Sunday, November 20, 2016

Yard Crashers: Back Yard Edition

When we saw our house for the first time it was late fall, so everything was dead.

You'd be surprised at how great things can look when everything is dormant. The slate is wiped clean and in the absence of overgrown bushes and trees, everything looks almost... nice

We walked around the back saying things like: 'It has a lot of of potential' and 'What are these weird concrete things everywhere?'

But we could easily envision a cute little back yard and surmise where our 'garden' would be. (Garden = our four tomato plants.)

BEFORE... Not that bad in the winter.

Look at that decorative concrete ball — very cemetery chic.

Imagine our surprise when come springtime, our dead little back yard with so much potential turned into an overgrown Jurassic Park, with those once-dormant bushes becoming so heavy that they tipped over and dragged the ground.

Spring time... yikes
Be afraid of the flora.

Ray and Cassius Clay visited a Superfund site. No wait, this was our backyard.

In addition to being overgrown and a general mess, it had a weird step-down from a railroad tie, some round concrete pillar things and pavers sunk into the ground in what appeared to be the shape of sandwich bread. (No doubt an offering to the deli gods for favor.)

At minimum, we would have needed a jackhammer to get the concrete balls out of the ground, and as much as Ray would have probably loved getting a jackhammer, we called a landscaping company. 

They came out and were like, 'Geezus! This is the smallest, crappiest back yard we've ever seen!' 

Okay, they didn't really say that. But they were probably thinking it.

Our direction to them was basically: 'We don't know anything about plants so, you know, put stuff in that's hard for us kill. Oh, and we'd like a small garden.' 

They took some measurements and came back with a schematic of what it all would look like. Sold!

Schematic of new and improved back lawn.

We failed to realize (or maybe we didn't, I can't remember now), that the work would be done the day we arrived home from our honeymoon in Hawaii. No big deal, except that our time zone was off and we slept through the entire thing as though we'd been drugged.

They removed part of a giant tree. Slept right through it. 
They jackhammered. Zzzzzzz.
There was heavy machinery — a bobcat, a chainsaw.  Yawn.

Once or twice we rolled over and thought we heard something happening, but then we fell right back to sleep. I took this one photo while sleep-walking I think.

About eight hours later, we woke up to this. 

Our terrible little ugly duckling had transformed into a beautiful swan. No more railroad tie step-down or weird concrete balls. Instead we had hydrangeas, a little Japanese maple, liriope and, my personal favorite, a weeping spruce.

The best part is that we were assured it would be difficult for us to kill any of it. 

And we even got a little garden plot, where we grow $200 tomatoes.

  Some before and after comparison shots.

You can really see the weeping spruce from this angle, if you aren't blinded by the vibrant colors of our beautiful wave petunias.
This is what everything looked like last summer overlooking the deck 

Is it too bountiful? Is the beauty of the wave petunias too distracting? Does the majesty of the Buddha and the whimsy of the weeping spruce remind you at once of the levity and depth of life? 

If so, I feel you

And the best part of the transformation (at least for us) is that now we just cut the grass and plant petunias and call it landscaping. Ta-DAH. (If you need us to do any landscaping for you because we are so super good at it, I can give you the number for our landscaping company.)

Up nextYard crashers: Front yard edition. (Our front yard was somehow even worse than the backyard, if you can believe that.)