Our backyard is not huge at all. In fact the entire size of our lot is under 6000 sq ft. But, when we first saw it, we were more than impressed at how beautifully it could serve all the three functions we had in mind for it.

A deck or a patio where we could sit, relax, eat, play, work and sleep ( on clear starry summer nights).

A  dedicated place to grow fruits, veggies and herbs.

And most importantly, a decent sized lawn for the kids to run and play.

But, as you can see from the above pictures, it was an over grown, unkempt mess. There were brown spots on the lawn when we toured the home ( when the above picture was taken), which by the time we moved in, had weeds and crabgrass all over. The lights broken and in need of updating

The hedge and trees needed trimming. There were  also dead and dying plants.

The sprinkler and drip irrigation system were not working and needed replacement, and finally a deck that needed a thorough scrubbing and a new coat of paint.

We started our backyard with a clean up of what we thought were dead plants and also cleaned up the yard a bit, by cleaning I mean trying to trim the crabgrass with shears. So that the kids could run and play on the grass when we couldn’t take them to the park.

Then we pruned a  couple of limbs from the tree next to the deck. The limbs that we pruned were directly over our roof and posed a “significant” safety hazard should they fall or get damaged during a storm. This was recommended by both the roof and the home inspector. To do this we called  landscapers and asked for their suggestions on how to limb up the tree without damaging it. Then we got a tree cutting service to take care of the job. It’s the tree on the right in the picture below.

Did you guys notice the arrow on the left pointing to the tree on the other side on the  fence. This tree though not technically ours, covers a part of our deck and side yard with its canopy. At first we were glad to have the canopy extend to our deck, since our deck was uncovered and the apple tree did not have any leaves and offered no shade, but  two weeks into moving in we realized that the fruit that was falling from this Pomelo tree was rotting and damaging the deck.  The dark area directly under the canopy that you see in the above picture is not  its shadow, but the damage done to the deck, by rotting fruit from this tree.

So at first, I bought a pair of shears and tried to trim some of the offending limbs seen in the below picture, but it did not make much of a difference.

So I borrowed a  handsaw and  a ladder from my sister and carefully trimmed the branches of the tree that were hanging over the deck. I took care to leave the limbs intact and just take out the leaves and fruit that were directly over the deck.

Next on the list the lawn and veggie patch. I’ll be back with updates about them  in the next post.