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Friday, August 21, 2009

What I inherited-Part 1

I don't mean to complain...but there are very few niceties that were a part of our house when we bought it....well that was a conscious decision though.

For a piece of land that is fairly large by most bay area standards, there was nothing nice in our garden. In fact there was hardly any space to plant.

The backyard was a concrete jungle. A really huge liner pool occupied center stage which was surrounded by a plethora or shed like structures that i presume were once changing rooms and outdoor shower areas for a bunch of rambunctious kids. None of these were in decent shape...not to mention the termite infestation. Looks like it was an over zealous do it yourselfer of an earlier generation. What was left in the backyard had an asphalt driveway that connected the 2 driveways in the front. See how i couldn't plant a thing in this backyard !

The backyard- April 2008 when we bought the house.

Above- Another perspective of the pool and the Asphalt Driveway

We have come a long way in the past year, the pool is long gone. I should write about it in another post. The asphalt driveway has been dug out and leveled with clean fill dirt. I've started a small vegetable garden that occupies a portion of the backyard.

Here is the complete view of the backyard after all the clean up

We also had challenges along the way getting this clean up completed.

One of the biggest pain points was the "Sweet Gum" or "Liquidambar"tree. Looks like there were a couple of them in the backyard that were taken down, but the stumps (almost 1 ft tall) remained. There was also a fairly small Sweet gum tree that was close to the sun room foundation that we took down.

Interestingly one of the gardeners who stopped by to give us a proposal on landscaping suggested that we take the tree down as it would affect the concrete foundation. (We eventually never hired any landscaper because they were just way off our affordability range).

We have taken it down and dug up all the roots (which were going crazy all over a small strip of lawn that existed nearby). The bobcat guy who did the pool demo was nice enough to dig out the stumps that were there. Even now the plant is sending up suckers in all the small root remnants that remain....this tree is HARDY. You see them all along the freeways....i guess they are nice there. But i see them often on sidewalks.....the roots have pushed out the concrete walkways surrounding them as they grow. I don't see a lot of bad press online about these trees and am wondering why.
Here's a picture of one of the roots that was dug out

In any case, i don't have even one bit of regret in getting these out. My garden will feature plants and trees that add beauty and function to the landscape. More to come ...


  1. Wow! You really have been putting in a lot of work in redoing the backyard. It'll be interesting seeing what it'll look like finally.

  2. Brindavan, Now you have a clean canvas to work with. Well done, keep us in the loop as you create your garden. I found you from Blotanical and as Arnold saib,"I'll be Back". See ya, Scott

  3. well, every garden has challenges. it would be boring otherwise. looks like you made great progress.