[personal profile] indeliblesasha

This is what my yard looked like in June of 2011. Isn't it gorgeous and lush and amazing? We had watered nothing, in fact we had been gone for 6 weeks, and our good friend and contractor had mowed for us, in the narrow window that it was dry enough. It rained a LOT last year,

Now the thing is, it looks really pretty in this picture. Hell, it took my breath away after 6 weeks in Southern Arizona.

But that's a lot of over grown plants. They are starting to choke each other out and invade into the yard, and so the time has come for me to go to war with the plant life. It's for its own good, honest.

I have no pictures of the front yard, sadly, because the transformation out there has been amazing. We basically had a thicket growing on the front corner, and our contractors very kindly took it all out using chain saws. It took them half a day. Two of them. With chainsaws. The pile of branches and trunks is epic. (And hopefully gone soon. Because the neighbors are starting to look at us funny. Oops.)

Anyway, this is largely for my own amusement, a retrospective of what the yard has looked like the last few years, so this June I can compare and see if I did good, or just, you know, made a total mess of things. :D

First we have spring 2010:

See that leafy bush thing behind 1 1/2 year old Gus? I have no idea what it is. I cut it out. Maybe it will grow back and not be 5 feet across this time! See the tree behind that bush? That's actually four completely separate trees within less than four square feet. Two of which are currently 5 inches across at the base. I have cut out two (and the four or so suckers that were up to an inch diameter) and the third is coming down this weekend, because it's bent over the 4 foot fence and is growing sideways into the neighbors yard to get away from the parent tree. We like and will keep the parent tree. It's currently chained to the fence to keep the fence from falling over.

See the giant flowering things? I don't know how to express to you how enormous those are now. Or were, before I started cutting them back. At least 7 feet tall, and branches out to 6 feet across. We have like 5 of them, all in a row.

I took four trees out from behind them this afternoon, and have two more I need to cut out with a saw, and one that's good sized that I'm going to let stay. EDIT: Since I wrote that last sentence I have been outside with my husband showing him everything I took out today and what I'd like to finish this weekend. It's actually more like six or seven trees that needs to come out from between the bushes and the fence. It's insane.

Wasn't he fucking adorable? (I promise those are just cheap saggy diapers that I stopped buying, I do in fact change diapers regularly. This whole photo series made me facepalm while I was sorting. SIGH.)

Anyway! You can see the ...lilacs? I think they're lilacs. See how thin they are at the base and fluffy and green at the tips? These are old damn plants, and haven't been trimmed in a long time. So there is a ton of old dead wood in the middle making the new growth struggle and spread. Yes. Those are *struggling*. I have pulled out most of the dead wood now, and left a good deal of the new growth. I do like them, and they are great for privacy between us and our neighbors (who are wonderful, but still.) and one of them is in fact holding up part of the fence. I am just cleaning them up rather than culling them.

Here's a god side shot from last June:

It's dense and really pretty, honestly. But the pictures cannot convey how big they are and how much they have invaded into the yard because they're all choking each other out now.

This is mid-summer 2010, the other side of the yard. That chain link leads to more of our yard, but it's currently renovation storage. The giant bushes behind the boys will mostly stay, but the stuff closest to the fence are sucker trees that are growing sideways and trying to choke out the bigger bush that we LIKE. Thinning that all out.

Here's what that section looks like before it's bloomed, March 2011 -

Ugly right? Our yard is beautiful when it's green or covered in snow. The rest of the time (which is not much to be honest) it's sad and ugly and makes me depressed. I'm so glad we're headed back into green.

Here it is in early May 2011, see all the freaking dandelions? Those shot up in about 48 hours, and we hadn't started mowing yet. SO GROSS. I will be doing lawn care this year too.

I'm doing a lot of "raising the canopy" - taking off lower branches, cutting out under brush. The tops of the trees and giant bushes can get more nutrients and provide better shade, and stop encroaching into the yard. The stuff all the way on the right is almost entirely sucker trees. Bah.

Late summer (September) 2010. This is the same side as the lilacs, but further toward the back of the yard. (That's Charlie) That cluster right behind him, with the few yellow leaves? That's already gone. That was a cluster of six or seven inch-to-inch-and-a-half trees and another half dozen suckers trying to take hold around them. Trees? Not supposed to bush like that. I was going to leave the two biggest ones but they were all so entwined at the top I couldn't take out any of them without taking out all of them at once. It was insane.

Here's what that section looked like in March of last year, and what it mostly looks like now. UGLY.

Do you see that cluster of trees right behind Gus? That's not even the cluster I took out already. I haven't even gotten that far down yet. I'm taking out probably half of those, depending on how they cooperate.

October, 2010. The yellow leaves are those same trees, just a slightly different angle. There's that big tree right behind him, and behind that (upper right corner) is the apple tree that actually produces apples (that taste gross) and to the left is just a lot of greenery. There's actually at least 4 trees back there and a ton of random bushes and vines trying to grow. I am clearing that whole corner, because that part of the fence is super-at risk for coming down, especially when a combined hundred pounds of dog lean on it trying to catch squirrels. See the grass line? Five, maybe six feet from the fence. That's a shit ton of plants. We need to be able to reinforce that section of fence until we can replace it.

So there you have it. My green and rather lovely but horrifically over grown yard. I promise I'll take more pictures when it grows in. :)

January 2017


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