Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Muddy Delima

The townhouse I rent has a lot of great features:
  • It is close to the major roads.
  • It is cheaper than any condos of similar, and often smaller, size.
  • It has a backyard.
  • It does not have assigned parking.
However, there is one major problem with my townhouse – the backyard is quite literally a mud pit.

Being raised by an arborist, I have always loved digging in the dirt and never had a problem growing plants. At least until I moved into this townhouse.

It was February when I first moved in, and the ground was covered in snow. When spring arrived, the snow melted, revealing an almost non-existent lawn. This did not discourage me though. Grass seed was purchased and scattered, and the dog was kept out of the backyard so it could grow.

My next challenge also arrived with spring. What started out as cute baby green leaves quickly grew into dinner plate sized monsters. Naturally, I wanted to trim some of the leaf-laden branches, but I was prevented from doing so because the tree is in my neighbor’s yard.

Determined not to be beaten, I struggled desperately to plant other greenery, including many varieties of shade-loving flowers and ground covers. This was when I discovered that not only was my lawn extremely shady, it was also perpetually damp. Even in the hottest, driest points of summer, there were still corners of my yard that were saturated in water! (talk about a mosquito nightmare!) All the seeds I planted either rotted in the extreme moisture or washed away in all the torrential downpours we got last year.

Completely disgruntled from the continuous onslaught of obstacles, I gave up for the year, consoling myself by raking all the leaves up in the fall.

This year, I face the challenge again. Only, I have even more pressure to have a livable backyard. With two dogs in the house, a backyard is an invaluable asset, except when your yard is a mud pit. As I experienced this morning, this much mud is simply too much with two dogs; and I had to change my work clothes before leaving for the day.

Will I be successful in my backyard battle? I have no idea, but I certainly hope so. I am currently googleing topics such as: hardy shade grasses, gravel ground covers, and wood chips. Hopefully, one of these options will work, and my backyard will go from this:

To this:

Or something close to that. ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment