Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend work

My Dears, 

I hope you had a great weekend. 

We had a productive few days, in addition to some nice dinners with family and friends.

Here was the main project that we tackled:

Yard work!

We have a fairly large city lot and although the previous owner was a wonderful gardner, it fell into disrepair and was wildly overgrown when we bought the property back in 2009. Frankly, we're still struggling to get a handle on the yard. Projects have included the pulling of 2,500 pounds of ivy, the garden shed construction, and the maple tree removal. I can tell that both Chris and I are a bit down over the fact that it seems like all we ever do is tear out stuff: ivy, holly, laurel, etc. As a result, things look fairly dismal from the road. We haven't planted much. But I firmly believe that in order to create a space that we like, we need to dismantle first. And do it according to a master plan. Hence the constant tearing out and uprooting of stuff. 

Yesterday we worked on the north side of the house. This used to be ivy central: the yard was covered, the space where the garden shed is now was covered, and the house itself was also covered (judging by the bits of ivy still clinging to the brick). This side of the house gets very little use by people; it mostly serves as a superhighway for Bailey to traverse from the porch (where he keeps a firm eye on passing dogs), to the fence (where our neighbor Milly spoils him rotten with treats), to the back door (and the location of his food bowl). 

Here is the before shot, looking east towards the lake:

And looking west towards the garden shed:

We hired a few guys from the Millionair Club and the guys went to work, trucking in a mixture of soil and bark, removing laurel stumps, and smoothing out the area:

Next we lay down some weed barrier (in an attempt to stem the ever-encroaching tide of ivy) and brought in the fresh chips. These were the ones left over from the big maple removal a few weeks ago. 
We were scheduled to have that stump removed last week but my tree guy bailed at the last minute. Hopefully he'll reappear this week. 

Chris estimates that they hauled 150 wheel barrow loads of chips up the hill this weekend. 
So now we have a pretty clean slate. This area doesn't get much sunlight, particularly in the winter-time, so we're going to have to carefully ponder our planting options. I'd like to add some fruit trees near the west end and maybe a few small shrubs. 
In the meantime, Bailey is tearing 'round the area like a maniac. He clearly approves.