Yard Clean Up

This past weekend I was dog sitting, and thus couldn’t be at Jay’s, so I took the opportunity to get my dad down to my house and do some yard maintenance that I’ve been chomping at the bit to get done. With the weather being so nice lately I’ve been trying to go out at night after work to do things, but I needed my dad and his chainsaw for a couple of projects.

For some reason I never took a picture of the pine tree that was in front of my house. This used to be my grandma’s house, so when my one cousin was little he was given one of those pine saplings at school for Earth Day (or some such nonsense) and he wanted to plant it at grandma’s. She probably never thought that it would survive, so they chose a spot out front. You can see it in the upper right hand corner of this picture. I didn’t like it there because it was about 15 feet tall and was quite big around. It blocked a lot of the house and you couldn’t see around it from the window. So this pine tree was on my list of things to cut down ASAP. Plus, if you have pine trees near the house you know how dirty they are between the sap and the needles, they are horrible.

Here is a somewhat similar picture that I took on Saturday. Wasn’t it gorgeous weather on Saturday?? It’s amazing how much difference two months will make. The picture above was taken in March, and this one was taken two days ago. Anyway, if you notice in the upper right hand corner of this picture there is no longer a pine tree!


Here is the view from the front. This was before we trimmed the hedges. See how bright and beautiful this picture looks? That pine tree really cast a lot of shadow on the house. I like brightness and light. The dank, dark dampness doesn’t do anything for me.



The next spot that was on my list for attention was the back deck. My uncle had planted these trees for my grandma, but he’d planted them RIGHT NEXT to the deck! You can’t tell because I didn’t take a picture when the trees finally leafed out, but they completely shadowed the deck and the branches were really starting to take up space on the deck itself. I couldn’t walk very close to them without being poked by a branch. When I’m out on the deck I want to enjoy the sun, except where the awning sits. Because the trees held in the dampness and kept the sun from shining on the deck there is some damage from the wetness. In fact, this deck looks in worse shape than the deck on my parents’ house (which was built two to three years prior to my deck). Also, there’s a viney bush on the corner of the deck that the hummingbirds supposedly loved.

And now they are all gone! Wow. I just can’t get over the difference in the pictures. In March when I took the ‘before’ pictures it had been a beautiful day, but it just can’t compare to the weather now. I love seeing the green again after a dull winter. Having the trees gone really helps to open up the back yard, too. My dad and I were upset to discover that the hummingbird bush had actually done damage to the deck. One of the vines had grown up and managed to push a huge gap between the boards on the corner of the deck. Since my dad did the majority of theΒ  building it was a bit disappointing to see that the deck hadn’t properly been cared for.

It’s not a huge deck, but it’s nice. This summer I will need to power wash it and then restain and seal it. Like I said, the trees held the dampness in and really did a number on it. Oh, and that stupid 4×4 frame that you see in the picture, leaning against the railing, will be gone at some point. It’s a bird feeder holder that my uncle built and I don’t care for it. My aunt wants it so she can have it. As it was we had to take my uncle’s deck furniture over to my aunt’s house on Saturday to get it off my deck. It was all metal and had never been put away in the winter, so it was rusty. I definitely didn’t want to use it. I won’t get any furniture, though, until I’ve resealed it.

This is a view of the deck from the other side. It’s a cute little deck. Once I get a grill to put out there it will be a lot nicer. πŸ™‚ As you can see I have the bird feeders hanging off of the awning frame and the cats love it. They spend a lot of time sitting at the kitchen window watching the various birds empty my feeders.


I am just so happy to have those trees gone by the deck that I had to take another picture. This place makes a cute little house for an elderly couple looking to downsize, or a newly wed couple looking for their first home.



Since I’m in the backyard I will stay here for a while. This is the shed that is at the back of my property. In fact, I was standing almost in front of it when I took the picture of the deck above. See all of this stuff beside it? We took the chainsaw to most of it, but discovered some wire fencing buried in it. We got what we could, but I have to go clean it out some more. I had an idea about this area. I will have two raised garden boxes for my vegetables, but I would really like to grow some zucchini this year. I’m thinking about maybe asking my dad to build a frame for the zucchini to grow on, much like what I had at my parents’ house. Then I will plant the zucchini here so that it doesn’t take up the space in my garden boxes.

You can kind of see the shed at the left of this picture. You can’t tell very well, but it definitely is cleaned up. Also, you will note that the dead stump is gone as well. Oh, and did I mention that the trees by the back deck are gone, too? πŸ˜‰ Yes, straight ahead those are my vegetable garden boxes. They are currently growing a luscious crop of weeds that I intend to harvest once I get my new bed boxes built. These ones are made out of landscaping timbers and are falling apart. My dad is going to make me some new ones out of rough cut, but I have to get out there and measure what size I want. I need to do that soon, but I’ve been kind of waiting to make sure that we’re not going to have anymore killer frosts.

Here’s the ‘before’ picture of the back yard back in March. My aunt has been dismayed about all of the things I plan on ripping out or cutting down, but I don’t care. I think that a less-cluttered look makes the house look that much nicer.



Speaking of ripping and tearing, I did a lot of that in this area last week. This was filled with maple saplings and all kinds of weeds. I spent an hour working on this area and I still have a little more to do. I need to figure out how to remove that fence, first. It’s really annoying and is in my way.





This was the other area that saw a lot of ripping and tearing. It was all filled with ground cover and who knows what else. My theory was that if I didn’t recognize it as a nice flowering plant that I wanted to keep, then out it came. I did make exceptions for the rhubarb and leeks that I found. There are also four rose bushes there. Kind of a weird combination, don’t you think? What I want to do now is get some pansies to plant in there. My two favorite flowers are roses and pansies. I have some buds on the rose bushes so I hope to get pictures of them in bloom in a few weeks. I did some pruning on them to encourage healthy growth so we’ll have to see how they do.

If you have any suggestions or helpful comments I would greatly appreciate them. πŸ™‚

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1 Response to Yard Clean Up

  1. Jamie says:

    Wow – all the cleaning & clearing out you’ve done looks amazing! Ignore your aunt because you are absolutely right to be ripping out things that damage the deck and reduce excess moisture! (I’m hoping we to play with a chainsaw around here next weekend.) Your yard is looking really good – so impressed! πŸ™‚

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