogwoods, a HUGE Blue Fir, two Cedar trees, three MASSIVE bushes, a big strange trellis like thing, twenty-seven shrubs varieties, a couple of Crape Myrtles, a rose bush or two, thousands of weeds, and God knows what else! And the thing is, I feel bad killing any of it, so I just trim everything back so Ollie won't get lost in the jungle. That's the best I can do until I figure out what to do with it all. It's ridiculous.

All I know for sure is that, after finding a shoe in the jungle, I've decided that I better not dig too deep...


Every weekend, I spend hours trying to make sense of the jungle. The other day, I decided that my yard had Borderline Personality Disorder, and that it was beyond help. Still, I try to give it the same therapy and peace that I get from gardening. Thankfully, my neighbors keep coming over to offer sympathy, and say nice things about the work I have done so far. Sometimes they even help!  

I take pride in my yard. I want it to be fabulous, and I want my neighbors to think the same. I don't want to be THAT trashy neighbor! You know the one... every street has that one person who never cuts the grass and lets everything grow like wild weeds. Somedays, I do feel like I am still THAT neighbor on our street, but deep down I know, they don't blame me. I only just inherited the crazy yard. They know it's going to take a whole lot of work to straighten it out. I just wish I knew what the hell I was doing!!!! 
Before and after... It's such a process.
 This weekend, while you are out in your yard making sure you are not THAT neighbor, just know, I am sweating and cussing right along with you...  

Me after a day in the yard.
While I feel like I could sleep for days, I'm still the Queen of the Jungle...
Want to know and see more about the 1920's fixer-upper, the renovations we have done so far, and the things we have learned?  Check out these other posts....

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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