Monday, June 27, 2011

Home ownership = Weeding

Sisyphus has asked for house pictures. Well, Sis, sorry to say that the house hasn't changed much since you saw it last--here and here--but what has changed is the yard! So perhaps you'd like some yard pictures? Since dealing with the yard is one of our major occupations this summer?

First, I shall whet your appetite with a picture of our glorious magnolia in full bloom, as it was in mid-April, seen through the living room windows.

Second, I shall bore you with our yard issues. Here are the realities that we daily confront:
  1. Our yard is freaking BIG.
  2. Our property is on a corner, so we don't have much of a back yard--most of it is bordered by the street, which means that it's not very private.
  3. It's on a hill, too, so that adds to its non-private nature.
  4. All of this is to say that our weedy, dandelion-filled yard is highly, highly visible to everyone.
  5. We hate lawn.
  6. We hate mowing.
  7. We are obstinately committed to not spraying with poisons, because of all the toxic run-off and poisoned groundwater and all.
  8. None of our neighbors seem to share the views expressed in 5-7. We are surrounded by chemically enhanced, oft-mowed, immaculate lawns. Note the contrast in the picture below, which was taken from our front porch:
Welcome to Dandelion Town!

Thus: We are determined to get rid of as much of the lawn as possible. We'll keep the southern patch around the magnolia, where the retractable clothesline goes, and which would make a perfectly reasonably-sized yard in its own right; it's less weedy, and the dandelions haven't fully taken over in there yet. Even in the picture above, you can see the dandelion-density difference between the north (right) and south (left).

So what are we doing? Well!

We have TWO large vegetable gardens! An asparagus row! Two new (small, but expandable) flower beds! Six fruit trees! A tiny little redbud tree! Two chestnut trees! A no-mow zone which we will convert to wildflowers next summer! A large area where we're killing the grass to replace it with blue-rug juniper! Plans for a blueberry hedge, a second (and larger) strawberry patch, two big beds for native plants and flowers, another lilac bush, and more! (Everything preceding the last exclamation point will have to wait for next year or the year after, however. Petit a petit le oiseau fait son nid, etc.)

We've even introduced ajuga into the lawn in the hopes that it will take over! Desperate times, man.

I don't have any pictures of the current state of affairs, so you'll have to see what it looked like in mid-April.

TM checking the asparagus. (Isn't his hat darling?)

The first garden (before anything had grown there--it's coming along nicely now).

Here's where I dug the sod out and arranged old bricks to make the two new flowerbeds.

One more thing: There's a buried brick sidewalk running through the front yard, which we're slowly uncovering. Here it is at an early stage. You can see the newly-planted fruit trees in the background; they're bigger, now, and have actual leaves.

Clearly, I need some more recent pictures! Stay tuned (assuming that you haven't totally lost interest yet).


Kendra Leonard said...

Wow, that looks great! I'm a big fan of lawn reduction as well; redbuds are perfect for taking up lots of real estate while still making a yard look well-maintained.

Sisyphus said...

Yay, pictures!

Can you grow strawberries out there? That's a nice flat ground cover.