Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Than One Chick Can Handle

And so begins my yard work rant.

First let me say that I have never had to do yard work in my life. Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and trimming bushes were done by my brother and father when I was growing up (although I will say my mom did her fair share of planting flowers and laying pine straw) . My sister and I (in true old southern fashion) did the "inside" work--cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, vacuuming, etc. So yeah, laugh all you want but I have never used a lawn mower in my life.

This is probably all the more humorous since I bought a house with a yard that is quite possibly the messiest yard in America. And when I say bad I mean BAD. I bet there is at least 5 years worth of un-raked leaves, dead branches, and weeds strewn all over my back yard. I can tell you for a fact that after a little excavation work (and I do mean excavation) there is definitely no grass growing under all that the mess. The front yard is a little less scary because there is at least grass but the flower beds need some major love.

So I knew when I bought the house I was just going to have to put on my big girl panties and learn about yard work the hard way--by diving straight in.

My plan was to have the front yard cleaned up with the flower beds mulched and new flowers planted by the time my family comes into town for my sister's baby shower next weekend. So far, so good. I put hand to rake and filled up 10 yard bags alone with leaves. My hope is to get mulch and some flower this weekend and pretty it all up.

House before (and with the old paint job)

House after with new paint job

Yes, Ashley can rake! I even got a compliment from the Parking Nazi--winning!

So with the front yard under my belt I decided to attempt to tackle the back yard this past weekend. This is what I began with:
Those are weeds, not grass

It's okay to laugh--I'll be laughing with you
So after about 2 hours worth of work I had filled up 8 yard bags and had only cleared the walkway by my back door and the small portion of the yard you see in the picture above (with the drainage ditch and hose). This is less than a 1/4 of my yard.
After--my back porch


It was an improvement for sure but after some deliberation I decided that this yard work was too advanced for my novice skills and that I would definitely need some help. So, today I called around to a couple of local landscaping companies to come out and give me estimates for a general backyard clean-up. I figure if I can just get the leaves and tree debris out and get some grass planted I will be good to go. If the estimates are too high to have someone else do the work, well then I guess it'll be baby steps, several weekends of work, and much more complaining to get the yard back to a manageable state.

Wish me luck.

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