One of the things that drew us to this house is the yard. Being a small ranch on 1/4 acre, the house is surrounded by large pieces of green lawn.



Shortly after we moved in, we did a walk-through around the yard and discussed what action we need to take. The yard is simple – there is not much landscaping except a couple trees and a flower bed. However, there was definitely some trimming and weeding ahead of us.

First, the pine tree in the front is scraping the porch cover and the roof. Our roof is already on its last leg. We really do not want to put more stress on it until we are ready to replace it. So the lower branches of the pine tree needed to go.


The backyard has a pretty healthy apple tree in the middle. However, the perimeter of the yard was aligned with dead trees and random bushes. they were either next to the electrical line or sandwiched between neighbors fence and our chain link fence, so they needed to go as well.






There was also a pile of old fencing and old branches on the side of the shed.


Last, there were so many weeds! The Sloniowskies have no tolerant for weeds.


Trimming and weeding sound easy, just like removing carpets. But it is actually pretty labor intensive and generates tons of trash. We were blessed with a cool (cold for me!) weekend in the middle of the mid-west heatwave. And you bet we totally took advantage of it to work outside.

Slav oiled up (his chainsaw) and got to work:




He cut down three completely dead trees, and a bunch of lower branches from the living ones. Look how much he cut off!


And the backyard suddenly looked bigger and much greener after all the brown branches were gone:



While Slav was waving his chainsaw in the backyard, I tackled the weeds. They were everywhere, like one every step. And we had some problem areas along the fence, under the tree, and around the mailbox.



Aside from the mianbox area, the right side of the front yard looks pretty decent. However, the left side yard did not look so hot. The grass near the fence was completely taken over by the weeds, creating a perfect trap for loose trash over the years.



After 6 hours of weeding, things started looking up:


And these was how much weeds I dug out of the yard! Two big yard waste bags!


After cutting all the dead trees and branches in the backyard, Slav started to trim the pine tree in front of the house.


The needles and pine cones from the tree covered a good portion of the roof and filled up the front gutter. Slav jumped on the roof and hosed everything clean.



Look how much needles came out of the gutter just below the tree! We plan to buy a gutter protector for the portion directly underneath the tree branches when we replace the roof and get new gutters.

Much. Better.


Believe or not, all the branches filled our 5′ x 10′ trailer, twice. Slav spent a whole day just to dump trash – one trip to a landfill for the carpet and other loose pieces we pulled off the house, and two trips to a yard waste center. But by the end of a three-day overhaul, we owned a weed-free and open yard!


It also made squirrel-watching a lot more fun for Roxie and Charlie. The pups are so on it! Sadly the two squirrels living in our yard are a lot quicker and smarter. I am pretty sure that they tease the dogs on purpose.


Did you do any summer cleaning around the yard? When Slav went to the landfill, he also got rid of the old grill left behind by the previous owner. We are getting a brand new grill – for the first time in our life time! And when we do, it is not too shabby to have a clean yard to look over!