A Bird’s-Eye View

September 12, 2013   //  Posted in: Backyard   //  By: Emily   //  2 responses

It was three months ago today that we closed on this awesome home. Most of our progress so far has taken place outside, clearing brush, pruning trees, planning garden space, and I can’t take any credit for the major improvements that Pete has making doing to the barn this week, but we’ll be prepared to show something after the weekend.

I’ve gotten more than a few requests for a property layout, something to help you guys better understand how the lot sits, where it’s wooded, and where the barn is in relation to the house. I put this off for a long while because (as you observed on Tuesday) my drawing skills are poor, and I wasn’t much up for trying to recreate a to-scale composite in inDesign or Photoshop. In any case, this should help clear things up, and also give you a sense of the topography, because our backyard slopes down pretty steeply into a wooded valley:

A layout of our property, as viewed in September 2013.

  • We’ve removed a lot of brush. This sketch is representative of our yard to date, and not perfectly to scale, but close enough. If I had drawn this a few months ago, imagine that you wouldn’t have had a line of sight from the house to the barn.
  • The property is just shy of being 2-acres, and is rectangular, with neighbors to either side but not closely behind us.
  • The topographical lines in the backyard try to demonstrate how quickly the land slopes downward, and where it levels out again. Good for exploring, but very wooded, with a very leafy floor.
  • Due to the number of trees, the whole yard isn’t grassy. Both the left side of the house and the front yard are naturally mossy, with some very fine grass blades that spring up on occasion. This Rogaine-like part of our yard doesn’t need mowing weekly, and we only feel the need to tend to it about once a month.
  • We’ve been maintaining the grassier part of the yard with a push mower all season. It takes us about 1.5 hours each week (a riding lawnmower that can hook up to a trailer is a pipe dream).
  • The trees are mostly leafy–hickory, ash, oak, and others–but there is a big pine tree in the immediate backyard, and another one (or a few) along the left side of the property.
  • There’s a split-rail fence that loosely divides our backyard. We’re told by neighbors that the previous owners had horses (a long time ago, we found evidence) and this was their pasture.
  • We did plant the berries that we bought before we moved in. It took us two months to get around to it, and then some unforeseen troubleshooting to keep them safe from the deer, but they are doing a-OK so far. The gardening beds sketched in the back are poorly out of scale. Hopefully next year we can figure out a better gardening setup in that area. We did get a few of the pink lemonade blueberries from the plant while it was still in the pot. They were perfectly lemony and berry-y.

Berry gardening, August 2013.

  • Liz
    5 years ago - Reply

    You underestimate your drawing skills! But the geologist in me has to protest…topographic lines are lines of equal elevation (i.e. if you walked along one you would not go up or down hill). Therefore, they do not ever touch or cross. That would imply a point on a map has two unequal elevation. I love your blog, sorry to nitpick! Just spreading the good word of science :)

    • Emily
      5 years ago -

      You awesome geologist, thank you for the criticism! I started out with a bunch of the lines (all parallel) and then went back and added more when I considered how the land sloped more in different places (especially around the barn)…. that’s where I fouled up, I guess :)

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