You can see in these pictures almost how bad it was. Now, when folks came over to help with the fence, we had so many people again, I have so much gratitude for all of you that we were able to put some to work on helping to clear the enormous brush piles. Just to give you a clearer idea of how bad it was in the beginning - Garry and I had cleared about 2/3 of it before people came.
These photos were taken when we were almost done with the brush piles. Okay, this will give you a better idea of how much brush we had:
Oh wait there's more...
Yeah, that's a scary amount of brush.
That took a few hours of about 5 people bagging up the brush. It was pretty bad. But now the yard is all clean... well... except for the picnic table exploding.
It was a really great way to relieve stress and injure shoulder joints.
And the enormous pile of bricks where Garry and Andy took out the brick planters next to the house:
We're planning on another project for that back corner, but that won't happen for a while. :-)
We also dismantled the mermaid that was guarding the back yard. I am planning on scrubbing her down with a good wire brush to get all the flaky paint off and repaint her. I'm also reusing the planter brick and the slate from her little wall (most of it stayed relatively in tact, which surprised most of us) to rebuild her shrine in the corner of the yard. That, my friends, will be a fun project!
For the time being, we figured she'd be happy in the front garden where she can see the goings-on of the world outside our yard.
Also - look at my hyacinths! they are blooming like crazy!
Remember that rouge ivy that was starting to come into our basement? Yep, we took care of that too.
We still need to really scrub the walls and dig some of the plants out (especially the myrtle growing in the right side of the last photo) and probably rake up those leaves. Also, you can really tell that basement window desperately needs to be replaced. (That's the screen that's all cracked and broken in the photo, not the actual window). That's another project on the list to take care of this year.
At some point, we may put a vegetable garden in that corner. If we do, that won't happen until next year or maybe the year after - depending on how many other projects we get to this year.
Overall, our yard looks a MILLION times better now that the trees are out of the way and the brush is picked up. We saved the larger pieces of wood to use in our fire pit. We're also (eventually) going to have a tree service come and take down the large pine tree in our yard. It's growing crooked and one good, heavy snowstorm will crack some of the larger branches and ruin our fence. It's better to be safe than sorry.