New Back Yard

As we cleared the new lot next door getting that ready to build on we began to realize the present yard had over grown so much it was making the lot smaller and smaller as the undergrowth  was cutting it off around the fence.  Most people do fence in their back yard to keep the children and animals out of the road but in so doing you define your lot and your responsibility as to the undergrowth and brush.  The plants love the fence because when you mow the lawn you can’t get under the fence and the plants have a chance to grow and get too big to just take down with the lawn mover.   So we decided to clean up by the fences,   Easier said than done.  Patty and I tried and worked very hard at it and only made a dent on one side after a whole mornings work.  We soon realized we needed some one that knew what they were doing and we needed to clean up on both sides of the fence.  On one side was a vacant lot that was way over grown so we couldn’t get that.  On one side was a very nice neighbor who said he would love to have his side cleaned up too so if we needed to get into his lot he would leave the gate open and we were free to go in and do whatever we needed to to clear the fence.  One side was near our new lot and the front Patty had aways kept clean around that fence as it was connected to the house.

We got some estimates on cost and what they would do for that price and the costs were all over the place and they didn’t really listen to what we wanted done.  Each had their own idea of what was needed and none of them was what we wanted.  Then Patty remembered a man that had done some yard work for her before and she was happy with.  He lived in the area and believed as Patty does that the native plants are the best and prettiest so she called him and he listen to what we wanted and gave us an estimate more in line with what we had hoped for.  Long and short of it is he came yesterday with his two co-workers and all his equipment to do the job.  Then we asked about leveling an area for the inflatable pool for the kids which meant taking out two stumps and raking up the old sod and roots we had left when we took out the old garden and fishpond.  He said OK then Patty showed him the vacant lot and how it was hanging over our fence.  He said if he had time he would do something with that if the other jobs took all

morning as he was afraid they would, he could come another day to do that and cut back the sea grapes so they would bush out more.  And Patty went to work, the men started to work and I grabbed my phone and took some before pictures.   This is the area that needed to be leveled off a bit for the pool and the palmettos needed to be cleaned up, they were so loaded with old leaves and brush and spread out so much.

Here is the same area when they finished Now you can see the fence and how nice the area around the trees look.  They removed a couple palmettos that were growing too close to the fence and just trimmed and cleaned up the others.  Palmettos are native and really dress up a yard when kept under control.

This is a close up of the palmetto,  You can see there was no way we could get into that and clean them up.  Now I know what we need to do each month to keep them nice and under control.

Some different now?  Now I can help keep that nice and no snakes or wild rodents can hid in there and surprise us when we walk near. 

This is up near the front of the back yard.  You can see one of the workers behind the tree.  He was cutting back the boganvia.  That is a beautiful bush with red flowers all year round but it also has thorns and if not kept cut back it takes over an area and becomes too big to keep under control without getting all cut up yourself.  This one was through the fence and on the neighbors side also and a bother to him as well.  We did not want to kill it just get it back under control.  He told us you really can’t kill it any ways so he cut it way back and got it all out of the neighbors yard.  

He cut it way back as you can see.  That mighty bush is now the little stumps you see just be hind the tree.  Also notice he went into the neighbors yard and took all the branches that had gone throughout the fence and took out the great big pepper tree that was along that fence too.  We were all glad to see that go.  He treated the stump of that to kill it so that will not come back, our beautiful red boganvia will be back and we can cut the branches that try to grow on the fence side each month as they try to grow toward the morning sun.  All of the plants along here will now get the morning sun and love it!  Also notice the palm tree is well groomed now also.  While he was in the neighbor’s yard he groomed the palms and got rid of the wild vines that were tangled in the under growth.   Gary was very pleased with what was done on his side of the fence.  Now he wants to plant some flowers along there.  Tyler wants to plant some flowering shrubs on our side also as he likes having the screening so you don’t just look into the neighbors yard when they want to come out and relax.  I agree but the brush that was there before was nothing we could control Now we can keep whatever we plant here trimmed as it grows. 

Once he got that side done he started on the back.  These are the sea grapes Patty put along the fence to screen us from the vacant lot behind the house.  As you can see they needed trimming so the would become a solid fence.  Also the vacant lot was so over grown with pepper trees they were hanging over our fence and during one storm a fairly large tree came down and put quite a dent in the fence.  When a person does not keep his lot under control you can complain to the city and they can put a lien on the property until it is cleaned up.  That takes so long and sometimes never gets done or you can just go over and cut out yourself anything that is hanging over your line (fence) and anything that is endangering you property but that costs you money.  In this case we were ready to push them back even if it did cost us to do it.  

Here is the results of their work.  It is hard to see as the sun was not up enough to really penetrate into the thick under growth yet.  You can see the fence now and see the sea grapes cut back so they will bush out more.  You can see they cut down a lot of the bush on the other side of the fence and all the overhanging pepper trees are gone.  Now the sea grapes will get some of the morning sun and grow even better, maybe even get some grapes this year or next. 

This is another angle of the back fence.  You see how tall the sea grapes were, they will be back there before they end of the year.  They need to be trimmed every year to keep them low and encourage the growing of grapes. 


The same area after the cutting.  We still need to rake out some of the old leaves but that is no problem now.   You can see the mess in the vacant lot.  Those poor trees need to be trimmed and the dead branches removed as the trees themselves are being chocked out by the brush and under growth.  But that won’t happen until the lot sells and right now I don’t even think it is for sale, and if it is right now everyone thinks their lots are worth a fortune but can’t get a buyer.  This area is very desirable right now.

The last side is our new lot.  

This is the back of the new lot.  There will be a privacy fence along the back here but that brush on the neighbors lot needs to be dressed up a bit.  I hope he does it and keeps it then as a part of his lawn.  Well see.  

Same view nothing changed yet just more light so you can see it better.  Our lot needs more soil added once we get the house built and the storage shed in place.  Then we can plant a lawn and some shade trees and bushes that Tyler wants and have to keep them trimmed and neat as they grow.  

This last picture shows you the corner behind the tool shed on Becca’s/Patty’s yard.  You can see how the vacant lot over growth is handing over the neighbors property and taking away the usability of that side of his yard.  

Same view now.  The only difference is you can get behind the shed as they cut the pepper trees down that were hanging over our fence.  They are still there over the neighbors yard.  You can see how when a lot is not kept up how it steals a foot or two from each of it’s neighbors.  See the back of the neighbors lawn where the lot we bought had really taken a couple feet from them.  Now they can reclaim those feet if they want to and I hope they do as our fence will protect us from that bush but do nothing for them.   This last picture shows you how nice the back yard is now. 

It looks like a park compared to before.  What a wonderful difference and it was all done for the one price, he does not have to come back another day to do that back lot.  I never saw a crew work so steady and long.  Usually when three men do one job they spend half the time planning it and talking about it.  Not these men, they worked the whole time there and in 3 1/2 hours they had the whole thing done and done beautifully.  Patty paid them what they asked and we were all feeling lucky.  I thanked them and paid for their lunches as they had just an hour to go get some lunch and head for another job in Jenson Beach.  That makes for a long day of hard work for those boys.  The neighbor across the street watched them work all morning and stopped the boss when they were ready to leave and got a quote on some yard work he wanted done.  He could not get a better crew to do the job than these men and he knew it after watching them work here.

Have a great day.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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