Friday, August 16, 2013

My backyard mess

My backyard is a mess.  Not quite the hot mess like our neighbors behind us but it is a horrible hot mess itself.  No grass, just dirt and weeds.
My husband helps me clean our hardwood floor once a week and a couple of weeks ago he commented about how much dirt and sand there is on them all the time.  I smiled and said, "Well every time the dogs or anyone goes into the backyard they track sand and dirt back in with them and deposit it on my floor."  He looked at me like I had 3 heads!
We use to have grass but it was clumpy and uncomfortable to walk on so we let it die.  In Colorado that doesn't take long over a hot summer.  So for the past 3 years we've had dirt and weeds.  Yes I said THREE YEARS!
I don't know about everyone else but I hate hoses, they always look like snakes in the yard to me!
We also now have tree issues.  This one is pretty much dead.
However, I love that it is a big old tree and when it had leaves it provided a lot of shade and in Colorado we could actually use our backyard in the summer, even mid-day!  You can also see our fence in that picture.  According to our neighbor it was the first fence put up in 1970.  Pretty good craftsmanship back then I guess because while other fences have fallen in the snow and wind this one is still standing!  I do not want to cut this tree down, that and the quote we got was $3,500!  Well it is about 80 feet tall.  I also don't want to cut it down because our neighbors yard behind us is really a hot mess as well.  Weird fences up all over the place, a bathtub full of dirt, weeds that could hide an adult and every kind of garden gnome and other statues that you can think of!  Kinda creepy.  Oh and did I mention that their house is Aqua and turquoise with a red deck?  Yeppers.  But that is the disadvantage of living in an older neighborhood without a homeowners association.
I want grass but we live going up a hill and all the water rolls off into our neighbors yards.  I got the hubby to agree that we need to do something.  Personally, I think he got tired of helping me clean the wood floors of all the sand and dirt that the dogs drag in!  But I'll take it!  So a retaining wall across the back and up the sides a bit and a new fence across the back and the sprinkler system fixed and grass, yes grass. This is all I wanted for this year.  We thought about doing it ourselves but retaining walls are hard people, really hard to put up.  The one we have, we did ourselves and it took a month!
We got several quotes and if you are having a backyard or any yard re-done shop around!  I got quotes ranging from several thousand - $15,000 to a couple of thousand - $6,500.  I looked up everyone's BBB (better business bureau) rating and only dealt with those with a high rating.  I also looked at everyone's web sites to see if I liked their work.  We didn't pick the cheapest but we surely didn't pick the most expensive!  Some people are very proud of their work.
If you look at the picture above you will see that my deck is three different colors, green, beige and red.  I bet you are saying, don't knock your neighbors, you have no room to talk!  Look at your deck!  Look at all those weeds along the retaining wall!  My answer is hey!  The garden is clear of weeds, it looks so pretty and hey I DO NOT have garden gnomes and lots of statues in my yard!  I don't know about you but those gnomes kind creep me out!
I told you our yard is a hot mess!
So this year we will fix the major hot mess.  I will still have the side to deal with and those rocks.  I use to pay my kids $10 a full wheel barrow ($5.00 each) of rocks when they were little.  I still have rocks on the side of the house.
Next year we will try and get more of the rocks out and mulch this area and put steps in as this is a hill and all the gas and electric runs right underneath.  At the bottom I'd like a stone patio leading to a shed.  Maybe by this time next year I'll be able to park my car in the garage!

The side yard with my dead plant.....

I do love my little garden though, it isn't a great as last year but it is still pretty nice and the only bright spot in an otherwise horrible back yard.
Is your yard or do you know someone who's yard is a hot mess?  I bet not as bad as this!
Look here you can see our neighbors behind us and their lovely house colors - notice the trim around the window.
Is it bad that I have wildflowers growing in the middle of my backyard?  Just a bit huh!

 I will keep everyone updated on our yard progress.  It can only get better from here!

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