Takin' Back the Back [Yard]

Once upon a time there was a fuzzy duckling that
longed to be a beautiful swan. Or an overgrown lot
that longed to be a Lovely Backyard.

This is what the approach to the Park used to look like:
It was kinda Secret Garden romantic with hidden surprises around every turn and all that, but we happen to be creatures of the light so we tentatively began trimming and then became emboldened to really clean and clear and let the light into the yard. It's shaping up to be every bit as nice as we hoped.
The hill where the butterfly bush used to live was
in the middle of the jungle. We transplanted two climbing
rose bushes and the butterfly bush, cleared out a
California pepper tree that had laid down, along with
a pine tree and a half and some tough old rosemary bushes.
We mowed and yanked and wrestled tough, leggy bermuda
grass. I loathe and despise bermuda grass. And don't get me
started on snails.


The Amazing Mr. Last, in his spare time --
after his 40+ hours of employment each week--
excavated and laid forms and concrete footings
and built a cinderblock wall. It will be 130 feet long
when he is finished. He has done every single bit
of the work himself. Lifted every block, mortared
every joint. A lesser man would have hired the job
out for someone else to break their back doing.
But I'm awfully proud of his beautiful work.

He's the brick mason and I'm the lumberjack.

Tonight he is painting the interior of what we affectionately
call "The Citrus Box" with water sealer. It's a cinderblock planter that's about 32 feet by 7 1/2 feet that will contain our dwarf orange and lemon "orchard". It replaces the north jungle and hill.

Speaking of boxes...remember these? Mr. Last built
them, too, and I rigged up the Tater Tower.
Lookit 'em now! I picked the first cucumber tonight.
`Sadly, we've determined that they only get about four full hours of sunlight each day now that the Ash tree to the south is all leafed out. That's not really enough for these veggies. So we are making plans for a couple more boxes southward where the sun shines all the time, and maybe I'll fill these with nasturtiums. And pickling cucumbers. The nasturtiums and pickling cucumbers seem to be happy here. 


This is slice of our life right now. And the projects are stacked thick and deep so it'll be a while before we ease up. I expect next summer we will have the east and north sections of the backyard in pretty good shape. Then we'll work on the Far West woodland garden and on to the front Castle Gate.We are having a great time.

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