Bragging about my backyard

I’m not a city person. I hate the city. I had never actually lived in a city for more than a couple months until I came to Taiwan. I lived in an apartment for about 3 years an I hated it with a passion. I can’t stand elevators, and having a small balcony as a backyard just doesn’t cut it.

A few months ago we found a place with a huge enclosed land next to it. It was covered with garbage, broken glass metal parts, old tarps, bricks, broken concrete, etc. Eventually I decided to clean it up. It took me about a months and a total of about 70 hours. First I picked up all the garbage, then I burned all the grass, and finally I raked the whole thing. Got a few nasty blisters in the process.

Then there was the short concrete wall that posed a problem. Initially, I poked a whole through it and installed a dog flapping door for the dogs, but after I had the whole thing cleaned up, I got tired of hopping over the wall so I rented a jackhammer again and I installed an actual door for people, not only dogs. And then came the fire pit/BBQ.

I’m stoked! Have a look:

This is the concrete wall seen from the yard…

The same seen from inside the house…

And here’s my super fire pit/BBQ…

Isn’t that awesome? The wood is all scrap I cut up that was just on the land to begin with. I had a lot more than that at first, but I’ve been burning/cooking quite a bit. Nothing better than sitting next to a fire in my backyard on a cold evening. And nothing better than a BBQ cooked on natural coal. Just loving it. :slight_smile:


Good job cleaning that place up! Must be satisfying after all that work! Got any “before” pictures?

That’s a substantial piece of land! Thought about leveling it, planting grass and a few trees, maybe a herb garden and some flowers?

It’ll make a great place for your neighbors to dump their garbage.

You need grass!

Great place for a lottery kiosk.
It looks great. Lucky dog.
[color=#408080]Do do do. Lookin’ out my backyard.[/color]

Oh, I love it! And to know that it is that beautiful because of your hard work, gives you more reason to be proud of it. Great work! :discodance:

Can’t imagine a furriner with a jackhammer, though. :laughing:

Great job. :bravo: Looks like a nice spot for a parking lot. :wink:

Good job. Looks like you’ve got a real homestead there!

Plant some grass back there and you’ll have a little spec of heaven.

my 2 cents is,don’t make it look any better,

if nobody has yet said anything about your cleanup then they will start when the place is good enough to move in with the usual crap they like to put in small gardens, i can’t believe no-one said anything yet

Now the landlord will raise your rent…Nice job by the way.

Well done! Looks so wonderful. I was wondering, is that land part of the house you bought, or is it just a vacant lot next to the house that you have appropriated due to someone else’s non-use? I really would hate for you to lose it after putting so much love and effort into it.

[quote=“dablindfrog”]my 2 cents is,don’t make it look any better,

if nobody has yet said anything about your cleanup then they will start when the place is good enough to move in with the usual crap they like to put in small gardens, i can’t believe no-one said anything yet[/quote]

They’re probably waiting for him to dig some irrigation ditches and plow it :slight_smile: Either that or it’s a toxic waste burial ground :slight_smile:

Keeping my fingers crossed M, hope you can enjoy it as long as you’re there

amazing job marboulette!

my only concern is that you have cleared (pun intended) the way for the land owner to use the land again.

it could be very possible that this land gets developed or someone starts storing shit like shipping containers or heavy equipment there.

I hope it works out for you.

No before pictures, I’m afraid. It’s too bad. It was incredible dirty. We filled up about 20 big black garbage bags of rubbish. A bit of everything: many shoes and sandals, empty bottles, lunch boxed, plastic bags, insulation, broken tempered glass, etc, etc. A lot of it was stuck in the dirt, so I had to dig it out. All along the metal fence you see in the pics, there was garbage all over the place. Some people have thrown garbage since I cleaned up, but I think a lot of it was from the same people/person. I just throw it back over the fence. I noticed that it’s happening less and less now, that’s why I think it was the same people. If you saw a before pic, you’d see 3 foot tall yellow grass covering the land. The dogs had their trails through the grass. I should take a pic from the roof. From above the dog trails are still clearly visible. Along the fence, it looked white in color because of all the rubbish. Right in front of our door, there was about 10 tons of scrap metal just sitting there in a pile, including 5 of those elevator cabins they use on construction sites. I cleaned and burned the grass around that pile of metal. It must have been nearly 200 feet in diameter. Just across from the metal fence is a welding shop, you see. All that scrap metal was theirs. When the boss noticed that I cleaned up everything, he got two large recycling trucks with the giant claw to remove it all. That was last week. We were pretty stoked. We finally had a yard without this humongous pile of rusty metal in our face.

[quote=“dablindfrog”]my 2 cents is,don’t make it look any better,

if nobody has yet said anything about your cleanup then they will start when the place is good enough to move in with the usual crap they like to put in small gardens, i can’t believe no-one said anything yet

The land isn’t ours, it’s an empty lot that happens to be gated and secure for dogs and right outside our back door, give or take the 5 foot concrete wall I had to hammer down. For the first couple months, my attitude was the same as DBF’s. I wanted to keep it low profile. I made a hole in the wall for the dogs to get through and that’s about it. But eventually, the urge to not see all that garbage in the backyard won me over and I started picking at it bit by bit. I’d hate to lose it, too. There is a chance that someone could build on that, or use it as storage as DD said. Fingers crossed, no one actually complained when I was burning for a week straight almost every day, and the metal factory removed their junk. Some people actually gave me the thumbs up.

I wouldn’t want to spend money leveling the land, but the grass will come back. Believe me. Only ten days after the fires, it’s sprouting everywhere. The burning will fertilize the soil nicely and soon I’ll be looking to buy a weed eater or a lawnmower. Maybe I’ll post pics in a few months to show you how green it will be. We haven’t tried growing anything yet, but that will most likely happen. It’s the next thing I’d like to do. An old lady and neighbor also uses the yard. She has planted a few trees, and after I cleaned up, she planted some herbs and something else. They were seeds, and they are about 3 inches tall now. Not sure what they are just yet. She’s out there every day watering and arranging her little garden. She’s very old, and somehow, she manages to get over that concrete wall and onto a small ladder. She’s extremely cute. The dogs always run to her and bark, and she’s not afraid one bit. When the metal factory cleaned up the scrap metal, there was a short set of metal stairs in the pile. I asked the factory if I could keep it, and I installed it against the short concrete wall outside of the old lady’s door so that she could get over the wall safely. She also had a pile of composts she covered with old dirty tarps. I built a large bottomless wooden box with a lid on hinges. That way I was able to get rid of all the ugly and messy tarps, and the lady had a place to do her compost without the dogs peeing on it.

Anyways, back to bragging… I cooked pork chops, burgers, and chicken on the fire pit already. Let me tell you, it’s lovely. Back home, I used to pick up cedar scraps at work to burn in BBQs. That’s as close as it gets in Taiwan. :slight_smile:


How does one dispose of 20 black garbage bags of rubbish in Taiwan? Back home we’d take them down to the dump (landfill) and pay for their disposal. But in Taiwan?

It looks great. If this is anywhere near Taipei, I’d expect them to start building on it in 5,4,3,2,1…

I can’t understand the welding shop guy, scrap steel was through the roof 1 year ago and he had 2 trucks worth of it laying around? The weeds were probably to hide it from thieves and he forgot about it. The welding shop boss is probably thrilled though with the unexpected cash payout nevertheless. I’d also be concerned with them gardening it out. I know that in almost every place I’ve been in Taiwan, any flat arable piece of land over 2 square meters is cultivated. They might also turn it into parking. It’s nice and could be the start of a nice grassy lawn, but this being Taiwan. I don’t think you will have it in its refurbished state for long.

1-2 bags at a time into the garbage truck. Been there and done that with 8-10 of them.

There are quite a few empty lots in the area. We are on the outskirt of Kaohsiung. This one happens to be in a small alley and it’s fully enclosed. If the other easily accessible lots have not been cultivated, I think we’re OK as far as that is concerned.

We filled up the car with the rubbish bags and followed the garbage truck. We had to do a few trips. We weren’t able to remove all the rubbish in one day. My wife helped me with that, but everything else I did by myself.


Good luck with the yard.

Do you know who owns it?

it’s cool that you can get the neighbors involved as well, maybe if many people has plants on it, the owner will leave it alone. OR the owner lives elsewhere and doesn’t worry about it.