Landscaping Nightmares

When we bought our house about 8 years ago, the yard was a MESS! The house was a short sale and the previous owners did a lot of landscaping and cheap cosmetic updates, then ended up moving and renting the house and never looked back. Not surprisingly the renter did exactly no yardwork or upkeep. This wouldn’t have been terrible except for the fact that I think the previous owner was trying to recreate the Secret Garden or something. He had installed a picket fence encompassing about a quarter of the backyard, and created all kinds of little landscaped areas with decorative landscaping bricks, a sprinkler system that attached to the hose, and planted raspberries and strawberries and I think other vegetables, but by the time we got there, the rasperries and strawberries had completely taken over and this part of the yard is something I referred to as a “jungle” for the several years it took to clean it all out. In addition to that little mess, he has installed a brick paver patio. Which was really pretty except if you have a brick paver patio, you understand that you have to maintain it or else the weeds take over. Imagine if no one sprayed it or weeded it for a couple of years. Yup. Thats what our patio looked like. To make matters worse, in order to create the secret garden jungle, he leveled the area and piled the excess soil against the garage. Which had wood siding. Awesome. Here are photos of the jungle before it was completely cleared and the soil piled against the back of the garage. Keep in mind it looked like the portion in the back for about 3 years before this project was completed (we had an infant and a toddler when we moved in and another baby two years after moving so we were somewhat preoccupied with that as well!)

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View of the jungle, partially cleared
View of the soil/rocks/unused paver bricks piled against the garage

Once the garden was finally cleared out it took another year before we removed the fence. The posts were mostly rotted but I’ll hand it to the previous owner, he was really dedicated. Those things were buried DEEP!

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The jungle is gone but note the ever frustrating task of keeping up after the patio and also a brick paver walkway leading to the secret garden.
View of our back patio with our old girl enjoying some sunshine. Miss that pup!

This is what it looks like now. More work needs to be done over the summer, but since our yard is relatively small (our lot is a little over a quarter acre), every square inch counts!

This past weekend we finally finished one of the last projects, moving the giant dirt mound away from the garage. Note the rotted wood siding at the bottom. We have had such an issue with chipmunks and mice getting in that we added re-siding the garage to the renovation project. It’ll be worth every penny!

Anyone else have major landscaping project to tackle? We still have some work to do in the front, once the renovation is completed we will have to rebuild a (smaller) flower bed and plant some shrubs to balance out the front of the house.

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