Five years ago we bought our house. We haven’t done a lot cosmetically to the house itself (functionally is a whole different story), but the yard has certainly changed drastically. For the last five years, we’ve been amusing and annoying the neighbors with our landscaping attempts. We’ve slowly been making progress and this year we had another big push as the five year anniversary of our home purchase loomed.
As much as I hate to admit it, the tree our neighbor insinuated we’d killed did die. Not from neglect though, but from a disease. (It was growing mushroom like growths from the trunk and the limbs were rotting and falling off.) Last fall we came to terms with the fact that it was beyond saving and cut it down.
This spring we dug the stump out and planted an apple tree in its place. (We replaced a bunch of the dirt in case the disease lingered in the soil.) It will be several years before it produces fruit. Maybe you’ll hear about it in my 10-year update.
It was a snowy spring and we lost several branches from other trees in the yard. We’d also hoarded a bunch of other branches from pruning and tree removal.
It was enough that we rented a wood chipper and with the help of some neighbors turned the unsightly pile into useful mulch. It may not be the most beautiful mulch, but I love that we took something ugly that most people would send to the landfill and turned it into something useful.
We also finally built our boxes for growing vegetables in the front yard. The dirt arrived two days before we left on a big trip, so we provided more amusement for the neighborhood as we planted our vegetable seedlings with headlamps until well after dark.
We’d made a huge pile of rocks as we excavated different parts of the yard (some of which seemed like they might have been part of some landscaping plan from a different era), and finally found a purpose for them in a little path. We have more things we want to do to the yard (both long and short-term), but it feels like things are finally starting to look intentional.
I half jokingly told one of my brothers that yard work is the number one way we do missionary work. Joking aside, it probably is one of the number one ways we’ve gotten to know our neighbors. People will stop and chat or occasionally we’ll even rope people into our crazy projects. (Like when we chippered the mulch we got help from a neighbor and then helped that neighbor and another one mulch some of their own branches.) Being those crazy, but friendly DIYers has definitely helped develop a better sense of community. And that includes the judgmental elderly lady across the street. She recently told us the yard is “starting to look good” which we took as a huge compliment.
When we first bought the house I feel like the yard was pretty boring; lately, it’s definitely become an outgrowth of our crazy, but hopefully beautiful personalities. Happy five years house!
2011: The year we bought the house.
2012: The year we went nuclear on the yard.
2013: First Garden in a Box and Buffalo Grass Sod
2014: The year of
neglect maintenance as we built the backyard playground.
2015: Dug up all the bushes and planted a second Garden in a Box near the house.
2016: Mulch, boxes, and a new apple tree.