We had visions of using this half acre of yard as more of a soccer field than a poison-ivy infested woodland. Not that those areas don't serve a purpose, but I was constantly paranoid that the kids would get infected. (Brian has had poison ivy almost constantly since we moved here) So we began the long process of transforming this yard. And when I say "we," I mean "Brian." I helped here and there, but I haven't been in the greatest position for yard work this past year. And I'm not as hard of a worker as my husband.
So by last fall, Brian had cleared it, one bag of yard waste at a time, to this point: (And someday I'll have the nerve to get rid of that eye sore of a plastic playhouse. The kids really like it - and it was free - but gosh I wish it weren't bright pink and blue.)
And then a group of tree-guys desperate for work stopped by and asked if we had anything they could cut down. Brian hired them to remove all the brush in the area for a ridiculously low, seriously almost shameful price. They did in 6 hours what would have taken Brian a year or more. That brought us here:
But they had only sawed everything off at the ground, which left over 100 small stumps to be removed by hand. This summer, especially during his paternity leave, Brian was out in this mess with an axe, a shovel, and a rake, clearing it down to the dirt. Katy also spent hours out there with him, wearing gloves, "pulling roots." Together they collected 75 bags of yard waste to the curb. This is the first time we could really start to envision the size of our yard. (the dead area is the border of our property)
We also got the playset, complete with wood chips. Then it was time to plant grass. One very large water bill later, our yard looks the way we envisioned it. Ironically, the rest of the grass in the yard is brown and dead, like everyone else's, but the new grass is mossy green. I am so proud of my husband and all the hard work that he put into this project over the last year. Our family will enjoy this space for many years to come.