Friday, May 11, 2007

Busy Day and My Yard/Landscaping

We have had quite a few plant filled days lately. I have been doing some yard and garden clean-up this week. I also took some pictures to compare a couple areas with past years. When we moved in there was a wedge shaped garden in the front of the house that was completely over grown. We named it the jungle. The first spring after we moved in we dug up everything (saving the huge hostas) and planted mostly bare root plants ordered from Gurneys as well as the divided hostas.


The landscape fabric was eventually pulled up but it did keep the weeds down the first years after tilling everything into the dirt.


The garden has filled in quite a bit and looks worlds better than the jungle did. The garden was pretty inexpensive overall. The hostas were already there, the ordered plants were pretty cheap, some were trades from my church's annual plant exchange, and a few were purchased as tiny perennial plants at the farmer's market or Friends School plant sale. It does take time for things to fill in, but everything comes up every year, so there isn't much I need to do from year to year but keep it weeded.

Speaking of the Friends School plant sale, that was the main event for today. The plan was to get there before it opened and get what we needed and bring a lunch to the YMCA, eat, go to swimming lessons, and go home, take naps, etc. That didn't happen. Nick was extremely cranky so he went to bed (he slept pretty late this morning so I didn't expect him to nap much - always expect babies to do the opposite of what you are expecting). I eventually went in after 11am (the sale started at 11) and woke him up. I thought we could still make it to the sale and headed off to the fairgrounds. Last year it was cold and rainy on the Friday the sale opened. There was a line to get in at the very beginning, but everyone was let in and there wasn't any more line. Today - a beautiful, sunny day that wasn't too warm - there was a line to get in when we arrived at 1130. Our plans quickly changed and we decided to head to the Y first, eat, play on the playground, go to swimming lessons and then go back to the sale. That worked out well. Andrew loved going to the sale. He helped me pick out some plants, put things in the stroller for me, put a couple things back that I changed my mind on, stayed right by me the whole time and was just amazingly good. There were a few things that were sold out when we got there, but we found plenty of great plants. We purchased a shrub rose for the front of the house where we used to have a huge (almost as tall as our two story house) arborvitae, a mockorange shrub for a corner of our back yard, a couple plants for the bed you saw above and the one across the sidewalk from it - more on that in a minute - and some peppers, tomatoes, and other veggies for the veggie garden.

So, back to the garden across the sidewalk. We have a huge pine tree over there. The area over there wasn't as bad as the jungle and therefore it took a little longer to get to that garden. Last year was a big year for that area. I dug up the peonies that were along the fence in the back and planted them in an L shape in front of the fence and along the side of the yard. We purchased a bird bath, and a bench as well as some more inexpensive perennial plants and hostas split from other parts of the yard. Two years before(?), we cleaned up the area toward the front of the tree, put in some edging, divided some more hostas (we had a bunch of huge hostas - my mom also received one whole hosta as well as some parts and some were sent off to the neighbors and the church plant exchange). The result...

The front of the pine tree - the grass could stand to be mowed again

bench, birdbath, peonies, hostas, etc.

a big open area that might be filled with some more plants and a path to the bench - unfortunately, there are a lot of tree roots there so it is hard to dig.

The front of the pine tree the year after the hostas were put in. The bush behind the pine tree was a hydrangea and one source of tree roots.

I also have pictures of the change in a section of our back yard.

2001 - Believe me, this already looks better than when we moved in. The apple tree likes to kill the grass under it, and there is a grape vine slowly killing half of the tree. We have a paver path from the sidewalk to the deck and have just pulled out all the grasses planted around the deck.

Another view of the same.

2004 - The tree has been cut down. We kept trying to kill the grape vine and it just wouldn't die, so we cut the tree down instead. The lack of grass was another reason, especially since we have a big dog and though Andrew would like to play in the grass instead of mud. Since the grape vine was so hardy, we decided to build a trellis for it. We also put a paver walkway from the sidewalk to the deck which is much more functional than the path of four pavers. I also planted another grape vine at the end of the trellis.

The tree stump has been replaced with grass, there is a hedge of alpine current all along the deck, and this area is very nice to play in. The hedge was planted in stages since it is along two sides of our deck an we actually bought decent sized plants to put there. Andrew also has a sandbox pretty much in front of the kennel.

This area still needs some work.

Overall, our yard has been fun to transform over the past six summers. It has been gradual, but the effect has been huge. I guess my overall theme is "how to landscape your yard cheap over a period of few years". I have knitting finished and in progress pictures too, but I will put them in another post.

Free Blog Counter