Our fabulous little house was vacant for almost exactly a year by the time we moved in. Frankly, I was surprised that the yard hadn't gone more to-seed. To wit:
Our little patch of at-least-they-didn't-pave-everything on the right-hand side there looked pretty normal. Blank-slate-ish, almost. And then it rained.
It rained a lot. For a long time (for L.A., anyway). And this happened:
To use a local expression ... duuuuuuude.
Actually, we didn't think it was so bad -- at least it's green, right? Sure, we started to get flyers for landscaping services on our gate every day. Okay, fine, fair enough. But it wasn't a priority (hello, bathroom?).
Then we got a notice from the city about fire hazards & fines for non-compliance with brush-clearing ordinances.
The Mr. suggested acquiring a weed whacker from the nearby Home Despot. I countered that unless we yanked those babies out by the roots, we'd just be caught in an endless cycle of brush-clearance despair. (Side note to the neighbors I suspect were laughing at us during the Puffy Yard Stage: at least we don't park cars on it, n'est pas?) And just in case you were hoping (you? okay, me -- I was hoping) that said roots were shallow & not-so-hardy, behold:
In other news, I've discovered that gloves aren't for pussies ... they're for people who don't like bleeding.
Anyway: after a few days of "perhaps" overdoing it (where "perhaps" = lying in bed at night, unable to make a fist because my hands were so swollen), I produced this:
Also, it turns out that the city of L.A. will pick up as much yard waste as you can bag/bundle once a year for free! -- which is a good thing, because we are about 25 Hefty bags past our green trash bin's capacity. Why so many? Did I mention I did the backyard, too?
It's cool -- I know I'm insane.
I also have plans. They're modest plans, at least to start, and they involve scouring Craigslist daily for free stuff we can use to make a desert-friendly garden (because we live in the desert, folks. There are no lawns in the effing desert! Ahem.) For starters, I want to hide our lovely retaining wall with some of these:
Amazon. As soon as they arrive, we'll see if I can manage to not kill them. Because it's important to have goals, kids. Write that down.