I experience a strange mix of excitement and dread every time I look out my kitchen window into my back yard. It is a substantial canvas with amazing potential, however, before I can bring out said potential, I have to whitewash what is a fairly fouled canvas currently.
In case you did not follow the metaphor, allow me to be more blunt. The yard is an overgrown mess. Not only that, it is filled with artifacts of prior gardening attempts which are old, rotten, and half buried. So as to not completely overwhelm myself I have set a goal of simply cleaning the slate this year. That includes getting rid of all the junk which I no longer want back there, pulling up nearly every flower bed, turning over the earth everywhere I want to plant next year, and reseeding large portions of the lawn. This also includes ripping up a few fairly substantial bushes and trees, but someone will be hired with cash monies for that job.
This weekend I set to digging up the bricks and cinder blocks which lined the rear garden. The bricks I should be able to get reuse out of. The cinder blocks however are in terrible conditions and, frankly, were not aesthetically appealing to begin with. The job was only complicated by the fact that buckthorn, a plant who's roots are relentless, seems to run rampant through the yard currently, and had actually grown INTO the cinder blocks.
The next task I have set for myself is uprooting everything which is in the rear garden, followed shortly by turning over the earth in the garden to prep it for next year. I'm considering also lining it with stones this year if I get around to choosing what form of masonry I want to decorate the yard with, but that's fairly low on the priority list.