The Mess In Our Back Yard

We knew our back yard was a bit of a mess. It was clear that when they were renovating the building adjacent to ours that they had just dumped a bunch of garbage in our back yard. We figured there was about a foot of garbage back there…

Messy townhouse garden with construction debris

On top of that when a friend of ours (who does gardening for a living) saw the garden he said the plants that were going in it were rather insidious – that we should kill them with RoundUp and then put black plastic over the entire garden for a summer to try to kill them.

There’s so little in our place there aren’t many surprises, but it seems like every time there could be a surprise we’ve got one. The back yard isn’t going the way we thought it would… They’ve started removing the garbage – and surprise! There’s concrete under everything…

Taking debris out of townhouse garden

You can’t quite tell, but the retaining wall on the side has about 2 1/2 cinder blocks in it – so it’s about 20″ high (plus the cap stone). And most of the “debris” is actually mostly dirt and rocks. I still don’t know how we have so many river rocks in the middle of Harlem, but there they are.

Our plans just call for removing the debris. It doesn’t mention anything about removing concrete – so we’ll have to work that out with the contractor since we don’t want a concrete back yard! That said, we don’t have to worry about insidious plants growing in a concrete back yard…

The other question is how do we integrate those huge rocks into our landscape design? I was really thinking of going a different direction… But we’ll figure something out. Dan says we should look at Japanese garden designs.

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