Giving Bernie a Haircut

I'm taking a break from our vacation recap to share some real-time progress of what's happening in our back yard!

Now that the weather is warmer, I've been turning my attention to our exterior spaces. Easton is finally at the age where he enjoys running around in the yard (still supervised obviously) so it frees me up to do things like weeding and working on the landscaping, or the lack there of.

He even helps me mow the yard!

One thing that has been driving me nuts is the two layers of fencing on the east side of our backyard. For whatever reason, when our neighbors put up the wood fence decades ago, the previous homeowners never took down the nasty chain link that runs the entire length of the east side of our property. Over time, trees, weeds and vines and grown up through the chain link and it just looked crazy like Bernie Sander's hair.

Sorry Bernie!

This picture was taken the day we moved in. You can see here how bad it gets after a summer of sun and growth!

Step one was to relocate the raised garden bed that was built by the previous owners. While I want to start a small vegetable garden, I didn't like that this one was so visible, especially with the black metal fence put up to keep the bunnies out. Also, there isn't a water faucet near by so I'd be hauling a hose across the lawn every day. No thank you!

I decided to move the box over to the currently unused side yard on the west side of the house. The area sits behind our AC unit but shares a wall with two gutter downspouts and a hose faucet. It also seems to get a good amount of sun, if the waist-high weeds that I found growing back there last summer are any indication. Eventually I'd like to put in a rain barrel which will capture water from our gutter downspouts but for now, it'll be ok to have the hose running along the side of the house without getting in anyone's way. Previously, the side yard was just wasted space full of waist-high weeds, so I'm glad to be putting it to good use!

The box was very easy to disassemble - just 12 screws held it in place. I don't like the idea of waste, and the boards should last another 1-2 seasons at least, so I used my circular saw to cut them down to fit their new spot. Twelve new screws later, we were set to go! I went ahead and built another box out of new pine to maximize my growing area.

The darker box in the back was obviously built with the older wood. Still need a few more bags of dirt to top off the boxes.

Now to the fence! The tricky part about the chain link fence is that the wooden fence doesn't run the entire length of the backyard. There is a portion missing along my neighbor's side yard and obviously we didn't want our dogs getting into her section of yard, so I had to leave up that portion of chain link for now. Fortunately, it's on the side of the house so no one has to see it but me.

We bought an inexpensive reciprocating saw and a pair of bolt cutters to help speed the job along. I used the reciprocating saw with a metal blade to cut through the upper support pole.  The support pole slid out easy peasy, just like YouTube said it would ;) and then I used bolt cutters to cut through the chain link to make a new end point.

Now, I would like to say I was able to rip it all out by myself. In fact, I really pride myself on being able to do these DIY projects all on my own. It makes me feel all "I am woman, hear me roar!" but as we all know, having the right tool can make a job so much easier and sometimes, the best tool in my workshop is Branch's brute strength! In less than an hour, we were able to rip out 60 feet of chain link that was heavily entangled in trees, vines and weeds and Branch was strong enough to get the vertical posts out with his bare hands! I could have NEVER done that on my own!

That's a hot mess right there.'

Much better!!

Once we got all the chain link out, it was time for me to clean up all the vines and debris that was left behind.


So the good news is, the chain link and the weeds are out. The bad news is that it's now so much more obvious what poor condition the wood fence behind it is in. :( To be honest, I'm having a hard time figuring out if it's an improvement or not. Ugh.

We're going to put some grass seed down where the raised bed used to be. For now, Easton is happy to play in his new dirt pile. 

Unfortunately, replacing the fence isn't in our budget this year, even if we split the cost with our neighbors, so I'm hoping that a gentle power washing and some strategically placed plants can kind of camouflage it for a year or two until we can save up enough to put in a new privacy fence. Which, by the way, feels like such an expensive and unsexy thing to spend a big chunk of money on! #homeowners

I'll be back soon with more pictures from the trip, plus what Easton was up to the whole time we were gone!

Love y'all!


  1. Oh wow, I think it's a major improvement! I'd take a semi-dirty fence over a weeded-up chain link fence anyday! I think after you gently spray it off, add some plants, and get some grass growing, you won't even remember how it looks now. Can't wait to see how your garden grows!


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