Okay, so I've finally been motivated to get some stuff accomplished in our yard. We've lived here for 3.5 years and this is the first summer I've really felt like really working hard on our yard. It's still got a long way to go, but I've made a dent in it and that makes me happy. One thing that would have made me happier? If I had taken some "before" pictures so I could show you the improvement in how the yard looks! One of my biggest motivating factors is that my son will be graduating in two years, and I'd like to be able to have his open house here. (Or at least have it be a viable option) I have been thinking about it for a while, and I didn't want to have to try and rush to get the yard looking nice at the last minute (because I usually am a terrible procrastinator). I figured if I started now, I should be able to get a good head start on getting the yard into shape, so that when the time comes, I won't have to worry about it so much.
So far I've:
Weeded my large ivy bed near the garage. It's seriously like 10' in diameter - pretty big. Also had quite a few weeds. Also being overrun by creeping myrtle, so I will have to move those plants, but I can't move them until I have a place prepared for them to go into. Of course, the weeding is something that will need to be kept up with, but I hadn't weeded that bed at all in the whole time we've lived here. If I stay vigilant, it should be relatively easy to keep that bed looking nice.
Created a walkway from the garage to our "overflow" parking space. There were several concrete stepping stones that I found in various places in the yard that I used, along with some pea pebbles and landscape edging. All told, the project cost about $30. Not too shabby, and it looks so much nicer than it did before!
Started a landscape wall that runs along the new walkway, and will continue around the ivy bed until it reaches the driveway on the other side. This will have to wait for further funding before I can finish it, although I believe it will cost no more than $100 or so to complete.
Weeded an even larger creeping myrtle bed near the end of our driveway. This thing was completely out of control and had several trees growing in it, alongside lots of picker bushes and a raspberry plant. It's going to take a bit more work to get it looking good again, but even just getting the stray trees and weeds out is an improvement. My goal is to thin out the myrtle and transplant some from the ivy bed near the garage to fill in some "empty" spaces.
Saved two tiny (one is about 3" tall, the other about 5") pine trees that I discovered growing in the myrtle bed. I'm hoping that I can get them to survive long enough to get big enough to plant in the yard (I've moved one into a pot so that I don't accidentally mow over it or step on it, and I will be moving the other one into a pot as well for the same reasons). I think I will be planting them at the corner where our yard meets our neighbor's yard. Of course, there are like 4 stumps to dig out of there before I can do that, but I'll get there eventually!
Needless to say, with all the work I've been doing outside, I've been exhausted by the end of the day! Fortunately, with the girls being outside playing while I work, they're exhausted too! It's also nice that Ande and the big kids are home in the evenings to help out with the girls as well. I can't wait for school to get out so the big kids will be here all day. Only 1 full day and two 1/2 days left to go...