Our backyard is like a toddler that keeps crying for more and more attention. We’re sick of it, we love it, we cave in and we are exhausted from its constant needy state. We’ve poured time and money into the space over the past two years, both of which left the yard in a better place, but never as a finished space. Homeowners know the feeling, whether it be a space indoor or outdoor, the work-in-progress mode is annoying and daunting for sure. But here in The Thome Home we forge on, facing the fact that this fixer uppers projects are not one night stands, and need a ton of time and attention. We’re making our way around the bases, that’s the best way we can describe it. Just waiting for that home run.
For those of you that have been here a while, this will be a bit repetitive, for those new, get ready, and for those who hate landscaping, my apologies. But this is what we are living with and a space we are just dying to have completed this summer!
When we first purchased the house we were totally smitten with the “woodsy” feel our house embodied. I loved the idea of mature trees, shade, and privacy. It took about 4 weeks of living here, and the trees to come into bloom to realize how much I actually disliked our backyard. It was out of control. We were dodging trees and bugs with every step, and I felt like I was just checking the kids for ticks like a freak of nature.
I went from the girl trying to gain her “I love nature” attitude to a girl running to play at a playground with her kids to avoid this backyard.
This is exactly how we felt …
The grass was constantly wet, the shade was overbearing, and the height of the trees were not ideal to have just feet from our “brand new” house. Once the summer faded, our we were faced with the ugly truth of what our backyard really looked like.
We took some time chopping down a few trees ourself, before we realized we were in over our heads. So, like normal people, we asked family to come help and tackle a job that should be left to the professionals. But, we’re bloggers, so that makes us professionals right? 🙂
We literally felt like this while calling people for help …
Our family was amazing, we provided food + beer and the men came in flocks. I don’t know if it was the thrill of the chop, getting to use tools, or just testing out their manhood, but they were on a roll and we were so grateful to have those extra hands – that thankfully everyone kept!
We were left with a massive amount of trees to clean up, but the hard part was over with. We knew we were going to turn to a landscaper to handle grinding the stumps, leveling the land and planting seed. It was time to fork over the money, and we were more than happy to do so.
After a few weeks of letting things settle, and hiring the help, the yard was ready to be given a fresh look. The land was graded, leveled, grass seed planted and before we knew it (about 3-4 weeks) we had GRASS!
While this may appear to be a complete turn around, and a finished project, one year later it is everything BUT that. We put in a gorgeous, massive 6 foot privacy fence, and acquired more land ( wahoo!) More land came with more trees, and more crappy crappy landscape to tackle. Most of the grass that grew has fallen out, and we hae a backyard that YET AGAIN looks like crap. Oy. It is really overwhelming, because we spent nearly 4,000 just on grading/leveling/grass seed process and now we have to call the guy again to tackle it all over.
SO. Moral of this story, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes things are not a quick fix – sometimes things go wrong, and some things are simply out of your hands. We got an amazing deal on our fence, and if we did not put a fence in we would just be re-seeding and letting it grow this year. But, now, we have more land, and more things to tackle – so starting from “Scratch” is happening all over again.
Here is a look at what we have going on now, you can clearly see where we have gained the “new” land, it’s directly outside of the black mulch beds, and mainly framing the entire yard. Patches full of tall, half dead trees that need to go. A little sneak peek of our lovely new fence here too 🙂
Every single tree over there will be gone, some kept for firewood and the rest given to the amazing guy we use to chop our trees.
Here is another angle, where the “fresh” mulch bed meets the new messy area. All of this will be gone, all grass, and hopefully a few garden beds by spring – the boys miss our old mini garden and I am so ready to have some herbs at hand this summer. Mojitos anybody?
To the right we are keeping the three tall spruce, I just love them. The dead ash trees are going, going … gone.
Along with this massive shag tree, whom I adore, but its a wee bit to close to both our house and the neighbors.
So the backyard will be a total clean slate. One mulch bed where the 3 tall spruce lie, and the addition of a shed back there for all of our tools/odd ends that are filling up our “2 car” garage.
As frustrating as it is to have to go at this backyard all over again this summer, it is so worth it. We never thought we would have a privacy fence yet, that was on our 5 year play. But, the deal was unavoidable this past winter, and I am so glad we took advantage of it.
We’ve got $1,500 priced out for the trees, that is including a few up front (we’ll chat about that later) and knowing Dan he’ll throw a few more in there, so I’m preparing for $2,000.
The landscaping cost is TBD. Hopefully not as much as last year (a whopping $4,000) Seeing as we are not doing mulch, or grading the land.
I cannot wait to have a plush green backyard for the boys this summer, fenced in, private … ah, this momma will take full advantage of having this huge backyard to enjoy with friends and family.
Anyone else jump starting yard work? It’s hard to believe it’s March already!
Today is Brody’s 7th birthday!! Ah! So, we’re spending the night celebrating and I’m sure I’ll have a fun dedicated post just for him this week.
Keep checking in 🙂