Jul 14, 2017

Other Backyard Updates

We’ve been working on the backyard as much as the weather allows. It's really coming together now!

I finished mulching everything. The left side of the yard is totally done all the way back from the blackberries to the raspberries to the line of thuja bushes along the fence to the river birches in the back. In the way back we discovered a TON of poison ivy growing on the fence from our neighbor’s yard. Mike pulled half of it up since I’m very allergic and he never had a reaction before… until later that day. His arms turned red and itchy and only got worse over the course of a week… eventually it was so bad he had to go to the doctor because his arms were swollen from the inside! He had to get shots and go on huge doses of prednisone. Luckily he’s feeling a lot better now but it was awful. And there's still a ton of poison ivy back there! I'm so worried the dog is going to rub up against it or the kids will find it. I hate using herbicide spray but we don't know what to do. The roots are on the other side of the fence and our neighbors are not interested in doing anything about it. Mike doesn't want to touch it again, I can't touch it (even covered up I seem to get it).

On a happier note, we had a break in the weather where I had lots of time outside! The garden paths in the back have been cleaned up and weeded. It looks so much better. You can refer back to these photos to see how green and weed-full they were. It took HOURS but was worth it. I thought my arms were going to fall off, but it looks so nice now!

Since getting the big job done it's just been a little spot weeding here and there - so much easier!

The pots I kept the citrus trees in were splitting, the plastic turned dry and brittle, I had to replace them. I considered getting two beautiful ceramic pots from Home Goods (they are like ¼ the price of the local nurseries), but I decided against it due to the weight. The trees and dirt are already heavy - I couldn’t imagine more than doubling that weight with a big heavy ceramic pot and then lugging it in and out of the house over and over in the spring and fall when it’s warm during the day but cold at night. I ended up picking up two inexpensive black plastic pots from Target that were just slightly larger than the ones we already had. I was going to transplant the trees but first just wanted to see what they would look like in the new pots before fully committing (and drilling drainage holds in the bottom)... so I popped the old pot into the new one… and really liked the look. The old brittle green plastic pot suddenly looked like matte ceramic. The black was new and shiny. And the two plastic pots were stronger together than apart. At least for now, this works!

When we were staining the new fence gate, we also stained the pergola where it needed it. It wasn’t a full restaining, more of a touch up job, but it was still a huge pain since it’s high up. Mike spent a few hours moving and climbing a ladder over and over. I’m glad it’s done though - the pergola looks brand new again.

Our backyard looks and feel so nice these days - it’s a pleasure to be back here! Just ignore the plastic jungle of toys...

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