Posted by: Katy | May 2, 2008

The Backyard is Backward

By that I mean it’s grossly unfinished.  Unpolished.  Highly  unsophisticated.  Not only does it not impress, but sometimes it might even appall.  Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters wiped out the grass in my yard.  When I moved in, it was a mess of weeds that in some places came up to my chest (I’m 5’1″, so this isn’t exactly a stupendous feat, but it’s still unattractive).  My poor father.  When I tell you he has sprayed, hand weeded, dug up weeds,  macheted weeds, mowed weeds, and desperately tried to help me keep the overgrowth in check, I’m not exaggerating.  Because of financial circumstances, I was only able to sod the front yard and about a third of the back yard, so the weeds keep coming!  I don’t know when I will ever have the money to finish sodding, as I just purchased a termite contract (ouch, did that hurt the wallet) and the house REALLY needs to be repainted in the next year or whenever I can save enough money.  (Not to mention all the unexpected expenses that seem to arise when you own a home that is over eighty years old).  What is an inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing alterative to allowing one’s yard to suffer in mud and weeds?  I thought about laying down some kind of gravel or stones in places.  Here are some of the pictures that seem to convey what I’ve been thinking.  Not that MY home will ever be able to look like this.  But one can always dream. 

What do you think?  Any ideas?


  1. I think that’s a good idea. Have you thought about using ground cover instead of sod. Like planting monkey grass or that viny like plant. I’m not sure what the initial work for that would be or if it’s expensive. It seems like a lot of people here make a patio with concrete or stone and the rest of the yard is just ground cover and not grass. That would keep the weeds down. Just a suggestion and I don’t know that much about landscape.

  2. Love the ideas. I am not sure what is native or typical in NO but I can’t believe it would be too tough to get something like that going down there. Have you thought of “phasiong” the new plants and ideas in? I look at our yard as if its on the 3 year plan. First year, start some perennials in a few small borders, second year (this year), I’ll expand and add more. Next year, I’ll move the patio and finish planting. It is still ambitious but easier (physically and on the pocket book) if broken down like that.

  3. I’m not really sure how I ended up on your site…a half hour of searching blog upon blog will lead you just about anywhere I find. Today it lead me here and I read with great interest your thoughts about New Orlean life. Just this morning a group of 35 of us (adults/youth) did a bake sale to raise funds for a trip to New Orleans we are planning in August. We traveled there in 2006 to do what we could to help clean up/tear down after the wrath of Katrina. We spent most of our days in the 9th Ward…under such unbelievable conditions….my heart will never be completely the same.
    We anticipate coming back to see the progress the city has made….but fear we will be shocked to see so much left to do.
    I enjoyed reading your honest tales about the day to day progress you all still face.
    Know that many miles away there are many who are rooting for you all…praying a brighter day is shining and your sense of security is returning.

  4. Thank you so much, Terri. I can’t tell you how much it means to me—to all of us—to know there are good people out there who are thinking of us and praying for us. Also, thank you for all you have done to help us!

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