The jungle has been TAMED

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope you all have great plans for the weekend. Lets be honest, who doesn't live for weekends during the summer?! We're still spending our weekends working away on our backyard jungle, however some spaces look more like a desert now... Its odd to think we went from this madness:

To this vast open space:

The ground has actually all been levelled and our next step is to lay patio stones. Ian also sealed up the side of the deck and included a little door in order to access underneath. You know, for when we need to play hide and go seek. Seriously though, it allows us to store wood and other things under there.

So much better:

Melissa and Ian-  1, Jungle - 0.
However, our taming was not complete. We also had the sides of the house to contend with.  Remember this?

Yikes. This was not the only jungle let me remind you. We have many. I mean can you IMAGINE what was living in our backyard? Well, let me tell you. Multiple bunny families, the usual chipmunks and squirrels, the odd raccoon and a family of turkeys. Heck, I wouldn't blame them. Who would ever find you in THAT? That, plus all of the other former jungle options in our backyard for homes. Its like a freaking palace back here. They even have a pool to bathe in. If I was an animal I'd live here. Well, not anymore...now they can all live under the deck- they pretty much have their own door in and out of it now :S

So we cleaned up the other jungles, working on one at a time...we needed to pace ourselves with this! We started with the biggest one by first clearing it out:

Then we removed all the weeds, and raked the dirt to break it up and level it out. We then moved a FEW plants (hostas since they require minimal maintenance and look nice) that we had in other gardens and  actually wanted to keep, over to this garden and mulched around them:

We wanted to make the gardens smaller and more manageable so we laid sod. The dry, dry sod. Just a tip when you are laying sod. Its best if you can do it at night or when the sun isn't as strong. Make sure you water the ground BEFORE you lay the sod down, and I also like to water the bottom of each piece of sod before laying it. Lay your sod, and then water generously. You should water it every day (unless it rains) to ensure that its getting the water it needs to root itself into the ground. Also, if you are planning on laying a lot of sod in a large area, make sure to stagger the pieces. Sound as if I know a lot about sod? Well Ian taught me all I know- he actully laid sod for a summer job once and said it was the worst job ever. However, I thought it had its perks: not only do we know ALL about sod now, but Ian was super muscular and tanned all summer because of it, so I personally thought it was an excellent work experience ;)

Anyho, here's the sod after about a week. We watered it every day. Notice how green the new sod is? Ya, thats because its been somewhat dry here this summer so we hadn't been doing the best job at watering all of the other lawn. Our bad.

We did the same to the other gardens behind this one, they just need to be finished off with some mulch:

We're actually going to have a privacy screen installed on this side of the deck to block our lovely neighbours from listening to our late night Settlers tournaments and to spare them from seeing us in bathings suits on tanning days...

So now that we've got the gardens mainly cleared out, we'll begin to plant in the next few months.
This backyard has pretty much consumed us, but its definitely coming together.
Have any of you been working on your yards? What flowers would you plant in a garden?

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