Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

May 12, 2008


I believe I've made my feelings on the great outdoors pretty clear, but in case some of you are just tuning in, I abhor yardwork and gardening. Hate it. It's back-breaking, hot, sweaty, my glasses get fogged up, my nose runs like a faucet. And I do a half assed job. Brian tried the old, "You have to weed because you are closer to the ground" thing, but forget it. It's just not worth all the pain in my back, neck and knees. About the only thing I actually do like is mowing the lawn.

Unfortunately, our mower needs some work and we never got around to taking it down to the John Deere shop in Sumner over the winter. Then the grass grew. And grew. And grew. Before I left for the Cape, it was already ankle deep. By the time I got back, it had easily grown another 3". The weeds totally took over. Additionally, Sagan had dug so many really deep holes and had displaced the earth so much that the holes were impossible to fill. Not to mention the lovely, rocky glacial till that passes itself off as soil in Washington.

It was time to call in the professionals. A couple of months ago, we got a little flyer either in the mail box or front porch, advertising a landscaping service. I called Mr. Vu and he came out and gave us an estimate to weed, mow and spread beauty bark in the back. He quoted us a price that I thought was extremely fair, considering the work that had to be done.

Here are some pictures I shot on Sunday afternoon, before Mr. Vu came out to deal with this mess.
No, we don't eat the dandelion greens because let's face it, we have two dogs.......
That black splotch next to the cement walk is one of Sagie's many holes.

Here are some ground-level views so that you can see just how deep the grass was.


AND NOW! The grand unveiling of the "After" pictures!!!! This is what $1,220 of landscaping buys you:

They even trimmed the bottom of those cedar trees!!!

WOW! Look at that!!! No weeds! No holes!!! And Mr. Vu and his crew managed to unearth the cement border edging all around the yard.

This was a complete jungle of stick-like trees and ferns.

It was worth every penny.

They also shaped that holly tree against the back fence.

I could not be more pleased. When I got home yesterday, Mr. Vu and his 3-man crew were just getting ready to leave. I couldn't stop expressing my joy and appreciation. Sure, $1,220 is a lot of money, but when you figure that 12 yards of beauty bark runs about $400 alone, and for all the work they did, it was a bargain. I've made some good financial decisions over the past couple of months, and there is no trip to Canada for me this year, so why not spend it on the yard? Plus, it stimulates our local economy: Mr. Vu's workers get paid, they then shop at the local stores. And most importantly, I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO IT!! Now that I see what a good job he did on the back, we're going to have him come back with his crew and do the front yard, which is looking a bit ratty, although they did mow the front yard yesterday. Oh yeah, and they also used the blower on our front porch and all the way down our driveway to clean off the winter's pine needles.

He's going to charge us $33 per week to keep it mowed and tidy. A small price to pay to be pain free and be able to enjoy the yard for once.


  1. Lizzzard9:04 PM

    Your yard looks beautiful! My yard does not (yet) because we haven't had enough time to play out there.

    I can't justify paying for yardwork when I need exercise but now window washing....that I can!

  2. Liz - Trade ya....I don't mind doing windows at all.

  3. Your yard looks beautiful!

    It's funny, when I was little it was my job (along with my brother) to mow the lawn...I Hated it! But now that I've grown up and I have my own yard, I love it :)

  4. I can definitely see paying for all that instead of slaving over the lawn!I HATE the outdoors.

    Can you send them to mow my lawn for that price each month?

  5. looks really nice...and it makes you happy, so that's extra-good!

  6. we are of two minds... I do not do gardening and right now my garden looks like your 'before'. It was worth every penny; you got a real bargain there

    I did have a gardener who has abandoned me this year, so I've a new guy called Mario starting this week (I pray).

    I must say $33 is dirt cheap ('xcuse the pun)... it costs me £25 and my garden is tiny

  7. wow! looks nice:) i was thinking that $33 was cheap too, my neighbor pays $25 for her tiny yard, which is probly about 1/4 of what you've got.

  8. what a beautiful yard...even with the weeds and the un-mowed grass. can i bring loganne over to play?

  9. Fen - Definitely! Sagan would love to play with Loganne!!! Pepper on the other hand does her "I'm a third wheel" thing and will sulk.

  10. Money well spent, I think. I must get the little man up the road in to help keep my little wilderness under control before it becomes impenetrable again.

  11. Anonymous3:07 PM

    I love gardening, I could watch people do it all day ;0)

  12. considering you can pay a kid $25 a week to mow your yard (usually half assed), $33 to keep it up is great! your yard looks amazing! luckily i live in apartment and don't have the duties of yard work, yet. though when i find that man and get married one day, i do plan on moving to a house. then my husband can do the yard work,and then one day my kids :)

    by the way, i got your postcard! thank you, that was so sweet! next time i take a vacation (don't hold your breath...) i'll send you one!

  13. That's great! You know, we live on a hill and have managed to do away with All lawn. WooHoo! I actually like gardening, but hate dealing with a lawn.

  14. Thankfully I have J for gardening,he loves it.I can just about push the mower round...if I have too.

    I think you found a treasure in Mr Vu,he's done a wonderful job :-D