Working on the Yard

I posted less on my blog this past week than normal.  Partly because I’ve been working on a blog makeover – I redid the banner graphic, facebook graphic (join me on fb if you haven’t) and my business cards.  Hope you like the new look!

I wanted it to reflect the style in our new home – darker blues, grays and a little more sophisticated.  I think the old one reflected the style in our Phoenix home.

But, I also did not post much this past week because we’ve been doing backbreaking work on our yard.  I have mixed feelings.  We chose this house due to the privacy that the yard provided.  We really wanted to feel like we had our own space without anyone looking in on us.  Our backyard, just off of the porch, looked like this just before we closed on the house at the end of March.


Six weeks or so later and the neighbors cleared their lot and put up a fence.   It was a surprise to us.  We were told they loved the trees and didn’t want to ever touch them – never depend on that.  We knew this could happen, as it’s their land to do what they want with.

Suddenly, as you can see, it wasn’t so private.


(Don’t you love how I didn’t even straighten the pillow.  Just wanted to snap a quick photo to compare.)

Though I think their lot looks great and the fence is awesome (and they are super nice people who we really like), it just doesn’t help with the privacy we crave.

This week, we started to clear some of the dead branches around our immediate backyard.   Austin had a severe drought last year and many plants died.   If they survived, they ended up with lots of dead branches, as you see below.


We cut (some with a chainsaw, some with trimmers), dragged and piled the branches in the back for future fire wood.  With cuts on our bodies, sore muscles and blisters on our hands, we’re exhausted, but determined to do most of it ourselves.


It needed to be done (poor trees), but of course, it didn’t help the privacy issues, either.

Are you big on privacy in your backyard?  We just like to be 100% comfortable and relaxed in our own private space, and not feel like it’s a shared space or that people are looking at us.  Just our little thing with yards…

To add some privacy back, in the fall, we plan to plant some screening plants.  We aren’t allowed to have privacy fences in our neighborhood – just the wrought iron fences.  I think it will all work out, but I have mixed feelings about the clearing – it looks great, but makes it less private which happened to be a selling point for us.

But, creating a screen with some plants such as wax myrtles should fix it.

I do love the wildness that is found on some of our property.  We don’t want to tame it too much.  Just take out the dead stuff.


We barely made a dent despite lots of work!  So, this is going to take some time!

People ask how we’re adjusting to Texas (just moved from AZ, though we are originally from TX).  We like it.  It’s fun to have trees.  But, there are lots of crazy bugs.  We’ve found two scorpions in our house, one in our yard and lots of other crazy bugs like these.

Yard-115 image

That (above) is a katydid.  Below is a giant walking stick.  They get up to 7 inches long around here!  Apparently they make good pets.  Ha.  Maybe we’ll give them as gifts.  Watch out!


I like the change with having more plants and such, but this does take some getting used to. 

So, we’re adjusting.   Overall, though, we are enjoying Austin quite a bit.  But, we are cleaning our car windows a lot more!

Whatcha think of the yard?  The grass is definitely greener!  Do you prefer privacy in your backyard?    Do you like complete privacy?   At least lots are large, so houses aren’t too close here.  Would you like the changes or hate them?   Do you consider it better or worse?

NewHouse-038 Yard-123

And, the new blog/ logo design?  The chevron can be seen on the new design as well, but only from certain angles on your computer screen.  So, tilt it a bit, if you can’t see the faint chevron pattern in the background.


What’d you do on your holiday weekend?



  1. I love to have a private yard. I like to sunbathe and don’t like people watching me. Unfortunately, in our house the back yard is open to view from the tenants house. I don’t like it at all. As soon as we get some extra money we hope to plant a line of trees. But we have to wait for that.

  2. Scorpions??? I would freak! And yes I do want privacy in my back yard….not to run around naked or anything:)

  3. Are you allowed to grow vines on your neighbor’s fence? That would help a bit. Find some fast growing shrubs or trees. Around here in the east the white pine grows super fast. Also the Bartlett pear. I never knew that until they passed twenty feet a few years ago. Ann

  4. The new logo looks great!!

  5. Our neighbors have a privacy fence, but the previous owners also planted a row of what looks like Christmas trees for added privacy along the back of the yard. They block out the houses behind us, but they also cut off some of our yard so I’m undecided about keeping them…

    Loved the series about the Simply spray paints too! Thanks for the insight!

    • The good thing is, no windows are looking at us or anything. It’s just yard to yard privacy and in one corner/ side. But, it is still important. I think we’ll be able to fix it though. I like the idea of the row of screening plants like you have. Hope to get ours in soon. Glad you are enjoying the series!

  6. Well, now, that explains why you have scorpions! I appreciate privacy as well, though we have none currently. Hope you managed to rest a bit this weekend.

  7. I’m definitely digging the new header/logo! Good job!

  8. Our new neighbors are chain saw happy. Luckily we have enough trees on our side to keep things private. We live on a little busier road (but it’s busy can it be.) but our entire backyard is surrounded by trees. It’s fabulous!

    Those bugs are so cool! Scorpions..not so much!

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