Remodels and Repairs

Five tools to make us say “Yay! Yard work!”


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When Henry and I started talking about buying a house we knew one thing: we wanted a big yard. We both grew up with huge yards and had so much fun playing outside. The thing about Kansas yards though…there are only a few trees. Trees are beautiful and we love them. I remember Henry talking about how much he loved all the trees here right after we moved to North Carolina. We even found a house with “mature landscaping” (which in this particular case meant really big trees all over your yard). Yay! They are beautiful and provide great shade. We only had a know issue with two of them when we moved in. One tree was planted right over the septic tank which means its roots were worming their way into the tank and that would eventually cause problems. Please know that if you have a septic tank, get rid of the trees around it. Mark it with a nice bird feeder, not a tree. The other tree is right in front of our living room windows. It is a Japanese maple. It is gorgeous. It also grows right next to the house which causes issues with the gutters and drainage. Grrr…it is very important to know and think about what you are planting and where you are planting before you stick something in the ground. I don’t want to cut the Japanese maple down but it may actually cause damage to our house and devalue it when we want to sell it.

Our excitement for our yard full of beautiful trees was slightly diminished when the previous owner off-handedly said, “Yeah. They are beautiful, but wait until the fall.” …We hadn’t thought about that yet. Oh well…the house and the trees (and the leaves) are ours now.  Our Kansas yards were pretty low maintenance. He lived out in the country so the yard didn’t need mowing often and I lived in a really small town with no HOA so we did similar yard maintenance. Plus there’s not a lot of rain so the grass doesn’t grow too fast unless you have a landscaped yard with a sprinkling system. Yard work for those kinds of yards is pretty easy. We don’t really know what we’re doing in our North Carolina yard. Here we get more rain which means the grass grows faster so we need to mow more often. We recently called the city to see what we should do with our gargantuan amount of leaves. The answer: take them to the dump or burn them. Yikes. We tried to rake our whole yard (which is close to half an acre) one day….it is too big.

I spent about 2.5 hours today raking and burning and it looks like I did nothing. I also learned that we are severely lacking in yard equipment. Here are the five tools I plan to get to deal with our leaf problem.

1. A Leaf Blower:

We purchased the ONE+ set of Ryobi tools when they were on sale at Home Depot and we love having them! There is a battery that is interchangeable between a number of tools and this one would work with our set.

2. A wheel barrow:

I don’t really know any specific wheel barrow brands so I think we will have to get one to match this one that I am pretty sure Lawrence needs.

3. An additional rake:

I really don’t know why we didn’t buy a second rake when we bought the first. Bad planning I guess. Oh well.



4. This book

I came across this book recently while visiting the Daniel Stowe Botanic Gardens (which you should definitely check out if you’re in the area). I have been looking for a book that would help me learn how to grow things here in North Carolina and this one doesn’t seem too daunting.

5. The number to a local yard service…

We may purchase all these items and still find that we are overwhelmed by our yard. For this year we may need to call a local yard service to clear the rubble so we can start over fresh.

Have you ever moved to a new location and been completely surprised by your yard?

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