As soon as I got home from the gardening/composting class, I walked around our property a little bit (I use “property” very loosely as our lot is less than 5000 sq ft) ….. trying to think about what changes I wanted to make, where we could put the compost bin and other things ….

While we were there I drew a little rough draft of our property … thinking about the trapezoid shape, where trees would go, etc …

Not really to scale, but you get the general idea….

Our wall on the side that we share with our neighbor is up the hill slightly, and goes out at an angle to the house/other wall to make the trapezoid shape.

Because of the hill, we have a 3-ish feet high retaining wall that starts at the back wall, angles out a bit and heads toward the front of the house.

In the photo below, the retaining wall is behind Andrew and our property-border wall is on the right. That is the BACK wall of that particular neighbor’s house. They face a different street – we are the first house on our side on our street.

To look at it, you’d assume that wall just goes straight back, right?

Turns out, NO.

When I got home and started walking around, I noticed that that particular neighboring wall does NOT go straight back to meet our back wall!

Instead … about 7 or 8 feet before OUR back wall, it turns. It seems like that particular neighbor’s yard ends, but before OUR yard ends.

Then the final bit of our yard apparently backs up to a DIFFERENT neighbor’s yard at a different depth…

Does that even make sense?

Here’s an updated diagram:

Check out all these trees in that corner – you can see why we didn’t necessarily realize that extra ~15 sq feet of property was back there!

and looking back through the trees to the ‘new’ side wall

So, what are we going to do with this strange little corner?

I’ve got some ideas :)

You can see a little bit more in this photo . …. we’ve got this retaining wall with fence on this site of the yard ….

But it’ll be a BIG project.

  • The retaining wall needs to be replaced… the whole length from the back wall all the way to the front of the house
  • The fence will be taken down (and replaced in places)
  • we’re planning on taking all those trees out on this side yard
  • clean up all the leaves/twigs/mess that has built up underneath (including that newspaper. How did that get there?)
  • tentatively planning on putting our compost bin against the back wall of the yard on top of the retaining wall, at the bottom of the little hill
  • *maybe* build some kind of stairs or similar from ground level up to the top of the retaining wall
  • once that corner is all cleared out ….. I want to plant a couple fruit trees in this corner and make it our “orchard”

Here’s another look ….

What do you think?

Can you picture a little orchard there?