Lawn and Order

Our yard is awful. The soil is bad, the grass is dead and the ground is uneven. When we moved in three years ago, the previous owners had installed two berms in the front. I’m sure when they were installed they looked nice, but by the time we came along weeds had taken over all the plants and they looked ridiculous. It became our mission to rid the yard of the “dirt boobs.” That was easier said than done.

The berms had two layers of weed barrier and the Bermuda grass had grown up through it and essentially stitched the barrier to the ground. Somehow, we managed to dismantle one of the berms, but the other one was proving more of a challenge than we could handle. My neighbor, Tracy, has a talent for landscaping and a vast knowledge of plants. She’d been helping us all along with suggestions and ideas but we couldn’t do much until we’d torn down the berm and put the good dirt to use. Fortunately, Tracy decided to start a lawn care business and offered to use our yard as a sample yard. All we had to do was give her some direction and pay a reduced rate for her time. Sounded good to us!

Tracy arrived with her team of teenage workers the Monday after Steve left for Florida. The idea was that she’d get as much work done as possible so Steve would have a nice surprise when he arrived home on Saturday. They’d already impressed me with their lawn mowing skills the previous week so I was excited to see what they’d accomplish when turned loose in the yard. I went to they gym and when I returned was greeted by this site:

Nothing like a few teens with pickaxes attacking an unwanted berm to start my week off right! They were so thrilled I was taking their picture that Tracy had to yell at them to get back to work. In about two hours, the whole thing was gone, the weed barrier was in a pile by the trash and the extra dirt had been taken over to an area we call Stonehenge to fill the eroded places. On top of that, while one crew had been tackling the berm, another kid had been trimming trees and pulling up ivy in the area outside my studio. Wow, this place was starting to look really good!

Within a few days they had removed all offending ivy, trimmed trees, pulled up all poison ivy and poison oak, cleaned brush, dismantled the berm, spread dirt and removed all the limbs and brush they tore down. I can’t tell you have excited I was for Steve to come home and see how nice everything looked! Here’s a view outside my studio. Before, you couldn’t see the stones.

The groups isn’t quite done, but most of the really hard work is finished. When (if) it gets cooler, they will tackle the last of the poison ivy and poison oak and loan us the power washer so we can clean the side of the house where the ivy had grown. The nice thing is that Steve and I feel like we can maintain what we have and not feel so overwhelmed by the job. We need to decide what to do with the spot where the berm was, but that will come to us later. For now, we’re enjoying our bermless yard. If you need to hire anyone to work on your yard, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Tracy and her team. I can tell you from experience, they are worth the money!


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