Friday, April 11, 2008

family yard day

We have a large double lot yard that has spent a lot of the last couple of years as an overgrown mess. It's got several large flower beds that wrap around the house, lots of smaller areas that need to be weedwacked, gravel paths and driveways that quickly become overgrown with weeds, and several large trees that shed various messed depending on the season. When we bought this house, the yard was a big motivator for me. There's plenty of room for the kids to play, plenty of room for a nice vegetable garden...but, having pretty much always lived in apartments prior to this, I completely underestimated how much time a yard like this can take to keep up. John does not enjoy yardwork, frankly, and I'm doing well if I can motivate him to keep up with the basic mowing and weedwacking. I *love* yardwork but don't have a lot of time to give to it...plus, the wooden privacy fence is incomplete, it only goes around 3/4 of the yard, and I have a 3 year old that likes to roam. I am, however, determined to conquer this stressor. I really, really want a nice yard that we can be proud of, not something that embarasses me when friends come over. I made a plan for this year,,,trying to be realistic in my planning since we have the baby coming in May. I researched wildflower beds. Apparently I can rake out and till the large flower beds, spray some round-up to kill weed seeds, and a couple of weeks later just sprinkle some wildflower seeds down and let them grow into pretty much maintenance free beds. Each year they will grow bigger and better, choking out any weeds, and except in cases of drought require no watering or any help from me. Sounds like a plan. The overgrown vegetable garden will be weeded and turned over and then tarped for the year, except for a small square that will hold a few tomato plants. Gotta have fresh tomatoes. Along with these plans, the whole yard just needs a good clean-up. All I need is labor. So, I brilliantly came up with "family yard day". I planned to have two of them early this month. I would get the crew out there, everyone would take turns being in charge of making sure Jack was safe and happy, and we would pick up something easy for dinner and have a family movie night as a reward. I pitched the idea to my less motivated kids,,,they were not as thrilled as I was, but whatever. I planned the days anyway, carefully picking days that John was off of work and that we didn't have anything else going on, no small task. The problem has been the weather. It has been raining. And raining. And raining. Yesterday would have been perfect, but here's what our yard looked like yesterday morning when I woke up.....




I'm trying to be grateful. We've had several inches already this month alone, and many areas near us have had terrible flooding. John, of course, has been working any sunny days that we've had. Or, like today, it's finally a sunny day, John's off of work, and I've got a midwife appointment an hour's drive from here and Maria has soccer practice afterwards. In the meantime, the grass grows taller and the weeds grow into small shrubs...they love the rain! And the daily temperatures get warmer. The more time that goes by, the more likely we will lose cool spring days to work in and be stuck with humid southern stickiness. Next week looks rain free though, and I have a day picked out....keeping my fingers crossed! And best of all, we will finally have the fence finished with our income tax rebate. No more roaming 3 year old!

3 comments:

entropy said...

Well, congrats on finishing the yard anyway! I can't believe you're already gonna have the baby. It's almost time!

Lisa said...

Melanie, your space sounds awesome and I think a "family yard day" is a wonderful idea! What a great way to get everyone involved. (or at least try to, anyway.) :-)

Kelly said...

Finishing the fence will be awesome! I hope you get a chance to get the yard the way you want it soon!