rental backyard: the tangled mess (part 1)

glass patio table with overgrown weeds

After a year living in this rental duplex, my housemate friend, Jeff, decided it was time to fix up the backyard—which was basically a patch of dirt and weeds with potential. The yard directly borders the neighbor's garage on the west side, the back of the house on the south side, and falling-down fences along the north and east sides, with a volunteer tree of some kind parked by the east fence, providing shade and a place for squirrels to hop the roof, stocking up on walnuts from the tree across the street. Jeff had been collecting piles of free wood off Craigslist for months, so the materials were stocked and ready. However, it was hard to see them all clearly amid the jungle of weeds.

old chair, weeds, and used pallets

These photos were snapped before weeding when the backyard looked like something out of Great Expectations, all dusty, derelict, and overgrown. Jeff's patio set is buried somewhere under there, as are a couple random chairs, a grill, an umbrella clothesline, about twenty concrete pier blocks, a stack of shipping pallets, piles of secondhand wood, and a collection of kindling for a future fire pit.

falling-down fence with weeds

But every large project begins with a small first step, which in this case was to pluck all the weeds, the poor, to-me-nameless plants struggling up through the ruins towards the light. Out of destruction, creation. And so we got to work.

(to be continued . . .)

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