Monday, September 18, 2017


One of the things we're trying to do now is every year, we want to clear a new area on the property.  It could be a new permanent trail or widening an existing green space.  I don't always blog about it because progress from week to week can be slow and just showing a picture of a few feet of clearing is not that exciting, ha. These can take a few months depending on weather and other projects so we'd rather unveil it when all the hard part is done.

Here is (was!) this season's project:

Overgrown area before
It is an area with trees that we really wanted to clean up because it was so overgrown.  It's one of the few spots on the property (at least that we can get to) that has "regular" trees, no mesquites.  Mesquite trees are nice but they have thorns and they don't grow up straight and tall to create a shady area that you can walk under (at least not for a LOT of years).  It's hard to tell how overgrown it was in this photo but it was...and we saw its potential.  

The photo above was from last year.  

So I started clearing as I had time.  Sometimes I mowed around it if I could, taking a little bit more each time around on the mower.

Or THROUGH it, if I could do that.

Clearing the property
And I would slowly make progress.

Other times, I had to put on the boots and then dig around with (gloved) hands and take out all the discarded junk that was there from years past.  

All of this (and more) was in that patch above.  Concrete pieces, old power tools and metal poles.  Can't mow over those things at ALL.  Someone who lived there temporarily before us discovered that an overgrown area was a great place for dumping their "out of sight out of mind" objects. 

For us, not such a great was more work.

Still other areas, like this after mowing, required me to get off the mower and grab a machete and some hedge clippers.

But slowly we saw progress, week after week...

And our space got bigger and bigger...

And in all directions...

Clearing brush before
Here's a great before and after set of pictures.  The above was before, about mid April.

Clearing brush after
This was this past weekend, after.  
Same spot, same angle.  

All clear!

And here it is looking at it from behind the house.

Here is another before and after.  Above is the before when I had cleared about half of it (June-ish)...

...and here is the after, from the same angle.  Not too bad for some part time weekend work on top of everything else we have to do out there.  It makes us happy to see progress like this, no matter how small. More happens than you might realize when I start going crazy with the mower, some tools, and have a little time on my hands, ha!

With the manual labor in this spot more or less done, now comes the most important part...the fun part.  It's all cleaned up and cleared and we have a WHOLE NEW spot to plan things for next year (or maybe later this Fall).

Shade loving plants?
A bird haven/sanctuary?
A spot for an "outdoor room", maybe a living room of sorts with chairs to relax in?

Time to dust off those "Inspiration Thursday" posts that we put up for this very reason.  One thing is for sure, we have our very own mini-forest now, ha!



  1. OMG. That looks Fantastic. A little; well A lot of hard work is all worth while just seeing the difference of the before and after shots.
    So many possibilities now for that area.
    Job well done.
    I just had to enlarge the picture of the junk you got out of there just to see if there where any old hand / gardening tools. Didn't see any. No hidden treasure either.
    You done a Great job of clearing that area and makes the property look so much neater.

    1. Awww, thanks for that. I always get after photos but I forget about the before sometimes, ha. I just have to look and hope I got some along the way, ha. And nope, no treasure, I was hoping it might make all the work worth it but alas....

      Thanks again, we'll see what we end up with in the end.

  2. That is a very pretty spot that looks like an area in a park. I can't wait to see what you decide to do with it. I know it will be lovely, especially with all your inspirations you have shared with us before.

    1. That's so funny, 2nd Man said the same thing "it looks like a park!". We're currently tossing ideas around and looking back through our inspiration posts. Right now, we're planning Fall veggies, ha.

  3. No matter what, seating everywhere! Huge jobs can be accomplished with one little bite at a time. You have done well. With all this work, have you found you are more toned or have lost weight, not that I think you need to?

    1. Yes, lots of seating. And that's what I always try to do out there, a little each weekend (well, a lot but a lot in various places out there).

      Ironically NO I haven't dang it. I think it's 2nd Man's wonderful food when I get back on the days I'm out there by myself. I should just have a salad or something but who wants to do all that work and then come back to lettuce, LOL!

  4. That's quite a change. Looks great, and the possibilities for using the space are endless.


    1. Thank you much!!! We'll give it time to soak in.

  5. Great progress, perfect for hammocks and a little side table or stump, which can stay out in all weathers.

    1. Ahhh, great minds think alike!!! We'll see what we come up with.

  6. I wish I had you in Georgia. I have a similar spot at one side of the yard at my small house. I tried once to clear part of it, but Mother Nature was quicker than I was. Winds from Irma took down one of the small trees last week. It's a job too big for a woman over 70. I can definitely appreciate the amount of hard work it took to make your area so beautiful.

    1. Awwww, you're too sweet. I wish I was closer I'd gladly help what I could. So sorry about Irma damage, glad you are safe though!!!

  7. Well done you have done a great job!

    1. Thanks, it's nice to look back and see it as it is now.

  8. That was a LOT of work over a long time. But the pay-off is wonderful! What a nice spot with good shade to have near the house. (And it removes an area that could harbor varmints). It will be such a pretty area to relax in some comfy seating. Maybe a picnic table for cold watermelon on a hot afternoon!?

    1. It's very shady which is nice (but creates new planting issues, I'll have to figure out good things for shade, was thinking of some azaleas for sure, as I put on an inspiration Thursday post once). Definitely some seating.

      And I like how you think....cold watermelon on a hot day? WONDERFUL!!!

  9. omigoodness, that looks so nice. what an accomplishment - standing O! it will make your heart pit-a-pat every time you just look out at your little park. will be exciting to follow along as you try out your ideas. --suz in ohio

  10. It's so nice! I love the shade from the trees though. So many options for that space.

  11. What a transformation. And now the real fun begins as you landscape it and make it your space.


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