Friday, May 14, 2010

Beast to Beauty

When we moved to Provo in August, we weren't sure how long we would be staying. Winter was on its way, and we only had a week or two to find a place to live. So we didn't so much mind that the view outside our window consisted of this:

And this:

These pictures don't really do it justice...Someone had thought it would be a great idea to plant grape vines and raspberries in one big patch of yard and then just leave them like that for several decades. Seriously, they had taken over EVERYTHING. There were vines reaching from one end of the backyard, wrapped all around the fence, looped up and over the neighbor's tree, back down to the fence, and all along the side yard. They were probably 100 feet long. See that tree in the far right corner above? (Oh wait, you can't even see it, it's so covered!) It was suffocating, and leaning heavily to one side because the vines were all wrapped around it and up in it's leaves.

So, for those of you who aren't aware, Landon has accepted BYU's offer and will be studying for his Master's degree here in Provo under Dr. Summer Rupper. That means that we will be in Utah for about 2 more years. And since we aren't huge fans of moving our stuff around more than necessary, we'll probably be in the same apartment for awhile at least. With that knowledge, we knew we couldn't live with our yard the way it was. We called our land lady, and not only did she approve, she offered to discount our rent for cleaning up the mess.

So we began. We started by taming the grapes. We clipped and pulled, heaved and hoed, raked and dug...soon we had several large bags full of trash, we had unearthed an ancient lawn mower (we knows how long THAT had been there), we had cleared away a massive pile of rotting wood (which, by the way, was full of mutant slugs and unnaturally large centipedes), and we realized something. We weren't standing on dirt, as we had thought. We yanked out the hose and started spraying, and guess what we found?

Oh yeah. There's a patio under there! Who knew? We were beyond ecstatic.

Too bad our job was far from over. We still had a lot of crap to clear out from the part of the yard that was actual dirt.

(Exit Crap Pile)

30 hours of work later brought us to this point:

See how the killer vines are gone? This is me with a muscle-powered "roto-tiller" that we borrowed from our home teacher. Oh and no, I haven't gained 100 pounds, I am just wearing Landon's coat.

So, a few rounds with the shovel and the spiky twisty tool and we came up with this:

Eureka! It's a garden! A huge garden actually, it's a little daunting. I'm not sure if anything will grow in it, but we'll do our best!

Before we could plant anything though, we had a bit of a dilemma. We live in a basement apartment, underneath an adorable family. With 6 kids. Three of whom are still too young to go to school. Um. Yeah. They are great, fun kids, but they aren't necessarily careful around small, fragile, helpless little plants. And they think the patio's pretty cool, too. So...we had to take a bit of drastic action. Remember the rotting wood pile? Well, it turns out it came in pretty handy! When I got home from work one day, Landon had come up with this:

Man, my husband is handy! Isn't it cute? It's like our own little Secret Garden! I'm loving it! We have now planted peas, radishes, and spinach. Everything has to wait for the weather to warm up just a bit more. Possibly next weekend. Keep your fingers crossed for us that something grows! I don't have the best track record with plants...

PS: Thank you so much for all of the nice comments, phone calls, notes of Facebook, etc. in response to our last post. We are so grateful to be safe and to have amazing family and friends that we can always turn to in a crisis.


Charles and Nancy said...

Good job! It looks really good! Good luck with growing things!

Fyfe Family said...

Kylie, I LOVE it! I can't believe you guys did all that. That must have been A LOT of work. Good for you!! I'm so excited you get to have your own little patio and garden now. I love having a garden!

Tedi said...

I am glad your hard work paid off! I hope your plants grow. We are trying to garden this year. I'll let you know how it goes. I also love the little picket fence, way to be creative Landon! Hope you're enjoying Provo!