Cleaning the Sideyard

I finally got tired of seeing my ugly side yard week after week and decided to d0 something about it.

Just to remind you that I don’t keep a perfectly clean house and yard ever, here’s the depressing before:

I know it’s pretty ratty but does the urge to finally make changes ever sneak up on you?

 Ah well, I finally got moving on this space and here’s what I ended up with:

It took me a few days to get to this point after I:

  • pulled weeds
  • sorted rocks
  • gathered flower pots
  • cleaned off the grill
  • swept and hosed down the walkway

I also took some detailed pictures since this space is so narrow it’s hard to photograph. First up is the corner by the gate where there’s a red stone patio of sorts:

I finally cleaned up the grill but still need to refill the propane tank. The pots in the corner are for the side yard and I’ll probably wait to fill them up next summer when potting soil goes on sale.

This bucket of rocks is the start of a new project, I’d like to reuse these around the yard but definitely need to clean up the grass/dirt/rock area back here slowly.

Next to the patio is my green waste trash can (which is HUGE) and my wonderful tumbling compost bin. It was free after a $100 rebate from my city, a check which is STILL in my wallet.

I’ve put the composter up on a pallet just in case things get icky or gross there’s a bit of a barrier. Under the composter is a leaf blower which is back here since I need to mow the backyard this weekend. And the mower of course which stays outside during the summer months but will soon need to find a home in the garage.

Then it’s mostly just dead grass, tiny rocks and lots o bugs:

The ladder and small length of hose belong in the garage but I’m determined to clean out my rain gutters one last time before the rain comes. The extra few feet of gardening hose really helps me reach the corners and wash things out.

You can’t tell from the pictures but the side yard here has a definitely slope toward the front of the house and there’s a 1″ lip so water doesn’t drain out. It sits. So I have to flush the gutters on a day when it’s hot enough to evaporate quickly otherwise I’d have a mud puddle to slog through.

Oh, and the gutters are rusted through in a few places which is why my nice white siding is stained orange and replacing the gutters is a priority on my house project list!

Finally in the corner is my dog igloo, something none of my dogs will use:

The gate here keeps the dogs out when I want to clean up, move things in or out and don’t feel like being the puppy wrangler. But since the walkway and yard extend a little further I snapped a picture here as well:

The orange snow fence is ready to be stored up in the garage until I need it again, I was keeping it close in case the flowers I planted here were in danger of being dug up by a certain mischievous dog.

The bucket is hung up on the fence and holds my tools, gloves and other random things a certain dog is likely to steal from me. I keep the rest of my gardening tools in the garage but the dog scoop stays outside. I don’t even care if it gets wet, just means I don’t need to hose it off as often!

Ideally in a few years I’ll have added two mature crepe myrtle trees back here, seven feet apart, the variation that grows 20′ tall but not too wide. The strip of dirt with rocks will have grass and colorful pots full of flowers. The small patio right next to the front porch will probably still have the grill and probably some garden pots.

I would love to install a few rain barrels and use the extra gardening hose I have to run a soaker hose along the side yard. There are no sprinklers over here so I’m wary of planting anything that depends on me for water.

But at least I’m making progress!

Still have to finish:

  • decide what to do with dog igloo, poss sell it
  • create a home for the lawn mower
  • continue to separate the rocks
  • start saving for rain barrels or find a “make your own” kit

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