Friday, April 26, 2013

What A Difference A Week Makes!

Last Friday, we has just gotten like 7 or 8 inches of snow, and I took all those "Winter Wonderland" pictures that were in my last post.

Today, it was 78 degrees!  We completely skipped Spring, and went straight from Winter to Summer in one week.  When I got home from work today, K was already in the front yard for our first day of yard work this year. 

When we bought the house, the front yard had 3 enormous over-grown bushes, 2 smaller over-grown bushes, and 2 badly-cared-for trees in it.  And there's another one of the enormous bushes in the side yard, and a long row of lilac bushes in the back yard that really need some care.

Basically, every plant in the entire yard has been neglected for about a dozen years!

Last year, Kristy immediately ripped out the smaller bushes near our front door, and the giant bush near the door.  We planted some grass seed over the giant dirt patch that remained, and as of now, it's almost all filled in and not very noticeable.

June 2012

July 2012

So today we got to work taking out the remaining 2 giant bushes, and starting to trim around the trees in the front yard. 

June 2012
April 2013...  brown.

The bushes are fairly easy-- just a bit tedious.  You have to reach under and cut each branch.  And then tackle the root ball and get that out of the ground.

K went at the roots with like a pick-axe (I forgot what she called it).  Very impressive!  It helped to knock off as much dirt as possible to help make the big gob a little lighter as she/we lifted it out of the ground and into the wheel barrow.
The gnarled tree that has my heart!


Meanwhile, I worked on trimming around this wonderful, craggly-looking tree.  Honestly, just looking at it, it was difficult to tell if the thing was even alive, since it seems to still be hibernating  (not that I'm surprised, with the weather we've been having).  But I looked back in photos from last year and saw that it was leafy and full last year, with deep burgundy leaves.  Really pretty.

The problem with this little tree, obviously, is how many new shoots it's been growing out of the ground.  I trimmed as much as I could, and then K came back to hack at it more below the ground.  And we're not done yet...  It's a big job.

We're hoping, if it survives our surgery, that it will put its energy and nutrients into the branches above and that it will stay healthy longer.  We're also removing the paving stones around the bottom of it.

Just like razor-wire...

And then there's a tree, kind of a double tree, right at the corner of our lot.  We definitely want this to stay here, since it separates our yard from the sidewalks, and helps define our yard.
This poor thing...  The tree seems to be doing okay-- it just has one rogue new trunk growing, and a handful of unnecessary branches.  But at the bottom, it is COVERED in 10 years of dead leaves and litter, and what can only be described as the MOST EVIL THORN BUSH I have ever seen!

No kidding, this is the stuff that grew around Sleeping Beauty's castle and kept all the knights away for 100 years!  It stabbed me through my gloves over and over.  I was being so careful with it, and kept imagining what the people driving by were thinking.  "Aw, look at the girl being all dainty with her yardwork and not wanting to get dirty."  That wasn't it!  I didn't want to get stabbed!!


Well, we'll probably head back out tomorrow and keep going.  We successfully got those 2 large bushes out of there, and now just have big dirt spots.  Time for grass seed! 

I'm thinking I should really go get a window box and some potted flowers to put out front, too.  Quickest thing I can do to make the house look cared for.  It will take a while to fill in these dirt spots and do some of the bigger projects.  But anything we can do to make it look brighter and happier will help our curb appeal.  And we definitely need that!

We've also realized how BIG our front yard actually is!  Now that the bushes aren't taking up half the space, we can see how much space we really have!

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