How to design the yard of your dreams

The mud started it. Our three dogs kept tracking it in from the yard. The yard was muddy because the lawn wouldn’t grow.
The lawn wouldn’t grow because we had too much shade. We had too much shade because the large oak needed pruning.
We shouldn’t prune the oak, because it was nearing the end of its life and should come down, one arborist said. If a professional didn’t take it down, Mother Nature would. Then mud would be the least of our problems.
My husband, DC, and I considered our sorry lot, drank wine and weighed our options, as the dogs tracked in more mud. We could: 1. Do nothing and live under the canopy of imminent disaster and doom. 2. Deny reality, prune the tree, put in new sod, and pray (my vote). 3. Open a professional mud-wrestling arena (the smartest option). 4. Remove the tree and relandscape.

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