Jun 25, 2007

My Own Wall of Shame: The Future Garden of Eden

Ok, since I sold the kids out on their messy room, it is time for me to confess a mess of my own, it's only fair.

We have a landscaping problem.

It all started out simply... in July '04 we bought our first home. Our 'yard' had nothing but weeds that we thought we could tame. The flower bed had silk flowers that we figured we could replace with a lush oasis of wildflowers, and it has a sprinkler system, with a timer! Soon we learned some things that made our hearts sink.

  • Our soil was made up primarily of sand, and we were lucky we could even get weeds to grow as ground cover.

  • Plants take a long time to mature.

  • Our sprinkler system was manufactured sometime before the birth of Christ, AND it was leaking.

From the time we purchased the home until last fall we tried everything from seeding and watering like crazy, planting a "tree" and shrubbery, to fertilizing, aerating, thatching, weed n' feeding, using round up, tilling, to finally throwing up our hands in disgust.

For the last two weeks I have been calling landscapers and arranging estimates. We have interviewed four landscapers, have one more coming on Wednesday and have received one estimate back for the total of around five thousand dollars. Some have given us a time line of having the work completed in anywhere from 3 weeks from now, to three MONTHS from now.

So without further adieu, I give you all my Yard of Shame.


This is a view of my front yard from the street... this is what all my neighbors see, this is my "curb appeal". Nice huh? Notice the lovely patches of dead grass. THAT is what type of grass grows when you don't have good top soil.


This is my sweet little "overgrown weed" as my neighbors refer to it; we get a lot of razzing for this sweet little tree. My mother, who lives in Washington, has a yard full of trees that are probably all 15-20 years old. This little guy was a volunteer from her maple tree that she put in a pot and gave to me to take home. I drove this little tree 1400 miles home to Colorado and planted it with the help of Bobby. Bobby does not love it as much as I do, and he is not against ripping it out and putting a more mature tree in.


This picture shows you how tiny this tree really is in comparison to my neighbors trees. The sad thing is, the two neighbors on the same side of the street as us also have young trees. Theirs were the classic 1 1/2 inch diameter trees that one can usually find at a nursery, I expect our little maple to be the size of their trees in 3-5 more years.


This is my sad little flower bed. The saddest part is, you can barely see the difference between the Potentilla shrubs, and the tall weeds. However, the positive part of this picture is I have had the potentilla for 2-3 years and have not managed to kill it! This is impressive for me. Generations upon generations of talented gardening genes in my family, from my paternal and maternal sides, have all managed to skip over me. However, these messy little bushes are a vast improvement over silk flowers sticking out of bead-board.


This is my lovely sprinkler system (not the hose, though that would probably work better). It has a timer, but the previous owners said it did not work, and the timer is mounted in my basement behind my washer and dryer, so even if it DID work, we could not get to it. We also found out that the pipe broke sometime before we moved in and so we have been throwing money out the window each and every day as this thing leaks all over the place.


This is my backyard. It has no sprinkler system and no landscaping (unless you count weeds, overgrown ivy, holes from the dogs, or chewing damage from the dogs landscaping). The fence is thrice the age of the home and needs replaced badly, however we need to get our two neighbors to agree to do a couple things. The neighbor to the north of me would have to kill his ivy and replace his own fence that is putting weight on mine. Being he has 4-5x more fence than we do this is easier said than done. The neighbor to the west of me would have to replace a retaining wall that the previous owners of their house ripped out. The husband is deployed to Iraq and the wife barely speaks English so this is not happening either. Those two 2x4's you see are from a windstorm we had that caused the fence to partially collapse since about a quarter of my support fence posts are rotted at the base and broken.


This is a view of the west part of our fence and most of our backyard. Those pieces of plywood are nailed to the fence to cover the holes my dogs are creating to assist the neighbor dog in her escape to my back yard. This is also where my yard is sinking into the neighbor's yard, along with my support posts for my fence making it that much more unstable.


Anyways, if you wish to view the entire set of pictures, make sure to visit my Flickr set titled "Yard of Shame". [Opens in a new window]

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