Since we got back from the honeymoon the weather has been warming up and we have been doing a ton of yard work. Both the front and back yards needed some TLC.
We started in the front by tearing out three 20 year old bushes and their broken planter box. The center bush had started to die while the other two became overgrown. We thought about salvaging the planter to plant something else but it appeared to be beyond repair so the whole thing had to go.
Next we moved onto the tree. For reasons unknown the base of the tree had a mulch area three times larger than necessary. You can see in the picture how it spans almost from one side of the yard to the other. We decided to take that down a bit to be a more reasonable size.
We now have a beautifully grass seeded front yard that is starting to be green again!
Onto the back yard...
This is what we were working with. A lot of dead plants, old mulch and some sort of ivy that was taking over one corner. We also had an AC unit that was about 2" underground, but as you can see that was already taken care of. Our row of houses has been known to flood too so we wanted to elevate more towards the house and have the land slope away gradually. We also have a deck on the second floor that shades some of the yard too much for grass to grow. We decided to use the white marble chips around the deck and then have grass our in the yard where it is not as shady.
The white rocks give it a much cleaner look and feels like an extension of the deck. We also added about 20 feet of gutter to keep the water away from the house and drain at the back of the yard. Last fall we significantly cut back the bush in the corner because it was overgrown and unhealthy looking. So far it has come back looking great and I can't wait to see what color the flowers are (I think they're purple). Grass seed has been planted and has started to peak up through the hay!
The cats don't go outdoors but they would sit in the windows and watch us work.
Now we need to invest in a lawn mower and get the decks washed and stained.