Why can’t HGTV crash our yard?

Yesterday, we finally made a good start at tackling the problem of our yard.  Our house is a flipped foreclosure.  The great thing is, the seller we purchased from renovated the entire inside.  There are definitely odds and ends projects on the inside (like installing shelves to make our linen closet functional), but nothing truly major that needs work.  That just leaves the yard as our one giant project.  Since it’s a duplex, our front yard is pretty small but lacking in curb appeal.  The previous owners also had a weird obsession with green.  The entire fence along the driveway is painted green as well as the giant cement pylons at the end of the drive.  (I don’t think we’ll ever be able to get rid of those).  It also appears that they had painted the front walkway green, but now it’s all chipping away.  In addition, the chain link fence directly in front of the house that separates our yard from the sidewalk and bus stop is spray painted a different shade of green with some green wooden lattice added for good measure.  It’s all gotta go.  Here’s video from a couple weeks ago of the front drive.  My Mom named the dog Blanco; he’s now sitting in a pile for the dump. 

The backyard is a great size, but currently consists of 85% dirt and 10% weeds with the other 5% gravel, rotting wood and trash from the contractors that worked on the house.  Here’s another video so you can get a feel for it:
The previous owner also appears to have some weird privacy issues, if you can’t tell by all the extra scrap wood and corrugated metal screwed onto the fence.  Shane started to pull down the extra pieces yesterday to reveal a decent looking fence.  It’ll probably need to be replaced sooner rather than later, but it’s at least something we can work with. 
This is the before, with all kinds of extra boards on the fence. 

Shane’s after with all the extra stuff pulled down.  Some of the wood seemed pretty decent still, so we’re going to try to save and re-purpose it somehow.  Quite a difference, no?

More of Shane’s handiwork from yesterday.  We couldn’t get the gutter extension to drain out and away from the front of the house because of the cement lip edging the driveway.  He knocked it all out and got everything to fit so at least the water isn’t all sitting right at the foundation.  Just in time too since we’ve been getting so much rain lately!

For some reason, there’s no photo evidence of my hard work in the yard yesterday.  I tackled the dandelions and weeds that were trying to take over our front yard.  Good thing the ground was soft and damp because those dandelions were deeply rooted.  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen dandelion roots that big – we’re talking 8 inches to a foot long roots! After all the weeding, I got a lesson in adjusting the height on our new 14 inch reel lawn mower.  I’m not going to lie – I love the whirr it makes as it cuts the grass! Let me tell you, it’s not easy work pushing that thing.  Between the unseasonably warm temps yesterday and really having to push that thing over our long grass I was a sweaty mess by the time I finished.  I also learned those things are terrible at edges and corners.  I had to take some grass shears all along the edges and corners, not to mention the really long patches of grass that were so tall they fell over before I could go over the lawn again with the mower.  Lucky for me our front yard isn’t more than 20 square feet.  I’m starting to seriously consider purchasing a weed-whacker for all the edges around the fence and stuff.  Of course to do that we need a shed to store our outdoor tools in, and to get a shed we need a solid, level surface to place it on… etc etc.
I’m learning as a homeowner that you have to do three (four, five) different projects to tackle the one that you really want to address.  Sheesh!

I did fill a planter with a few of my favorite herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary & mint) yesterday.  It makes me happy since it’s the only stuff growing in our yard that’s not weeds or poor quality grass.

As we spend more time outside, we’re starting to brainstorm ideas for what we want our backyard to look like, what kind of patio we want, etc.  I’ll share some more of that with you all soon.


2 thoughts on “Why can’t HGTV crash our yard?

  1. Pingback: Closet Woes | Home By Hanley

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