Posts Tagged ‘shade’

Early Spring pics and a possible project

One teeny mini daffodil is showing its face


My willow tree is all fired up for Spring

Flowering plum, first teeny blossom

My last entry was June 2009, which means I pretty much flaked on this blog.  I hope to be more diligent this Spring and Summer, as I’d like to have my own record of how my garden progresses, and I’d like to add some historical pics like maybe a before/after montage.

Speaking of before and after, I have plans to do something with the Northeast corner of our back yard this year.  Here’s how it looks now:

ho hum

The very first step will of course be to get rid of the hideous sight on the left:  an unused woodpile left by the previous owners of our house (we’ve lived here for 8 years) which is currently rotting and housing many, many large spiders.  Our friend who built our deck two summers ago felt bad for our wood and covered it with the tarpish thingy.   We desperately need to get it all OUT of there (Craigslist, perhaps, I’ll include the spiders for no additional charge) and then I’ll have a new garden bed.  On the right is our shed, and a perennial shade bed next to it.  The Hellebores are the only things up in that bed at this point but by June it is all very full and lush (and hides the need for paint on the shed).  The back fence is also a perennial bed I call Rambo’s Garden for our sweet old kitty who “rests” there now.  It is pretty much bare in February, but it fills out more in the Summer.  I never really planned my plantings in this bed, so it’s just a bunch of random plants thrown in together, so this year I hope to unify it all a bit by adding some things and taking things out.  The tree on the left is a Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) which doesn’t really shade the area much so that Rambo’s Garden gets pretty hot and dry.  What you don’t see in the photo is on the left and DOES provide some shade – a mature flowering plum tree.  We have 3 of them and they could probably all use a good pruning, and we’ll definitely have to do that for the one which hangs over this area if I incorporate a fire pit in my plan.  From this view if you were to turn 180 degrees, you’d be facing the kids’ sand box and play structure, with our deck to the left, so this area is sort of tucked away from all the “action” that regularly occurs in the back yard.

In this picture…

peeking around the shed

… you’ll see where the lawn just sort of abruptly ends, and how the area behind the shed is unused and not terribly attractive.  I usually keep our large yard waste bin back here during the seasons we have it, and around the other corner I’ve stacked up some plant stakes and my tomato cages.  The dryer vent and whatever that other thing is need to stay, but that patch of grass there under the dead leaves I scraped off Rambo’s Garden is 90% buttercup, which are REALLY hard to get rid of.  Chad hates when I want to remove lawn/sod, but that spot in particular is just awful, and I think connecting Rambo’s Garden to the shade garden would look great with some bark mulch and maybe even a stepping stone.

Sooooo… I need some design ideas for this space!  I have a portable fire pit I just received as a Christmas gift, and I just got a little kid-sized garden bench off Craigslist, so I would like to make this area a sort of little sanctuary, with places to sit and beautiful flowers to enjoy.   I would like to remove the lawn to do this and just put down some really fine mulch so I wouldn’t have to try and mow around anything like seating or have to move stuff when I mow.  I’m currently reading an awesome garden design book for ideas but I’d also love any suggestions from anyone else who was somehow cajoled into reading this.  I’d love design ideas and even plant ideas if you have favorites that you find particularly “peaceful” or pleasant.  Once I figure out what to do here, I will share progress pictures.  TTFN!


Hey, look, I’m blogging

I’ve been tempted over the years to start a blog, but always stopped myself thinking I could never have enough words of interest to post on a regular basis.  Sure, I have passions, interests, and living subject matter I could yak about, but why would anyone else care?  Well I decided to get over myself and do it anyway, and to focus on a subject in which I am currently enmeshed:  gardening.  I still consider myself a novice gardener, though I’ve been in my current home and garden space for seven years, and I “gardened vicariously” though my mother throughout my childhood.

Our yard was pretty bare when we moved in – a few shrubs and trees, and some dorky-looking primroses which were placed under a big sycamore tree clearly to attract home buyers, which I promptly removed despite being 8+ months pregnant.   I have done a lot since we’ve lived here, yet when I look outside I see so much more that I want to do – such is the nature of gardening.  In general what I have to work with right now is a couple of mixed perennial beds in the front yard and a small patch of lawn, an edible/kids strip along one side of the house (raspberries, strawberries, and this year cherry tomatoes; all flanked by stepping stones we made together),  a 6′ x 6′ raised bed in which I grow vegetables in the square foot gardening manner,  a new-this-year 3′ x 3′ bed for the boys right next to mine, a little herb garden I made a couple years ago, a small shade garden next to our shed, a perennial bed where our late kitty was laid to rest called “Rambo’s Garden”, and a new deck (okay, new last Summer) around which I’ve just dug and started planting several new beds which will be filled primarily with annuals this year.  Oh, and my back yard also contains a wooden swing/playset thing on an island of wood chips and a really ugly big trampoline.