The house looks quite presentable…from the front. The landscaping was refreshed about five years ago, including the driveway and sidewalk. Plus, there are few painted surfaces in sight, mostly brick. All in all, we’re happy with it. The back of the house and yard are a different story. A completely different story. This area has birthed a large number of items on our renovation list which grows each time one of us plays “Dorothy” and looks behind the curtain. Everything feels old and weary and when you dig into it, you find old and weary is actually rotted. Sigh.
It has begun to weigh on us, awareness of the scope of it and trying to live with it, so this weekend we decided to tackle some changes to the landscaping. The landscaping in the back is limited, but well established. Which is a kind way of saying it has been there forever and lacks imagination. In the beginning, there might have been more plant diversity, but Darwinian rules applied …. if it thrived, it survived … and so we were left with an homogeneous array of bushes clustered next to the house in a thick hedge, requiring regular shearing to keep them from running roughshod over the place.
The hedgerow abutting the porch was particularly egregious. From the outside, it appeared to be defending the house from potential invasion. From the inside, it turned the long view of the pasture and pond and horses into, well, a feeling of being inside a green cocoon.
So, that is what we decided to tackle first. The peeling paint and threadbare yard could wait; the cocoon must be conquered. Now, Gordy is all about the right tool for the right job and, if we have that, we generally have the collective skill set to make things happen. We talked about trimming the bushes back versus thinning them, but ultimately decided on:
Hence, the tractor.
There’s a flat area in the yard before it descends to the back fence line which allowed us to cozy the tractor up parallel to the hedge. The hydraulic bucket of the tractor with a chain attached delivered each tangled bush from it’s stubbornly held post. It was brutal and awesome at the same time.
There are two trees in the yard and we did a dance with them, looking to see which branches could be sacrificed to enable a better view of what lies beyond. After MUCH discussion, the chain saw executed the deed.
This is what our efforts yielded us.
And, most importantly, the view from the porch.
Every day, every act, I fall more and more in love with this place. Sometimes I grow impatient with what is and sometimes I feel quite protective. Always, I hold happiness in my heart for what will be, for what we, Gordy and I, have the great opportunity to do and to do together. And, on that note, there is one last thing to share. We finished the chairs. The chairs that once belonged to Meg and Gordy, Sr., that have been ours and are ours all over again because of the new life breathed into them. We plunked them down in the porch where we can sit in them every night and watch the sun set over that amazing view. P.S. Quite possibly with a glass of wine in hand.