Backyard Progress

We’ve been slowly making progress on the backyard.

Last Weekend

Ok, to be honest, the frost my cookies neighbors made progress on our backyard.  Remember all those river rocks we wanted gone, well they wanted most of them.  One day of three to five people working (it kept fluctuating) meant two-thirds of the stone left the yard and went to theirs.  Our yard went from this:

To this:

All while we projected in the house and went to an Arts Fest (coming up in another post).  Multitasking at it’s best.

During the Week

To continue with the progress, we had Nickett’s Landscaping out for an estimate.  They will remove the remaining stones, trim the arborvitae to a manageable height, remove our yard waste piles, and install a better drainage system on the side of the house.

Then we had a few fencing people come out for quotes and we were shocked by the prices for a PVC fence.  Especially since we only need it in the back and the front of the house.

We’ve recovered from the sticker shock.

Ok, not really but Hazel needs a fence.

Past Weekend

Since Nickett’s will be removing our yard waste pile (one downfall of Ambler– yard waste pick up is once a month), we wanted to play lumberjacks again to remove a tree in the way of our future fence.

We thought this would be an easy project.


Let’s start with the beginning shot of the back of our property.

Ignore the random tree part, the only before pictures I have of the entire area is from when we had the tree removed last year.  Over the past year, it’s become even more wildernessy back there.

And poison itchvy back there too.

Poison itchvy– the general term of whatever is back there that makes us itch.

This is the tree we planned to cut down.

Before we cut down the tree, we had to trim the tree next to it.  I climbed up on the stump and saw the sucker off.  When if fell, I crushed my tomatoes.

Le sigh.

Hazel was in heaven when the branch came down because she had a ton of sticks to chew.

We ended up having to bring her inside since she kept getting tangled up in the branches.  While untangling her, we had a chance to evaluate our situation a realized we needed a new tool– one of those pole saws.

So I did what I usually do.  Called dad.  He had one!

Our big problem was that two of the branches would fall into the frost my neighbor’s yard.  We were trying our best to avoid their pool and yard altogether.  While we were pondering (and ponder we did), the neighbor came out to mow her lawn and was fine with us getting branches into her yard.  We quickly cut the two before moving on.

We trimmed one more branch before starting on the main trunk.

Let me preface this by saying a lumberjacking event was on ESPN sunday morning and Greg felt the five minutes he watch was plenty of time to fully understand how to chop down the tree.   He cut a wedge out of the trunk in the direction we wanted the tree to fall.  Then he started to saw the trunk while I pushed against it (and prayed it didn’t fall the opposite way into our neighbor’s pool.)  After a minutes,  I decided I wanted to saw the tree and a minute later I decided I didn’t want to.

Greg gave me a look (slightly exasperated) and finished sawing.


Yes, we yelled that. . . . cause we’re dorks.

I started chopping down the tree into smaller pieces and adding them to our yard waste pile while Greg cleaned up the back with the pole saw thing (official name) a bit more.  Until the back looked like this.

And our yard waste pile looked like this.

The most productive part of the morning came when we had to use the saw to cut a weed.  I know you’re thinking, it’s a weed why don’ you just pull it out.

Because the weed was this big (just to put it in perspective, Greg’s 6’2″.)


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