Tuesday, August 31, 2010

into the jungle

Remember how I said I was going to do yard work today? Well that's actually what I did! Funny how that happens sometimes, huh?

Now, before I show you the pictures, I feel like some explaining needs to be done. When I moved in about a week and a half ago no one had been living in this house full-time for 2-3 years. My neighbors the Hartleys had been kind enough to mow the lawn from time to time, but for the most part the backyard had pretty much gone to seed, a phrase I'd never understood until today. Everything had just grown. And kept growing. And then new plants came, and they grew too. There was giant cattail-looking grass growing between the trash cans and the Hartley's garage, as well as in various other places in the yard. Yesterday (maybe Saturday?) Aaron Hartley went through the backyard with a weed-wacker and uncovered stairs and some stepping stones I didn't even know were there. That gave me the motivation to start do some clearing of my own.

So I woke up this morning (after a lovely night's sleep on my new mattress) and after breakfast, and a bit of hesitation, talked myself into getting started. I got dressed, put on my $3 grocery store work gloves and began. I started by gathering up some branches that had been cut who knows how long ago and were in piles around the yard. I broke them down and put them in bins, then decided that I should really get to work on the front of the yard, the part that people see when they pull into the drive way. So I went back to the beginning and just started pulling up long grass and weeds and discovered a wooden platform right after the gate. Magical! So I kept weeding and sweeping and eventually uncovered the whole thing. My weeding also revealed several pots that once had plants in them—tomatoes, petunias, and Daliahs, if the hidden tags I found in them are correct—but were now just filled with the same weeds that covered the yard. So what did I do? I weeded them too. I worked my way down the newly discovered stairs and over to the bench swing as well. The task would have been impossible had I not continued to uncover helpful tools, like the shovel hidden where you can see those first few stepping stones now, or the giant trash can barrels that seemed to be secreted all over the yard.

The entrance! Prior to today I would sing the Indiana Jones theme song whenever I ventured into the backyard because the foliage was so dense. Now you can actually see where you're stepping.
See those stairs? I couldn't until now! I didn't even know they were there. And now they are (mostly) weed free and totally usable. These stepping stones were also a lovely discovery.
Here are some more steps and stepping stones further down. I knew these steps were here, but previously they were covered in growth. And the stones? I knew there were a few there, but had no idea there were this many! Love it.
This swing was over grown with weeds, one of which was taller than I am. I pulled it out and stood it up next to myself just to make sure. There were 3 of those same giant weeds in different places around that area. I'm sure there are more yet to be discovered elsewhere in the yard. Luckily its roots were very superficial so it was actually really easy to pull out. Also incredibly satisfying.
Here's the view from the window above the kitchen sink. Honestly? It doesn't look that much different from when I started. But it is. And don't you just love the green of it all?

Now, I have to be honest with you, it doesn't look like much. But I worked from about 9 am to 3 pm, with a break for lunch, and another when it started to rain, but that's it. I only weeded a small part of the yard: there's still a lot more to be done.

I filled all these garbage cans. Every last one of them. That's 8, if you count the yard bag I found in my cleaning spree. That, my friends, is a freaking lot of weeds. PS This is the area that used to have towering cattail weeds lining the wall. No longer!
I finally had to stop because my back was killing me. I am becoming an old woman! Curse you, Chester Elton and your weak lower back genes! Hopefully I'll have the energy slash back strength to do some more work either later this week or early next week. There's still so much to be done! (Like the lawn chair that is being held prisoner behind a forest of giant burr weeds, for example. I will rescue it!)

Can you see it? Let me give you a close up...
Now can you see it? It's pretty tricky, but trust me, it's there.

1 comment:

steph goodson said...

wow! you live in the coolest place ever! P.S. I'm proud of your weed pulling skills. well done.