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Take back the backyard

My line of thinking about yard work had always been to keep it simple and "let nature take care of it." Pushing mowers, raking leaves and pulling weeds was not my idea of weekend fun. I was fine letting the elements take care of my yard. Unfortunately, the elements were beginning to take over...and it showed.

  • My wife's complaining about it did nothing to change my point of view
  • The kids begging me to trim a little so they could play out back made me laugh
  • The fact that the dog refused to go in the grass didn't faze me in the least

But what changed my mind about yard work was a picture. A picture left on the kitchen counter. One my wife took in our backyard.

That's where I saw it - my inspiration - tucked away beyond the growing weeds, branches and tall grass, she had somehow found a little oasis that looked so beautiful, I had to ask her where she was when she took it.

When she told me it was our backyard - at first I didn't believe her - then I had to go see for myself. And I began to see my yard in a different light and took great reverence in what I had and began to care for it like my neighbors did with pulsing mowers and humming leaf blowers.

And alas, my spring cleaning ritual started and has remained every year since seeing that picture. If you're like me and are trying to return to yard work after a bit of a hiatus, here are my recommendations for getting back into it:

Go bagless Find a place where yard waste can go back into nature and not into a bag. Choose a corner of your yard or a stretch of woods to dump it to make clean up much faster.

Grass was made for mulching Get a mulching blade for your lawnmower and don't even think about collecting grass in a bag.

OCD and spring cleaning don't mix Every leaf and branch does not have to be picked up for your yard or garden to look great. Do your best to get what you can quickly and easily, but don't obsess.

Define boundaries You might have trouble figuring out where a garden is, was or should be, but figure that out first if you're planning on having one.

Celebrate your yard Enjoy your yard and hard work with a picnic table, a simple and great way to enjoy it. You may even want to define an outdoor picnic area if your yard allows for it.

I'd love to know how all of you celebrate your yards. Post in the comments and let me know how your spring cleaning is going and what your plans for your yard are.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']#[/author_image] [author_info]Steve is a Writer in the Creative department at House Party. He considers everybody at House Party family, but we have recently been informed that Steve has another home in Woodbury, NY where he lives with his other family. He is a coffee and beer snob -- the type that brings his own coffee to work and his own beer to parties. Don't believe him? Just send him a party invite and see for yourself. He always RSVPs and brings enough to share.[/author_info] [/author]

UPDATED! Are you excited for Sunday?

Celebrating a milestone