26 June, 2014

out back

Sometimes I forget how much we've done to this house!  I was looking for old photos today of the area out the back of the kitchen to see how much we've done.  Ahem!  Oh my!

This area, just of the barn was more or less a hill of all manner of vegetation when we moved in.  Slowly we've reclaimed it.  We've dug so many massive rocks out of there...the whole of the front path is made with rocks we dug out.  We've uncovered the remnants of two stone walls which (I now know; see my previous post with the old photo I found of the house) held up two structures, and we've opened  it up at the back nicely...

Trying to put these photos in order is a little tricky, but I will try.  I think this is the first photo I have of the area taken in the autumn after we'd had the trees cut down, but before we began any work in that area.  The following spring this area was COVERED in vegetation.
This area traps a fair amount of snow in the winter....

The results of all the trees we'd had cut down!

This is when we first started digging rocks out....

Apparently we all helped (oh how I miss dear Lily)

And there were some BIG ones...
But eventually we got it to a decent state...although the greenery would always come back int he spring.
So at the end of last summer, Kit and I really started to work back into the area and try and level it off...

The two trees that we had cut down when we moved in (because they were threatening the house) have riddled this area with roots.  Fortunately, attacking those roots is one of Kit's favourite jobs to do...give the boy and axe!

After a lot of hard work we got it to this point....

( It looked great last summer, but as I knew it would, the weed cloth around the edges didn't hold back either the weeds, nor the rocks that get pushed down with the snow.  It looked a bit different a year later).

 And I have to remember that Matt had left the US last summer before Kit and I even started this work. He's not seen it looking like this.  We literally finished it just a day or so before we left.

Now it looks like this again (apologies for the blurry photo...it was raining) as we try and dig it out enough to put a nice straight(ish) retaining wall all the way around.  I'm not sure yet whether I'm going to try and use the flat stone wall rocks that I keep coming across (do I trust myself to build a stone wall?) or whether I will have to buy purpose made retaining wall blocks.  All along the left hand side of the photo there you can see all the roots that I had Kit working on cutting out.  That tree is still partly alive and some of the roots are green and really hard to cut through.  They grow around all the little rocks and it's tiring and tedious work to dig the roots out enough to be able to get at them.
 Either way, this was a full day's work and both of us are aching..  I still want to try and go across and get as much of that other stump out as I can... or Kit can.  Remi's up next week too.
And you can see the "gardening" I'm going to have to do here.  All the white flowers are a terribly noxious weed that has to be killed off every year.  And those "trees" blocking the view to the shed up the back are shoots from the trees we had cut down that I have to try to find a way to kill finally.

It feels good to have got started on something productive though.


  1. Looking good, but sounds like hard work, when are you going to get your relaxing holiday time?

  2. nice work you guys! You have made the hugest difference. Looks brilliant xxx I have always loved your before and afters of the house.

  3. You better fix that up before I get over. It's not fair to make it beautiful, take photos, then wreck it all again before I arrive.

  4. Just like my backyard George - I'm still trying to tame it.! Just a suggestion - you could always plant nice creepers that take over the noxious weed instead of trying to keep digging it out. I can see where you've been though, so keep going! mum xx


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