Posts tagged ‘backyard’

September 5, 2011

Pallet Frenzy

Turning regular old pallets into something new and amazing has been quite a trend lately. And I am all for this trend. If you tell me that I can update something old and inexpensive and turn it into something modern and amazing, I am all over it.

The summer here in Texas has been miserably hot. But with fall fast approaching, I am dreaming of a patio in which to enjoy the soon to be cooler weather that we got a glimpse of this weekend. Our backyard will be a work in progress for a while unless we win the lottery sometime soon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy an evening sitting on the patio with a glass of wine when it’s too dark to notice the current, dreadful state of our yard. Right?

Well, at this point, I have nothing to sit on out there. And that’s where my dream of a pallet makeover comes in. I’m in the process of convincing Alex that this would be a great affordable start to a patio, I’ve dug up a few photos of pallet seating for inspiration/encouragement.
 

 

 

 
I just love this pallet swing!!! That’s it…I’m adding a pallet makeover to my ever growing list of projects.
 

July 17, 2011

If a tree falls in your backyard, and your neighbor isn’t around to see it…

Who pays for it? About a month ago, we were lucky enough to have a few storms pass through the area. I know it’s weird to be excited about storms, but that was the first rain we had in a while (unfortunately, it was also the last). During the storm, we heard a thud outside. This isn’t an uncommon thing for us considering we have a forest for a backyard (read about that here). However, it was an unusually loud thud, and we both looked at each other wondering what we would find in the morning. Well, this is what we found…
 

 

 

 
At first, we were pretty excited that the storm took care of a tree removal for us, especially since we had just received a very pricey quote for having a few trees removed and some pruning done. Then we realized it wasn’t our tree that had fallen. It belonged to the neighbor that lives behind us. This was a huge tree that was obviously rotting and really needed to be cut down. Now, it was laying across the back corner of our yard, and even falling into our other neighbor’s yard while crushing the fence in between. Also, one of the thick branches of the fallen tree got stuck on the way down and is now propped up on the branch of one of our trees. We are just waiting for that to also fall and take our branch with it. That initial excitement we felt about saving a little money on tree removal changed to anger thinking about how much work it would be to cut that tree down into smaller, movable pieces. But it’s not our tree!

So Alex walked over to the neighbor’s house to politely inform them of what had happened. Nobody was home. So he left a friendly note with our phone number. We waited a few days, but no phone call. Alex walked back over to the house to try to catch them at home. That’s when he saw a For Sale sign in the front yard. WHAT!!! We thought surely the real estate agent or the homeowner would call us to get this taken care of so that potential buyers didn’t see it. But it’s been a month and so far, nothing.

Do we have to pay for this ourselves? Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? If so, how did it get handled?
 

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April 24, 2011

Mmmmmm…beans!

Green beans, that is. That’s right, those green beans we supposedly planted too early (see here) are still doing fine, and this past weekend, we saw our first bean. Look at how cute it is.
 

 
I feel like the proud mama of a new baby, only I plan on eating this baby, so I guess that’s a horrible analogy.

Not only are the green beans doing well, the zucchini, broccoli and carrots have all gotten fairly big. And, I just moved the tomato and onion plants we started indoors to their new home outside. We replanted the pepper seeds, but they still did not sprout. We’ll just have to try again next year seeing as our goal in life is to grow everything we need to make fresh pico de gallo. We dream big!
 

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March 7, 2011

Sprouts

Today, as I write, I have an enormous smile on my face. Over the past week, we have started to see our vegetable garden grow, and I’m over the moon about it. I know, I’m a huge dork, but seriously, it’s very exciting!! So much so, I found it necessary to call Alex at work to inform him of this news. And now, we can’t stop going outside to look at our new little green babies.

We ended up planting one row each of zucchini (pictured at left), carrots, green onions, broccoli and green beans. We keep being told we planted the zucchini and green beans too early, so we were very excited to see that so far everything is growing and doing well. As this is a learning experience for us, we now know to keep our eye on the zucchini and green beans, and if necessary, we can always replant them in a month or so.

We also planted tomatoes, onions, and peppers in small pots in the house. And by small pots, I mean cans, jars and plastic containers we pulled out of the recycling bin. So far, everything except the peppers are growing, but I’m not going to let that get me down. Not when there is so much other growth happening.
 

Here is close-up shot of the rows in our garden. If you look closely, you can see some green sprouts. We still have a million leaves in our backyard. I’ve mentioned the plethora of leaves before here.
 

Here’s a shot of one of our tomato sprouts that we keep inside during the day. And we just planted those seeds one week ago!
 

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February 14, 2011

One step closer

After an amazing trip to NYC, we arrived back in Texas, greeted with beautiful weather. So we got right back into garden prepping. Unfortunately we got a bit of a late start, so I’m not posting a new picture to show the progress. It doesn’t look like we did much of anything, but my sore body says we did.

We began with a quick run to Lowe’s to get everything we would need to finish the garden. We bought a couple different kinds of compost, some stakes and twine, and of course, seeds! Less than $40 later, we were on our way home. The kiddos came along, which makes every quick errand a little less quick. So by the time we got home and got started, we didn’t have much daylight left. Take a look at the original image, and then imagine bricks dug slightly into the ground, lining the entire space. And also imagine the ground filled with nutrient rich soil just waiting for seeds to be planted.

I’m happy with the progress we made and we hope to have it completely finished by the end of the week. Also,  I was able to take this sweet picture of my boys…always a plus!
 

 

February 1, 2011

The Garden of Egner

After my post about the yard yesterday, I’m really excited to talk about the progress we made this past weekend. It just happened to be 70 degrees in the middle of winter, so Alex and I took advantage of it and got to work on our soon to be vegetable garden.
 

 
I know it doesn’t look like much, but had I remembered to take a BEFORE shot, you’d really be able to see the work that we did. So I’ll just tell you about it instead. We chose this corner of the yard because it is one of the only areas that receives direct sunlight for a good amount of the day. (We are starting with a small garden for now, in order to test the area and make sure it really does receive enough light.) The entire chain link fence was covered in English Ivy coming from our neighbor’s backyard. We tore it all out. And do you see that pile of bricks? Well, that’s just the leftovers. We moved a ton of random bricks from that corner of the yard. Not sure why they were there to begin with, but after digging them all up and stacking them nicely behind the shed, we realized we had enough to start another backyard project…a walkway. Yippee! Starting a garden is basically free, other than the seed, and now a project we thought was going to cost a bundle, won’t cost much at all thanks to a little hard work (and dumb luck).

The worst part about digging those bricks up—which I mostly did myself, thank you very much—was not knowing what kind of creatures were living underneath. There was a lot of screaming and running involved when a few spiders, centipedes, and even snakes came crawling out. But I was a big girl and got right back to work—after my heart rate returned to normal.

So the walkway will come later after a little more planning, but we got the area for the garden cleared out. And since we had so many bricks, we used some of  them to form a border around the space. Next, we’ll just have to till the soil and plant the seeds.

You have no idea how excited I am about this small amount of progress we made. I’m already dreaming of all the yummy foods I’m going to make with our plethora of fresh veggies.
 

January 31, 2011

Schooled by Mother Nature

In my very first post for this blog, I showed a glimpse of our backyard full of trees (see here). When we first saw this house, we fell in love with the trees and the size of the yard. We had seen other houses with decent (more normal) sized yards that were nicely landscaped and only needed the addition of patio furniture. But there was something about the potential we saw in this particular backyard that got us excited. We knew it needed work, but we didn’t mind. Even the 17 mosquito bites my legs received during our first look at the house couldn’t deter us.
 

 

Then, we moved in. And we quickly realized that all though trees are pretty to look at and they provide a lot of shade, having a forest for a backyard comes with a few problems. (The image above doesn’t even show half of the trees, but it’s the only shot we took of the backyard after moving in.)

Problem #1: Roots in the plumbing.
After 6 hours of listening to a jackhammer destroy the bathroom connected to my office (while trying to work) the roots are gone…for now.

Problem #2: Grass actually needs a little sunlight in order to grow.
Too much shade, and you get a backyard full of dirt and sticks without a single blade of grass in sight.

Problem #3: Leaves!
Trees are pretty during the spring and summer, but then autumn comes, and suddenly your dirt and sticks are covered by millions and millions of leaves.

Problem #4: Trees need to be pruned.
The previous owners obviously hadn’t touched those trees at all. My poor husband spent a lot of time back there pruning what he could reach. And we ended up with a crapload of firewood. In case you don’t know how much wood a crapload is: crapload of firewood = 4 pickup trucks filled to the top.

But even through all of this, we know deep down in our hearts that we can turn it into a yard that we enjoy spending time in. And we are determined to do just that.