It's what our backyard looked like when we moved in a year ago. We own to the tree line.
I dealt with the quarter acre of craziness back there, between the grass and trees, for a year by telling myself that I had a mysterious garden in my own back yard. You know, the kind in which young moms die after falling off swings, are abandoned by distraught husbands, and visited only by wise and knowing birds. Ok, that was kind of creepy.
Well, guess what? I was right. We did have a Secret Garden ... of sorts ...
Because what we thought was a bunch of easily mowed down thorny weeds, was actually this:
How is it possible for one to purchase a piece of property and have absolutely no clue about something like this? I'll tell you how: because it was a Secret Garden.
Just imagine Greg's reaction after heading back with a weed whacker to what he thought was an hour's work, and finding that.
By the way, "that" includes:
-Five large vegetable beds with rotting, pressure treated wood
-Ten small vegetable beds with rotting, pressure treated wood
-TWO layers of black plastic, the first layer a foot underground, covering the entire quarter acre.
-A literal irrigation system with hoses running to the beds from a spicket on the side of our house.
It seems some owners years ago fancied themselves gentlemen farmers.
We saw this and promptly left it alone for almost a year. Just .. just no. Not with a five month old and an actual house to fix up.
If it seems bad in pictures from the winter months, you should have seen it this summer. It was no longer a Secret Garden. It was Fern Gully. Shoulder high weeds covered the lot. I'm 100% sure you would have caught a tropical disease after venturing in. I wish I had a picture, but I don't. It's probably because I was pretending it didn't exist.
Then this fall everything started to die again, and we thought, "Aha! This is our chance, our only chance!" before the ground froze again.
So we went at it. First Greg weed-whacked everything down. Then we worked like maniacs(as usual) during Darby's naps one weekend. It was even worse then we thought. For one thing, this is when we discovered the extent of the black plastic, and started digging it up, along with the rotting wood full of rusty nails, and more weeds.
We also dug up weird things like old tools that had just been abandoned on the ground. When we started I told Greg that what with the swampy area in the back, leading to the dodgy little woods owned by no one, I would not be at all surprised if we found a dead body. He said he had already thought about it.
I pretty much started fully expecting to, and when we were done, I told Greg in all honesty that I was actually surprised we hadn't found a cadaver.
Speaking of when we were done...
This is where we are right now. There's some remaining small weeds, and we need to use some sort of garden tool to even out the ground where the raised beds are, but the major work is done.
A view from the far back.
Here is a portion of the plastic and wood we accumulated and took to the dump.
By the way, I was extremely proud of myself because I was hardcore. See this pile?
It's huge. It's a pile of all the weeds, bulrushes. thorny mini-trees, bushes and other mystery plants we cleared out, and it' now back in the dodgy little woods. And who do you think hauled it all back there one day by herself while Greg was at work and Darby was napping?
That's right, me, AKA: Katniss Everdeen, because I absolutely was pretending I was her at one point.
I told this to Greg and he thought it hilarious. What, may I ask, is hilarious about this comparison?
Anyway, speaking of Greg. At one point toward the end of our excavation, Greg called to me in a troubling voice. I was in the garden shed, and I heard him say,
"Allie. Allie! Allie, come here ... I think I found some ... some sort of bone. I'm serious."
'Yep, here it is. Here's our cadaver,' I thought, already feeling nauseous.
I stalled a bit because I was so freaked out, then finally made my way to him. He was leaning over and digging at something stuck in the soil. I bent down.
"What?" I asked, sheer terror in my voice. It looked like a bone.
"This," he replied, still digging. What-what is THIS!!!!!!!" he yelled, ripping out a white object and throwing it at me as I had a heart attack and jumped backward.
"Hahaha! It's an old dog's chew toy in the shape of a bone!"
"You jerk," I said, walking away.