Looking Back, Moving Forward – Part One (AKA The Curse of the Junipers)

Looking Back, Moving Forward – Part One (AKA The Curse of the Junipers)

Four years ago last weekend, Tool Lady, Fish Girl and I moved into our new home.  We had been living in a condo that we outgrew and were able to purchase our house right before the housing market tanked (the stars literally lined up…)!  In my excitement about us celebrating 4 years in our new home, I wanted to look back on all we’ve done to the property.  It’s been back-breaking work (literally), but it has all been worth it!

Massive Junipers

We bought the house for the house (the sizes of the bedrooms, the upstairs porch, the open floor plan…) and not for it’s curb appeal because…well…it had zero curb appeal. The front yard was filled with 30 year old Junipers/trash collectors and layers of rock and weed cloth.  The backyard was just full of rock and weed cloth with one lonely (but huge) tree.  Not pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but newly ours.  We didn’t do much to the yards the first year, but started attacking it the second summer.

Massive Juipers cut down to size

We started off thinking we could just cut them back and save them.  Little did we know that 30 years of neglect means that you either leave them large or you have to take them completely out.

Stumps and Juniper carnage

We spent hours and hours battling the stinkin’ (literally) Junipers.  Note the mountain of branches.  Madness.  Then, we had to tackle the immense roots!  Shovels and a sawz-all became our best friends and worst enemies!

Tool Lady and Fish Girl planting the fantastic Russian Sage that replaced the stinkin’ Junipers

In the end, though, it was worth it to not have to look at those things anymore.  We have a corner lot, which gives us more land than most in our neighborhood (we have a whole 1/8 acre!), but also meant that our yard was used as a walk-through for people to get from Point A to Point B.  It also meant that our lovely Juniper was used as a trash can for 30 years.  Gross.


These Russian Sage are now huge, wonderfully lavender and silver and have completely taken over the space.  All summer long they are covered with bees, which makes my heart very happy!

NOTE-I have decided to do this whole looking back thing in a few installments…next will be the front yard, then we’ll cover the back yard!

Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm


  1. Pingback: Flashback Friday - Roosters, Bees, Beans, & Layers - Ever Growing Farm | Ever Growing Farm

  2. Akannie

    Hi Melissa–my first time here, I popped over from Daphne’s… All your stuff looks great…we have weather involvements this year (LOL) and so things are a liottle less awesome than usual for this time of year. But I’m not giving up…

    I’m trying to figure out where you are…southwest ? I’m in the midwest, south central Illinois.

    Please come see me at Dragon Woman’s Kitchen !

    1. Bee Girl

      Thanks for popping over! We are in Santa Fe, NM…high desert, pretty much constant drought…but it’s my home and I do love it 🙂 Definitely do not give up on your garden…even if you have small successes, they are still successes! 🙂

    1. Bee Girl

      Thanks for popping over! I look forward to looking over your blog! Now, doesn’t it feel amazing to tear something out and put something new (and better) in it’s place!? With spring just around the corner(ish), my head is spinning with ideas!!!

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