Remodeling Project

Addressing the Back Yard

Get thee behind me, inertia!  I’ve been putting off addressing the back yard for a couple years and now it’s time I get off the dime.

Today I’m sharing my perceived (and real!) problems with our back yard.  And I’m soliciting any ideas or suggestions you may have.

The Mesquite Tree

Or the big elephant in the room.  This tree is sort of the centerpiece of our backyard and the bane of my existence.  It sheds four different times and each thing it sheds is worse than the one before.

Currently it is shedding pods.  The ones that fall in the rocks are staying there until the tree is done and then I’ll have to hire someone with powerful blowers to come and remove them.

The pods on the turf I pick up by hand every other day or so.

Not only is the tree messy, it needs to be trimmed back every year and when the job is too big for us and our tools. We pay literally hundreds of dollars to have it lopped back.

So you know what I’m thinking?  I’m thinking:  Remove the whole darn thing.

It’s hard to see in a picture, but can you see all the pods still remaining on the tree?  They all have to come down!

Hop Bushes

We have hop bushes that have grown into trees on either side of our house.  They are excellent for privacy screens and have lovely flowers for a minute in the spring. 

And then they are another big mess.  Not only do the dried petals go everywhere, they are right next to the hot tub.

I don’t even know how to address this because the privacy is really nice.


Behind this gate is where we keep our giant trash cans.  Because we have regular decomposed granite here and not a sidewalk or a gravel walk, it’s hard to maneuver the cans and hard to keep clean.

I’d like to remove all that rock and disperse it elsewhere and make a place easier to walk.


I have no idea what to do about this!  We regularly get birds attempting or committing suicide on our windows. 

Now, in this planter, we have mama quail and seven eggs.  On our patio!  Not only are the cats very interested, we also have nasty cactus wrens hanging around looking for a morsel of baby bird.

Ugh!  The circle of life!

What Works

You might think there is nothing I like about our yard and that very much is not true.  I love that it is relatively private.

I love our brick paver patio.  It’s really large and I’d like it even larger.

Fake turf is not for everyone, but it has really made a difference in our yard.  We love seeing the green but keeping grass growing in the summer was pretty impossible.

While I do like our flowering shrubs, my guess is that they are taking a lot of water and they might need to be replaced with something lower maintenance, but they are not at the top of my Hate List.

Wrap Up

I’m not sure if a total backyard re-do is in the budget this year, but I want to get it kicked off one way or another.

Thank you for any input you have!

Whatever your plans for Independence Day, enjoy!

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