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So, what does it look like when one yard gets rid of tree limbs and a bunch of overgrown bushes all over the place?
A heavy, hot mess.
If you recall from last week, my Dad and a neighborhood friend helped me tackle several curb-appeal related projects: exterior maintenance, clearing excess limbs from a tree, and even taking a chainsaw to the bushes on the side and front of the house. In short: we cut down a lot of shit in the name of yard cleanup.
We filled one truck with all of the yard clippings, but had to stop before the pile got too large. That didn’t stop Dad from hacking back the camellias in the front yard (being a winter bloomer, they have already lost all their flowers and buds, so now is a good time to trim them way down). He sort of just hacked at it before I realized how far down he was trimming them, but at that point, I just thought hey, why not go for it? A small, flowery shrub will look great in front of the house!
So, after sawing, hacking, and otherwise accessorizing myself with small bits of wood in my hair and clothing, it was far easier to see the house. For better or worse.
I got a picture of the tree in front of the house from a different angle, looking a little further down the street:
And here is a similar angle after chopping everything down and hauling it away (my neighbor was having a cookout, thus all the cars parked on the street):
Sure, we went drastic. But the idea for all of this is fairly simple: I don’t have enough time to maintain the stuff in the front yard the way I should, and everything has gotten so overgrown that what it really needs is a complete overhaul.
These plants are all very well established, and I’m fairly confident (after testing with one bush on the side of the house, pictured below) that they will all grow back. Smaller, and look more like bushes instead of trees. If they don’t, I’ll be just fine without them and plant the things I actually like (some of those front bushes were scraggly, not the same species, and seemed to be picked blindly from the discount bin). But for now, the house itself could really use some additional exterior work.
Without the bushes in the way, it’s going to be a lot easier to fill in the missing spots and get the ladder closer up to the house. I also need to clear out the wonky brick that separates the grass from the garden beds – they are all just as scraggly as the bushes that were once there. I also need to get rid of the stain on the roof from all of the recent rainfall (you can see this a few pictures above). And tend to the remaining long branches closer to the ground, like on these camellias:
Nothing can really ever get done as fast as I’d like it to, but that’s just the way it goes. Especially with exterior projects. I am very happy that we’ve cleared out so much; it feels like things are heading in the right direction, for sure. And yet, my house still looks like it just cut its own bangs. I still have to weed, rake, and clear out the smaller plants that I never paid any attention to with the larger bushes in the way. I still have to add mulch and paint the newly exposed areas of the siding that I could never reach.
But sometimes, if I look at it from just the right angle, I can stop worrying about all the stuff still yet to do. And see that house really is making progress.