Does everybody remember last year, when the backyard looked like this?
Or worse, the year before, when we got a visit from the county because our neighbors were so irate about our backyard overgrowth? It looked like a jungle out there. The weeds in the very back were so high they were over my head, and threatened to completely engulf our little outbuilding. The aluminum shed next to the garage was rickety and rusted. The giant hole in the ground from where we took out the old aboveground pool filled with water at least once a month. Our friends' children took great delight in 'fishing' in it with fallen branches from our wildly overgrown trees, but the rest of us were not so pleased with it.
Enter the landscapers. We took down the aluminum shed ourselves, one hot and sweaty Saturday afternoon, but they did the rest. They filled in the pool hole, cut down the trees that were weed-ish in origin, and scraped the entire back half of the backyard. A concrete guy came out to jackhammer up and haul away the concrete slab the shed had been on -- that was a WHOLE NOTHER adventure. Don's grandfather poured that slab, and to economize he filled it in with whatever he could find. There were tire hubs, chain link fencing instead of rebar (almost every link had to be snipped, as the jackhammer didn't fit between), and all sorts of other things inside the slab, which went from a reasonable four inches or so thick at the front to over eight inches thick at the back. It took forever to get it out.
In the meantime, the landscapers seeded the rest of the yard and covered it with straw. When the concrete was gone, they did the same for the small patch where it had been. The picture below was taken shortly after that, while the final patch was still growing in. The whole thing is grown in now, and it looks lovely - when they mow, we end up with stripes like a baseball field!
Talk about a difference. We had a party here a few weeks ago, and people spread out all over the lawn without fear of falling into a hole or tripping over debris. It was amazing.
Future plans include getting rid of the old electrical line for the pool and shed, and the corresponding posts, plus probably cutting down the old flagpole. We'll eventually tear out the little outbuilding - originally, we thought to keep it and refinish it into a separate office or studio, but instead we'll tear it out, finally dig out those old footings, and put in a semi-inground pool. That may happen next year, depending on our financial situation. We'll also have to talk to our neighbors about replacing the falling-down chain-link fence, preferably with something a little taller and less transparent. In the meantime, we're enjoying having a vast swath of grass to look out over whenever we glance out back.