Saturday, June 17, 2017

Yard Makeover

Not sure we ever imagined tackling the backyard as we have.  Remember when we first saw the house thinking the backyard may have too many trees, though I don't believe the man was as intimidated. He appreciates shade a little more, I was worried there wouldn't be ample light for flowers and gardens. 

When we first started clearing some of the pine trees it was mainly for Cooper. We didn't want him venturing under all the low hanging brush, quite frankly we weren't even sure what lurked under it all.  It was a real mess. 

We started out clearing a little, than the neighbor behind us joined in.  He said previous neighbors had let it become an overgrown mess, so he was more than willing to help.  He brought over his chain saw which allowed us to cut down even more branches.  Overall we took about 6 ft off the underside of each spruce. And all those branches and needles needed to be broken down to fit into bags to put out for lawn recycling waste.  It was a tedious process for sure.

Then we discovered years of pine type needles had accumulated under the trees, raking that all up was another big task. That took awhile, and it felt like more fell. We wondered whether we should just take them all down. But upon getting estimates we just didn't think it was worth it and weren't sure if we really wanted to give up the privacy they provided. Plus they are something green to look at when everything else is brown in the winter. 

After trimming it all what we discovered was a chain link fence behind it. Large neighbors dogs that backed up to our property diagonally on both sides.  Big, not overly friendly dogs.  Cooper seemed scared to even go near certain areas of yard. And I was some what afraid the one dog might even jump the fence.  So eventually we decided to put up a privacy fence that matched our neighbor on the side.  This way Cooper could have the whole yard to play and run. 

Luckily the weather provided unusually warm temperatures in February, we are talking 80's which is rare here. So we were able to take the chain link fence down and prepare to install a white privacy fence.  

Of course once that was accomplished we kept looking at thinking it still needed something.  So I planted shrubs that could handle the conditions and special soil of being under spruce trees.  As the weather continued to warm up the ticks became an issue.  Supposedly ticks are worse than ever this season. Of course it turns out they like pine type trees, and Cooper loves to hang under them. So after we coated the area with a bug treatment and blocked the area off for awhile.

We researched mulches and decided to try to go with a wood chip as ticks don't particularity like them.  Problem is the amount we needed would have cost us a lot.  So while walking the nephew in the park the other day I came across a tree company who was willing to give us around 10 yards for $75.  Quite the bargain compared to the $40 for one yard we were coming across. 

Literally two hours later the tree company was dumping their freshly ground wood chips on our driveway.  It basically took up a good portion of our driveway.  Wednesday we spent two hours in the evening and another four hours laying the wood chips.  The man shoveled them into a wheel barrow and dumped them, I raked them around the trees. 

We are rather sore and tired, as it was hard work.  Our neighbors were surprised we applied it as quickly as we did.  Think the the threat of rain in the forecast we didn't exactly have much of a choice as it would have weighed more when wet.

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