Work in Progress

This past year, I focused on the inside of the house. Cleaning the kitchen and putting down new shelf paper. Getting the craft room organized. And finding our way around the community. There has been lots to do!

This year, I decided to focus my efforts on the outside of the home. That doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything else… it just means I’m taking any extra energy, and giving our house some curb appeal (and back-yard appeal).

back yard grass

This yard is so much different than our last yard. Mostly because of all the green! And the trees! We’re living in a 1957 Bungalow, and it has some great trees in the back yard, including an orange tree and a mandarin orange tree.

trimmed mandarin tree

I’ve started some of the work already. The mandarin orange tree needed some pruning, so I took a stab at it first. I hadn’t ever pruned a fruit tree before, so I did some research first. Turns out fruit trees like their canopy, so the major things were to not thin out the canopy too much, and mostly focus on getting rid of any dead branches. It wasn’t too bad. What was a lot more work was the giant shrub next to it… and I found out why!

trim bush

It turns out the purpose of this shrub was to hide the vent pipes for the bomb shelter that is under the house. So, I trimmed it back as much as I felt comfortable doing, and will see how it grows back this year – then trim it down a bit more next year, allowing the new growth to take over.

I have some “before” photos of some of the other areas of the yard I tackled. The side yard has a great raised bed that I wanted to plant vegetables in. But first, I had to weed it.



The dead tree was trimmed down, and my 3-year-old and I tackled the weeds. Then we planted onions, carrots, lettuce, and peas along the length of it. They’ve started to grow, and I’m looking forward to sharing progress shots when I have actual vegetables to show off!

The other side of the house has a small planter bed, with vines in it.


We took out much of the vines, and added a raspberry bush and a blueberry bush. We’ll see how they grow, but hopefully we’ll have some sweet berries to pick this summer.

The back patio needed a little help as well.



We were gifted some great patio furniture, and once we rinse off the boys’ outdoor toys, the patio will be even more functional.

The last big hurdle in the backyard was the orange tree.


This poor tree was insanely overgrown! I had to trim off all the sucker branches from the bottom, and all the dead branches from inside the tree. And pull out so many branches from the neighbor’s tree that had gotten tangled inside. It took the better part of a day. But it looks so much happier, and we’re hoping it will give us even more amazing oranges this next year. When we moved in we were told that it might be an orange tree… or it might be a grapefruit tree. Luckily, it turned out to be an orange tree with the sweetest seedless oranges! Perfect for snacking, or fresh-squeezed orange juice!

Hopefully soon I’ll have more images for you… and I hope to share front yard photos when the flowers start to grow in.

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