A Massive Backyard Haircut

Guys. Over the past couple weekends, Andrew and I have been giving our backyard a massive haircut. Like, gigantic. Huge. Monstrous. I’m fairly certain that no yard work had been done at our house for 5+ years, if not longer (and our house is about 12 years old).

It was a long and tedious process, but we found this little guy who lovingly egged us on –


I’m SO excited to show you the before and after pics and share a few things we learned along the way.

The Side Yard

A common bush in Arizona is the bougainvillea (pronounced boo-gen-VILL-ya). They have pretty pink flowers and grow like a weed. And have icky thorns. When we first moved in, they had established their dominion on the side of our house:


It was impossible to walk through here, so my blessed parents came over in May and trimmed them back a bit so inspectors actually get to our backyard when we weren’t home.

Last weekend we discovered how thick the bougainvilleas were when we gave them a true trimming. A hardcore haircut. They did not disappoint – here’s the debris:


After discovering a dead bird, our praying mantis friend, and two storage sheds, we have a usable side yard!


side yard clearing brush

Okay, it’s extremely bare, but I’ll take it over the thorny mess! 😀

The Palms

Did you know that untrimmed palm trees look like this?

untrimmed palm trees without yard work
via roamingphotos.com

Thankfully ours weren’t that big, but they did look like giant palm bushes. You’d hardly know there were trees under there!

palms-front-view yard work

After lots of cutting and sawing and pulling and raking (and removing 4 trees altogether)… Ta da!!!

Palms After Trimming Yard Work

We still have a little cleaning up to do on the right set of palms – they look slightly vicious and pokey right now!  😆

trimmed pruned palms yard work

Ahhhh! Our backyard can finally breathe! Yay yard work!

What We Learned

  1. Having a pair of good pruning shears is priceless! Yard work is already exhausting, so make sure you have the proper tools to do it.
  2. Have a plan for your debris. We have a monthly “bulk trash” day, so we were able to put all our debris on the curb and the city picked it up.
  3. Make sure to do your research on the proper way to trim your foliage. For example, we found out that it’s a good idea to cut the thick branches of the bougainvillea short, as it allows for more growth.
  4. Wear proper clothes. It was a life-saver wearing long sleeves and pants during our yard work, since everything was so thorny. We also had to wear thick-soled shoes, as thorns would poke through (ouch!). I usually hate wearing hats, but I did for this project since it kept the sun and rogue branches out of my face.

A Few Extras

For once I was actually enjoying our backyard, so I took a few more pictures for the fun of it. I’m loving this $5 entry way mat I found at Wal-Mart!


What’s more “Arizona” than a pumpkin in the foreground and palms in the background?  😎


Pumpkin on the blue table

I hope you enjoyed all the pictures! I’ve actually been learning Photoshop over the past couple weeks, so I’m hoping my pictures will get better and better. If you have any questions about the process or the pics, don’t hesitate to comment.

Hopefully it won’t be another 5+ years before our shrubbery is trimmed again!  😉

4 thoughts on “A Massive Backyard Haircut”

  1. It’s called “yard work” but you found out it’s more aptly named “hard work!” Looks great both in the pics and for real!!!! Love it!!! I’m betting you’ll actually want to spend time out there relaxing now that the weather is cooling off!! You need to get a fire going in that fire pit!!! ???

    1. hmrissler@gmail.com

      Ha! That’s so true! I can’t WAIT to have a campfire and roast MARSHMALLOWS!!!! Already talking about how we can get some seating around it! Yay!!

    1. hmrissler@gmail.com

      Thanks MA!! I feel so much safer going out back now that I know there are no unwanted surprises hiding amongst the bushes and palms – LOL!

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