10.18.2015

rental backyard: clean slate (part 6)

backyard deck with potted discount foliage 

Jeff took a month's hiatus from working on the backyard to remodel his brother's bathroom and whatnot. But that project is (mostly) done now, so the last few days he has refocused on our yard. First he needed to finish the fence. Our side was already almost done, not including the gap between us and the duplex neighbor which still existed only because he'd committed to rebuilding the back part of their own falling-down fence and didn't want to have to walk all the way around.

Then when that was done, he walled in the divider and adjusted the fence hangers on our side, which were placed too far back (see here) because he was originally going to do a good-neighbor fence (even though I'd told him I hate that style of fence because of reduced privacy). So now the new fence is all done. He even shored up the old side-yard fence (not pictured), which was only starting to fall down.


completed backyard fence adjoining the neighbor's garage

Next we argued about what to do with all the extra wood he'd collected, including some shipping pallets and old fence panels being used as pallets holding his wood, still lined up along the fence. The new young neighbor couple took a few pallets and half the scrap-wood burn pile. Jeff then cut up and stacked neatly the rest of the scrap wood along the back of the house, using pallets as raised platforms for the burn pile and his three (!) grills (one not pictured). His old pale-green dirt bike changed places with his hippo-heavy meat smoker over at his mom's place, the smoker now sitting at the side of our house in the backyard, where at least it's mostly out of sight (see photo above). (He's never used the motorcycle once in the five years we've been friends and so should sell it, anyway. Right, Jeffrey?)


burn pile and grills on shipping pallets


potted pine, new fence, back neighbor's house


backyard pathway, cleared of stored wood

The rest of the reclaimed wood, leftover from building the deck and its huge table and benches, we carried, back and forth, trip after trip, from the backyard out to his trailer in the front yard, where it was dumped. The wood will be stored over at his mom's for future projects—along with the dirt bike—under a protected overhang.

What a difference it made getting that extra wood out of the backyard! The dirt was visible again, under a thin layer of pine needles fallen from the neighbor's huge tree where the raccoons live. Since then, we keep trawling Craigslist, searching for free pavers for the paths, cedar bark dust for soil cover, and more plants for landscaping—basically the outside equivalent of tile and carpet.


Missed the earlier posts in the Rental Backyard series documenting our backyard fix-up? Check out . . .

Part 1: The Tangled Mess
Part 2: Down to Dirt
Part 3: New Old Deck
Part 4: The Old Fence
Part 5: The New Fence

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