Thursday, September 11, 2008


We cleared the yard.

This is one of those projects that definitely falls into the category of I Just Can't Take It Anymore. I couldn't tolerate another day living with the plants and leaves and crap we took out. You can't really see it in the before pictures here, but there were these five sort of tree-shrub plants that were just about human size scattered around the yard, and I found them really scary. They were like great zombies with raised arms and loose-hanging flesh. At the last minute we decided to take out a full-grown fig tree of sizable girth that hulked in fully half of the yard. I was torn over taking down a mature fruit tree which could bring, if nothing else, resale value to the house. But the fact is, the figs it produced were flavorless, and it attracted just about every kind of pest, from flies, to racoons to rats. I'm so pleased with the result, so good riddance.

We paid $550 to Rene at J&J Tree Service to do the job. He's the same tree pro we used last year to butcher the half-dead Chinese elms and extract the yucca monster from the front of the house. He's super quick and thorough and I think his prices would be hard to beat.

No, the toys in the pictures below didn't come with the house. My mother has been on a Craigslist toy binge and picked up these two ugly little numbers for our 2-year-old daughter. They may be a bit of an assault on the eyes, but Poppy loves that little slide and boat-shaped sandbox. Until we put in landscaping, why not give her a little playground at home?

We're far from finished on this yard, but just clearing it made such an impact.