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It’s a Jungle Out There Part 2


The last time we talked about our back yard we talked about the massive overgrown bushes that filled up the backyard. I talked about how overgrown they were, and how we would have so much more yard if we got rid of them. But other than tackling the thorn-bush (mostly, but we tired out before we got the roots hacked out and it’s starting to grow back, most take care of it ASAP), and planting a small veggie garden we didn’t get much done.

So I’m back. To show you a photo from the deck along the back of the house towards the right. Prepare yourself. It’s really a jungle.

photo

Right in front of you is a ginormous rose bush…that clearly thrived without any attention. Abutting right up to it is a hydrangea about to bloom at any time. Behind the hydrangea (you can’t see it for the massive rose/hydrangea in front of it) are a tiny (smothered) Japanese Maple, and a huge prickly (I hate it) evergreen. Blech. Then there is one of the air conditioning units, and our house. The little bump out is actually the stairs from the garage to the house, thankfully closed in at some point. Right in front in probably the only patch of sunny grass that’s in the back yard is our vegetable garden. Peas, asparagus, strawberries lettuce and tomatoes are growing now…more will hopefully fill in. And the blueberry bushes are doing great.

Beyond the garden is a bit of patchy grass, and the tree that dropped a limb the first night we owned the house that caused us the first neighbor grief. In fact if you look close enough you can just barely see (before the fence is obscured by bushes) the lighter toned fence panel that we were ‘going to pay for’. Thanks to USAA, we weren’t.

Along the back of the fence is a few rhododendrons, some evergreen bushes, and a super scraggly cedar tree. The pathway between the rose and the bushes is almost non-existent. But I’m a bit worried if I prune them at all I’ll kill them. Eventually I’d like to clear out all the saplings, trim back the bushes, and even clean out under the bushes to make it a cleaner and less scruffy yard. But, like everything else that will take time.

Now for a bit of a ‘tour’ of the backyard for all you folks back home who have no clue what it looks like out there…

From the french doors that open out of the library we have this view of the deck:

photo 1

You can see the comparison of the rose-bush (which is taller than me) to the giant rhododendron behind it. The deck is about three feet above the ground for all you math types. This deck was power washed and pristine right before Tropical Storm Andrea came though…not only did she dirty up my deck she proved the worth of my downspouts and gutters. And even though we (Bryan) had cleared out the gutters twice already this season (thanks to the neighbors huge tree) the down spouts had apparently at one time gotten blocked up enough that torrential rains from before I woke up to after I went to bed was enough to make them into fountains. And at 9 or so at night Bryan was out there doing some minor surgery and a Mcguyvered set up to keep the crawl space from flooding. (Hurray it worked and here’s the set-up)photo 2

To the left of the deck (what was behind me when I took that first picture) is this brick patio, our charcoal grill (and the one left by the previous owner chill out here with their friends the weeds. (I really have tried getting them out and given up after frustrating failure. Any weed tips?). The offending gutter is the one that’s disconnected. It was meant to go under the patio right passed the crawl space door and out the other end of the house (this is the master bedroom wing FYI). Surprisingly Bryan’s balancing act with the sticks and the green bucket directed the water out away from the house and saved the day. Hooray!

photo 3

Here’s a better view of the side yard, which really has the ‘backyard’ feel. There’s more grass, and it’s the nicest grass on the property.

photo 4

This lovely hole (really the gap in the bushes from the rhody to the evergreen) was where the ginormous thorn-bush was. The short mini bush is it valiantly trying to come back. But we aren’t going to let it. Someway, somehow this sucker is coming out. And in the process all of these stinky weeds are coming out and we will seed with some more grass. photo 5

Our house from the farthest corner of the property. The deck, the patio, the second air conditioning unit. It’s all there. The two tall skinny windows are the ones that flank our bed. And the lovely pains of glass are the 4 foot wide sections of the sliding door that we replaced. Hopefully the contractor is coming back to get them like he said….Oh, and up front? This is the first of hopefully many fruit trees (to add to our garden). I’m standing down just a bit of a hill and we plan to eventually terrace this bit of a hill and move the garden over here. Especially in conjunction to pruning back and even removing some of the overgrown bushes this will give us more yard.

photo 3

More of the grass and side yard. With the thick planting of evergreen trees it’s pretty private and quiet back here. Oh and you can catch a glimpse of our first ‘ripped out of the yard and no place to put it’ pile.

photo 4

And from the other end of the yard looking back. I know I just mentioned how private it is back here. And You are all thinking I’m crazy because there obviously is a house that looks out onto our yard, but it’s actually the garage of the lady whose fence our tree killed a section of during the first weekend. And all of the scruffy stuff that’s growing along there is on her property. Why she has a 4 foot deep section she can’t access I’ll never know. Eventually our forsythia and lilac bushes ( there are three mini ones planted that you can’t see in the photos) will help block out that mess.

photo 5

Taken from the same spot as the previous picture I’ve pivoted to show you the front, and yet another (much smaller) ripped from the yard pile, part of the fence, the overhanging arborvitae (thankfully are the neighbors), an azalea, and then the rhody next to the front door along with the front beds.

photo 2

More of the front

photo 5

From the front right hand side of the driveway, just a glimpse of the Japanese Maple.

photo 1

Looking towards the right side yard (and there’s the tree that knocked over a section of the neighbors fence). Oh and my patch of wildflowers…a bit random but the yard was bare there…down the road those two evergreens will come out and softer bushes will replace them. The front one is one of those prickly kinds, and the back one would stay but it was damaged with the storms and is actually tied upright. It’s half as big as it was since it lost so many branches, but it helps soften up the house and hides the electrical boxes and trashcan from view so it works for now.

photo 2

Right now this is our junk area. Un-used flower pots, trashcan, tomato stake, it all hides here. But, we are down to our last few rolls of carpet (been throwing away the blue carpet and carpet pad, along with all the other trash that comes along with moving bit by bit in whatever room was left after we threw away house-hold trash. Then we can do a massive garage clean out and start fresh. The flower pots can relocate to the garage and it will be much nicer, and hopefully less buggy.

photo 4

And here’s almost back where we started. You can see the garden, the air con unit, the evergreen, a sliver of the maple, and then the large and overgrown hydrangea and rose-bush. On the right is the overwhelming (in that we aren’t even near 10% done clearing things out and the pile is already so large) pile. But the garden will move to the small hill in the yard, and as the fall comes upon us and it’s a good time to prune things we will. Hopefully, this time next year things will look much more manageable.

photo 5

Can you feel it? I’m not typically the claustrophobic type, but when the branches close in around me, and I walk through the inevitable spiderweb even though I’m flailing my arms wildly to prevent it, without fail I can always feel it on my face. Ugh. But I walked through that tiny pathway between a prickly rose-bush and a holly tree just to snag these pictures for you. LOL. But seriously. That was me outside twenty minutes ago.

That’s the end of my very long outdoors tour. I’m kind of impressed with myself that I followed through and did it…and that I actually took more pictures than I used (and you thought this was a lot!).  You are welcome. all three of you lovely readers. And Aunt Jani who always loves my posts, Hope you enjoyed the little tour!

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Carolyn Sollenberger #

    Actually, Courtney, I love your overgrown jungle. It has such character. The rose bush and hydrangea are awesome! Spend your time on the beach instead of in the yard.

    Like

    June 10, 2013
    • I too love the roses and can’t wait to see the color of the hydrangea. I’m more thinking the other bushes could go, but you have a very good point… To the beach we will go! 🙂

      Like

      June 11, 2013

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