Fayetteville, Arkansas
Our Home
  When we bought the house, the front and side were pretty much overgrown with trees, brush and vines. Also, there were trees planted in much of the front yard, which is the drainage field for the septic system. The river birches loved it, and the lawn stayed green right through the summer. We removed the trees, and also cleared out the brush and vines. Neighbors were astonished to find out the place had a basement level. The deck was a pleasant place to sit and in the winter was our bird feeding station. The variety of song birds here was better than anywhere we have lived. Not so many hummers as in California, but they do come to the hanging planters on the deck.  
  Behind the house are three terraces. The stone walls were poorly constructed, without proper footings or drainage and when the brush and trees were left uncut for about 5 years, the roots and the water pressure caused the walls to fail. We cleared out all the brush and built two massive buttresses/pillars of solid concrete to stabilize the wall. Our neighbor up the hill re-did a rock wall and added another to terrace his back yard, so it was quite a showpiece when done.  
  In the meantime, we gardened our front yard. We put in multiple small raised beds and grew vegetables there the summer of 2005. to the right is a shot of our tomatoes. We converted the raised beds lawn when we got the terrace gardens established in the back yard.
Shots from the house. Built in the 1950s, it is typical for that era. It was re-done in 1997. Left is the living room fireplace, right is the bedroom, and below are shots of the library newly created in another bedroom. The third bedroom is Ellen's office.
In early 2006, we bought a second house and spent spare time fixing it up. You can see it Here.