OK, this is the post where I am going to bare it all. Usually, I post nicely cropped pictures of plants or combinations of plants doing well in my garden. Occasionally, I have posted pictures of whole garden areas that are fairly complete. I have even posted a few pictures of spots that need a lot of help, like the other half of the front yard that I hope to plant next year, and the tree and in a very stupid spot too close to the house. Here are the other major things I want to fix up next year:
The steps to the covered back porch. These "temporary" stairs have been in place for 3 years now, since we had to rip out a rotten back deck due to carpenter ant problems. This will be my husband's job, but I must remember not to be too ambitious getting my own things done in the garden, so that I can leave time for him to do this. An extra, comfy chair and a few extra pots, and this is going to be a beautiful, shady place to sit next year!
The Northwest Corner. This is a former RV pad that we have been using as our junkyard as we do major house and yard renovations. It really has to be tidied up. There are stumps of old trees we've had taken down, sheets of plywood we removed from the garage, branches left over from several of my pruning sprees, and a wasp's nest in the rolled up carpet. Not safe for adults let alone kids! My husband wants this area to eventually be his "ship yard" for the hobby he thinks he's going to have when the kids get older. I'll grudgingly give him the space as long as he lets me plant a few raised beds along the fence - one of the sunniest spots in the yard. I see tomatoes and a few espaliered fruit trees of some sort here...
The rotten tree stumps. This retaining wall was filled with carpenter ant nests when we moved in. Once we got rid of the ants, wasps moved in. Thanks to the paper bag we hung up this year, no wasps, but still the wall is crumbling and needs to be replaced. We're going to have someone do this for us next year, as we have enough to do. It will be concrete retaining wall blocks matching ones we have in other areas of the yard. The best thing of all, getting this wall replaced will give me a good excuse to get rid of one pine tree and 2 overgrown mugo pines that will be in the way.
The back lawn. Here's a partial view of the backyard (with the plywood in the northwest corner displayed so beautifully in the background!) I want more veggie space next year and the lawn is the sunniest spot in the yard (besides the northwest corner), so I am going to dig up a patch smack-dab in the middle of the lawn next spring. Fortunately, my husband is not a lawn guy and there are plenty of other spaces in the yard for the kids to run around.
The greenhouse. This butt-ugly behemoth of a structure is coming down next year. What? A gardener who wants to get rid of her greenhouse? Yes, it is sad but true. Firstly, it is sandwiched between two giant spruce trees such that it only gets about 2 hours max of direct sunlight - not enough to grow anything inside. So it is essentially a big ugly shed. Secondly, the plywood floor inside is raised about 30 cm off the ground and is rotting. I know for sure there are wasp's nests and carpenter ant nests under there and there are probably mice as well. My nightmare is that one day I am going to step inside and go straight through the floor. Ugh!
My goal is to clean this out over the winter so it is ready to take down in the spring. No small project, as you can see. We will try to recycle as much as possible, so anyone looking for large pieces of glass, cedar slat blinds or other useful greenhouse materials should contact me!
... and once the greenhouse is gone, then we are going to re-use this cedar panelling we took out of our basement and build a play structure for the kids in the greenhouse's footprint. I'm not crazy enough to think we'll finish that next year, but I'm hoping we can at least make a start.
So there you have it! Photos of all the not-photo-worthy areas in my yard. This is why it is going to be at least several more years before I am ready to enter the garden competition...