While this isn't quite as exciting a "before and after" as the house paint, I promised photos and, gosh darn it, I wanted to deliver for a change.
Fun note about the above photo: that giant patch of ice in the yard was from when the pipes burst in the basement and emptied our well into the yard. Thankfully that recurring nightmare of frozen pipes is apparently behind us.
As I described in my sad post about the trees, root balls and the previous owner's lack of foresight, the back portion was not worth saving after all due to drainage problems. Down it came and away it went, the roof and trusses to be used for someone else's building project.
Here's the yard from the same angle now.
I guess it's not that much of an improvement in a photo, but in person it does make a difference to be rid of that ugly old garage (which I promise would've actually been quite nice with new siding). A couple of those scrubby trees still need to go so the garden will get better sunlight, and hopefully by September we'll be able to bulldoze all those weeds and plant some grass in their place.
The patch of ice has been replaced by my garden, but that is another sad story. A few weeks ago, a major storm passed through our little suburb, bringing small tornadoes and golf ball-sized hail. Most of my plants were either snapped off at the stem or had all their leaves shredded to bits. And, as you can see, the pea trellis got knocked sidewise, which was actually not a big deal because every pea plant died in the storm anyway. (We even lost the huge pine tree behind the house when its trunk snapped in half and missed falling on the house by a few yards. This storm was not kidding around.) The kale plants have since regained some of their leaves, I'm still getting lettuce and the carrots are still growing, so it wasn't a total loss. But almost. I guess there's always next year.
Thus ends the garage portion of our programming.
UPDATE as of 09/23/13: I'm closing comments on this post, because for some reason it has become a target for spammers. I'm tired of deleting dozens of spam comments per week on this post alone. Thanks.