16 July 2013

Backyard Makeover part 1

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All along the base of the back deck we have a conglomeration of hedges/vines/opportunistic nightmare weeds/trees that have been the bane of my existence since we've lived in this house. I'm not sure what the hedges are called, but there's wild grape in there, honeysuckle, thorny locust...needless to say it's a mess.

So, we decided to remove it all, finally. I think what started it was that we lost the only beautiful part of the whole thing, a gorgeous tree on the corner, to the April storm. After that we knew it all had to go. I neglected to take some before pictures, but I do have the ones I took after the storm. Keep in mind that this is early in the season and the honeysuckle, wild grape and thorny locust have not as yet graced us with their presence.

Did we hire someone? Did we rent equipment? Did we at least do it on overcast days or early morning/later evening? No, no, and only sometimes. We did use a four-wheeler and chain to help remove the roots/stumps. I can't remember when I've worked so hard and I didn't even do the hard part. My husband and son are both very strong men and on a rare occasion they were both here to do the job.

It took several days to get it all out. Then we had to remove the decorative rock, which wasn't fun either. We probably should have done it a different way, 'cuz I think we caused ourselves more work, but we just raked it back out of the bed onto the yard. We laid landscape fabric and edged the whole length with scalloped brick. Then we shoveled the rock back in. There's still a bunch of rock on the yard and we'll probably never get it all out of there. I should note here that the original bed is much much wider than the new bed, so technically the excess rock is still in the old bed. It looks funny for now, but it's a WIP.

We repaired the lattice work and added new lattice work around the hot tub enclosure. Then we scrubbed the deck and resealed it with a stain/sealer to try to match up the different wood tones a little. That didn't happen too much, maybe they will look better with time. The whole deck probably should be replaced but we're trying to squeeze a few more years out of it. We did replace the handrail on top though. The lattice work leaves a lot to be desired as well. But again we are trying to make it last a little longer. The previous owners had an extra sheet of lattice that they overlaid on top of another piece. That turned out to be a good thing because one piece was too far gone to continue using it so we took it apart an used the slats as framing. I know, I know, it's all wobbly looking and is probably making you cringe, but believe me it is a far cry better than what it was.

I may or may not put some plants in the new bed in the future. For right now, I am enjoying the cleaned up look.

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