Monday, May 21, 2007

Operation: Eliminate Backyard embarrasment

Oh my goodness, the backyard! We've lived in embarrassment of our backyard for long enough, and we finally decided to take control and throw a little money at the problem. The people who owned the house before us put in a Bocce Ball court. It was basically a very long horseshoe pit that lined the back of the yard. Here is a photo we took the week after we made an offer on the house. Notice that the grass was green, and the trees appeared to be alive...


One of the reasons we bought this house was because it backed to a greenbelt, an environmentally protected area that can never be torn down. In fact, in our previous two homes, we didn't back to another house. This was a major factor in choosing each home we've owned. We've never had a back yard neighbor.

When we moved to San Antonio, we disliked the Bocce Ball court (duh!) and landscaping, but we were overall happy with its potential. The previous owners stopped watering the yard once we were under contract. 2006 was the hottest and driest summer in San Antonio, and they NEVER watered. There are several new trees (two magnolia, one oak, one peach tree, and one pecan tree) that desperately required at least weekly watering to survive. The grass was dead (or dormant) due to the lack of water. When we had our final walk thru, I was furious at the condition of the yard, but Zak insisted that I didn't make a stink. If it's one thing I'm good at...it's making a stink.
After living here for 6 months, we finally hired a professional for help. You can tell by the weeds that we had just given up on it. We lost the Pecan tree, but were able to keep the others alive. Here is the "after" photo from the exact same portion of the yard as pictured above...



Before...looking to the North East from our patio:

After...

This was the little unkempt herb garden off the patio (looking west)...

In the after photo, we kept the rose bush, but took down the lattice, put in a rock boarder and I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to grow some herbs and veggies....


This is the after photo of the north portion of the back yard...


We still have some work to do on the grass, but it is a 100% improvement, and the baby plants still have a way to go. We find ourselves outside way more often, just sitting and enjoying the yard. That will change quickly, I'm sure, when the thermometer reaches 100 degrees.

Then, in October, we'll be back outside again.

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