Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Project Landscape Renovate

While I'd love to give you some prose about the beauty and grandour surrounding me in Oregon, truth be told, it is not always thus.

Yes, I live in a mountainous recreational area. During the summer Bend hosts the Pole Pedal Padel, and in one event you ski, bike, run, kayak, and run to the finish line, all in the same race, and all on the same day. You can do it all here.

But the climate is referred to as the high desert. Many people think it rains all the time here, but that isn't true. If you are in Portland, you will drive up and over the Cascade Mountain range as you head south, and 2.5 hours later you will get to my house.

We are at an elevation of 3077 feet (to be exact).

We should have snow right now. But for some reason, it all landed in DC.

In the summer we institute Cold Zone Gardening, which means it isn't easy to grow things here (well, it is for some people, but not for ME). It can still freeze at night in the summertime. Not good for growing hydrangeas, don't you know.

That said, I love it here. And I'm busy renovating to create a beautiful home to raise my girls. But it needs a lot of work.

The previous owners of 20 years planted a zillion trees around this 2 acre property. The problem is, many were planted too close together, so they are growing into each other, and just aren't healthy.

These three pine trees are smack dab in the middle of my backyard.

We've never been happy with these trees. They drop needles and pine cones, so my little ones have to take care of their precious bare feet when they are zipping around the yard. They suck the water out of the ground and are killing the lawn.

We've gone back and forth a million times regarding what to do with them. They are mature trees. You should keep them. But they are unhealthy and growing into each other. They won't last forever this way. Do you take out the middle one, leave just the one on the far left, all of them? We don't know.

But alas, after 4 years in this house, we still aren't certain what to do.

Wait? What was that? Did you notice a little something on the lower left of the above photo? Did it look like this?

Oh my goodness. Is that Steve? Is that, dare I say, a chainsaw?

Why yes. Yes it is. You see, a decision was made, and Steve, who spent his summers working for the Forest Service while in school, therefore having mad chainsaw skillz, spent Monday morning out in the yard, and this is what he did:

(Polaroids made with Poladroid)

What we have here is a lot of pressure. Pressure because we have a huge backyard, and now we have a huge backyard without 3 great big trees in it, which means that you are really going to be able to see the lawn, which means it needs to be pretty. We don't even have an underground sprinkler system at this house. That's a lot of pressure to put on a lawn. And me, the waterer of said lawn.
Taking out those three trees revealed a great big tree that sits just outside the fenced yard. That's nice. And you can't see it, but to the left of that tree is the chicken coop and two baby apple trees, and to the right is the fenced garden, which WILL be planted this year.
So there you have it. The renovation continues...... with a lot of work to be done.

P.S. Back soon with Studio Calico sneaks. And Project 12 (you still have a few days on that one).


  1. I see your hubby and my hubby have a similar obsession! I am not kidding you....I will have to email you pictures of our backyard when my dh decided to take a chainsaw to it!! It took him an entire summer to clean it up! OK I will admit that some of it we hired out, but it was a disaster. A huge project! Do you have a fireplace? At least you'll have some extra wood now. :)

  2. Anonymous9:14 PM

    I'm envious that you have a big backyard to be able to do the things you want to do but I am not envious of the maintenance involved!
    Loved this post and am curious to see the rest of the renovations when they happen, no pressure ;)
    Btw, loved the "polaroid" effect on those pics!

  3. i suddenly love my teeeeeeeeeeny little yard - so much less to worry about. =)

    love how losing those trees just opened up the view - so pretty!

  4. noooooo, not the trees !~ i'd have died for those trees. we lost all our trees in a tornado june 2007. most of which were 80+ yr. old cedar trees that lined the front and backside of our property. i will miss your trees as much as mine. =)

  5. Anonymous5:58 AM

    I am not a big fan of cutting down trees, but when they are smack in the middle and evergreens... well, I would have done the same thing! Enjoy your back yard, and maybe plant a couple trees elsewhere ;)

  6. I have nothing in my backyard - unless you count a dead broken in half queen palm, a bunch of rocks, weeds and some dog poop (ok, right now, more than some). I occasionally wish for grass. This is not one of those times.