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our jungle

Emily Oster

You might have noticed that posts about our garden have been noticeably absent this season. That is because we no longer have a garden or a yard but a jungle. To recap, when we bought the house last August the yard was in really rough shape - junk and trash scattered, invasive bamboo, large wood stumps and rocks - not to mention the weeds. Our first task was just to get the junk cleared out which were able to do right before the leaves started to fall. So many leaves..... We several really large old oak trees that I love but they create a huge amount of work that pretty much took up the majority of our fall yard work. Winter came and went and in the spring, we were able to clear 3 of the 7 major garden beds. I even planted some lettuces and started a black raspberry patch. Then a very rainy May and June hit which washed out my edible garden and created amazing growing conditions for weeds come July. When we returned from Michigan at the end of the month, the weeds had shot up to astounding heights like 9 feet. Throughout August, they just grew and grew. We had one week, that the heat broke and I was able to clear 2 beds but now we are back to intense heat and humidity so they continue to grow... 

I am really quite embarrassed by the state of our yard and I have seriously debated sticking a sign in our front yard that reads "I know it looks so bad but you should see what we started with! And how much work we have on the inside!". With the heat and a super busy month of weddings, it is not looking promising that our yard is going to improve anytime in the near future. So in the meantime, I sit and plan. Plan for October and weekends of hard labor spent outside. Jeff tells me I need to adjust expectations and focus on manageable projects thus I am working on editing down my list.

  1. WEEDING - I think we could get 5 out of the 7 garden beds under control. Like I mentioned, 3 of the 5 have already been cleared so the weeds are relatively new growth and shouldn't be too hard to clean up.
  2. MULCH - Mulch the beds that we clear. Without mulch, there is no way the weeds won't just spring right back up.
  3. BACKYARD - We had lined up guys to excavate out the bamboo (which invades the rear portion of our backyard) but as of late they have been rather MIA...We really are hoping that they will still do the work as we are running out of time to get it done AND then get grass seed or sod down before the winter. 
  4. NEW GRASS - Assuming we can get the backyard excavated, we will then seed or sod. We have started looking into the pros and cons of each and will need to do more research and planning before making our decision. 
  5. TREE REMOVAL - We have one small dead tree in the front yard which I think Jeff could manage taking down....with some supervision.
  6. TRIM BUSHES - We have several large bushes in the front that are in desperate need of a really good haircut.
  7. TRANSPLANT - Once the beds are cleared, there are several plants and two hydrangea bushes that I would like to relocate. 
  8. LEAVES - They have already started to drop and this year I would like to stay on top of keeping them cleaned up.

What do you think? Sound doable? And yes these are actual images of our backyard....