Sunday, September 29, 2013

the Bad Backyard, redeemed

For a while now our plucky heroine has been working on a little woolen cloak for Laurel (daughter to pals Mindy and Bill),  a cloak that would be similar to but not identical to the one that I made years ago for Young Heather, which is now being worn by Heather's daughter Elli... Elli and Laurel are best friends and roommates. In exchange for my labor and with generous kindheartedness, Mindy and Bill offered to come down here to Portland and help with the project of reclaiming...
...the really Bad Backyard :
...a year and a half of neglect will be a real challenge to turn around, and will require a lot of asking for and somehow finding help of various sorts...I don't know what it will take to bring this space back to useable, but will surely involve more than just me, probably some equipment, and some time from someone with a truck.

the former pathway to the back yard

the north side of the yard is still somewhat passable

the deserted chicken yard, intended to be home to future garden beds

the main part of the yard - waist high weeds...I suspect if I had quadrupedal livestock this would be a treat rather than a problem, it looks a lot like Matron of Husbandry's pasture photos - the issue being that it is not part of someone's back 40, but my very own tiny urban backyard

This weekend, they were able to come down here, along with my dear oldest friend Sharon, who was willing to help childmind Laurel whilst the Mindy and Bill managed to get an amazing amount of work done on Saturday before the bulk of the rain and wind arrived here...

The pathway back to the yard is now passable!

random bits of fencing stacked near the shed, pear tree weeded and mulched with comfrey, and look! there is flat space visible and the blackberry vines are in the yard waste bin instead of under and around the shed doors.

Standing at the gate to the yard, you can see the corner of the (stupid) deck and the overgrown apple, and all across the yard it is no longer a hayfield

See!! Amazing work was done with a much beefier weedeater than the dainty little electric one I have. The chicken house has been moved to the future location.

The entire yard is visible, the dread hazelnuts have been ripped from their assorted abodes, and the feral rosebushes have been cut back so the side yard is accessible. A definite dent has been made in the morning glory population, though much more need to be removed. I can visualise where the future garden beds will be, and the future hen yard and chunnel.

Work parties are wonderful, I need to arrange a few more of them!  The poor neglected backyard, that has been de-evolving since my cancer diagnosis, is starting to turn around. With help, there will be some beds created to fill with homegrown veggies and fruit, and over time the yard will eventually become the oasis of useful beauty that was my original intention. Now there is space to plant the apple tree I have a gift certificate for, to lay out the plan that Master Gardener Sharon helped me create, and to step by step improve the outside as well as the inside of the house. I walked through fire to get a future that included me being alive for it, I want another thirty years, and I want to make this place the home it can become...


  1. That's a great transformation! It's a constant fight against mother nature to make and keep a garden. There's nothing better than homegrown veggies. Do things(weeds) keep growing through winter where you live? That makes life even harder.

  2. The weeds will not be putting on much growth during the winter, it gets fairly cold, though not usually much snow and we are far enough north of the 45th parallel that the days are a lot shorter than in the summer. I probably won't need to mow till springtime, and hope to have made some progress towards more infrastructure in the intervening months.