Let's Talk About The Yard
One of the biggest draws to the property I purchased is the yard, which covers something like .215 acres. For the suburban or rural folks that may not be a whole lot of land, but here in the city that's a pretty massive lot. And with the house sitting all the way on one side of the lot, the yard feels even bigger than it really is.
When talking about a house rehab, I don't know that too many people - myself included, normally - get real excited about the yard. The exciting parts of a house rehab are the architectural details that are saved and built around, the designs, the construction, etc. Right?
Normally I'd agree. But with having 2 dogs, the yard is kind of a big deal. Or at the very least, getting the yard under control so the dogs can run around in a halfway safe and sane manner is a big deal. Before I get to that, let me introduce the dogs; you'll probably hear about them from time to time.
The little one, that's Freckles. She's currently about 7 months old, meaning she's 4,000% puppy. I got her 5 months ago, and was told at the time that she was a lab/pointer mix, which so far seems pretty believable. She's a total daredevil, and really my main concern as far as the yard goes; if there's something to get into, jump off of, chew on, climb, eat, kill, bring into the house, whatever...she does it.
And then there's the distinguished old man, Roscoe. He's a hair older than 11, and like Freckles, I got him when he was about 8 weeks old...so we've been buddies for quite some time. Per a DNA test, Roscoe's a combination of 6 different breeds, the dominant one being lab, but not by much. He's done so much hiking and adventuring with me that he's got 20 lifetimes of mileage on his legs and, as such, he moves around a lot slower than he once did. But he'll still enjoy the yard, and stay pretty busy smelling all of it.
Now back to the yard...
Running the full length of the front yard is a cast iron fence; all things considered, she's in phenomenal shape, gate and all. The front yard ground cover is nothing but ivy, which I'm OK with, but it's run wild for a few years and needs to be cut back some.
Then there's the tree...THE tree...in the front yard. It's massive, and by all rights, has several large limbs that have no business still being attached to the trunk.
The picture doesn't do justice to just how big the thing is. It appears to be a maple tree, although I'm no good at identifying wood species until a tree has become lumber. But it's got limbs that grow horizontally - or below horizontal - and run for 20, 30, 40 ft, and with a little breeze, those things sway pretty good.
There are a few smaller trees in the front yard, and some things that I can't tell if they're legit plants or giant weeds, but the ivy, the fence, and the tree, those are the main features.
And then there's the back yard, which is a total jungle. It appears as though somebody had the place lookin' good at one point, and probably put a lot of time and effort into getting/keeping it that way...but the past few years have not been kind. And the trees in the back yard, trees, plural, are even bigger than the tree in the front yard.
It's hard to even get decent pics of the yard, there's green stuff - some of which is very pointy - everywhere and it's tough to discern one thing from another.
Because so many of the trees hang over the house, I got up on the roof to inspect the situation up there. It wasn't good. Dead limbs, mountains of acorns, decomposing leaves...it's been a while since anybody got up there and cleaned anything off.
But like I said, the amount of brick patio and walkway areas indicate that somebody put some time and effort into this thing at one point. Unfortunately, at some point I'll have to pull up all the brick and redo all of it because it's heaved and settled and been uprooted to where it's nothing but a giant trip hazard now.
That's the yard. Massive trees, ground cover jungle, cast iron fence, and brick, lots and lots of brick. It'll be a project, and a big one that I'll have to tackle in phases.
But she's got possibilities, and where I'll start doing the bulk of the work...because if I don't give Roscoe and Freckles a decent yard to hang out in, Roscoe is liable to take naps in the middle of my indoor work area and Freckles may eat half my tools.
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