In addition to taking out what was overgrown and making new flower beds, part of the goal of tackling the yard was to uncover a stone wall along the back that was completely obscured by thick ivy. That effort was successful. I think the wall is a great outdoor design feature.
The heavy cardboard on the ground is to keep weeds from poking up until the landscapers can come back with mulch and compost to create the flower beds.
That scraggly white picket fence in the back belongs to neighbor #3, whose house you see behind mine. Seattle neighbors are connected in funny ways that would be barred by zoning practices now — the three of us not only share lot lines, but the sewer line. Neighbor #3 is hoping to dramatically shorten those tall arbor vitae, which are on her property. I’m hoping to talk her out of it, as they provide a lot of privacy to my yard. We haven’t yet talked about that bit of fence. The other wood fence that you see in the first pic will also be replaced with cedar fencing, with the agreement of neighbor #2.
Those old pavers are going to come out and be replaced by grass, and the bare spots will be reseeded. You can probably see a lot of burdock and other weeds amidst the grass. Those will be coming out over time by hand. Landscapers here are all organic — they don’t use weed killer.
The yard is big by Seattle urban standards, and I think it has lots of potential. The question now is how soon to plant things, as we are entering Seattle’s driest season. Unless I’m willing to water every day — and you get bad looks from people passing by if you’re standing there with a hose because of the perceived lack of water conservation — anything we plant now is likely to die. The full yard transformation may not be done until fall.