Jul 22, 2013

Backyard Makeover

When we first started talking about our plans for the backyard, we decided we'd take down the old clothesline, put up a new one, and put in a few plants. We debated whether or not to do "real" landscaping with mulch and the whole nine yards versus just sticking plants in the ground. After thinking it through, we decided to just put the plants in the ground.

And then we got a little carried away.

Once we got started, we thought, "If we're going to go to all this work, we might as well go all out."

One clothesline, three boxwoods, two mums, a lot of irises, a lilac, two bittersweet vines, two trumpet vines, several bags of mulch, 26 pavers, and a pergola later, I think we're finally finished... I'd say that qualifies as "going all out."

It's been a while since we shared our backyard inspiration board with you, so here is a before picture of the backyard for you.

Granted, everything looks a little drab in the middle of winter. But still, it was pretty sad.

Here it is now!

And here is a diagram to show you which plants are which. It'll be hard to tell from a distance until they get bigger. They spend the first year putting down roots, so they should grow a lot next summer.

We put in a lot of plants, but the best change by far is the pergola. Marshall built it for me as an anniversary/birthday gift!

Our yard doesn't really have any trees for shade, and because of all the different lines buried underground, we can't plant any. We planted vines at each of the posts, so the whole pergola should be covered next year!

Here is a before and after for you.

And just for fun, here are some other pictures from around the yard and house.

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

Jul 6, 2013

Front Yard Changes

We have absolutely loved having a space of our "own!" It worked out well that we moved in during the colder months and had plenty of time to do some interior work. Now that the weather is nicer, we've moved the work outdoors, starting with the front yard.

We didn't really change what was already here, but we added some plants and switched up the flower garden a bit.

The big picture:

They don't look like much now, but we planted two pear trees on either side of the yard. You need two to pollinate, so we planted a Bartlett and a Kieffer. They should produce a small amount of fruit this year, a medium size next year, and then the average amount from the third year on. All the rain we've had this year has been great for growing trees!

Since the trees did so well, we also planted a couple of Double Knock Out Roses. We want to eventually have a hedge across the front of the yard, so we're planning to add a couple of bushes each year. The blooms are gorgeous!

The flower beds were full of different types of hostas, but the draught finished off half of them last year, and I accidentally killed the rest. I planted Lily of the Valley- you know, the flower that even the blackest thumb can grow. Well, it didn't grow, so I ended up putting in some Impatiens. You can't see it yet, but there is some Astilbe and Caladium coming up behind the Impatiens.

We put planters on either side of the stairs with Bleeding Heart and some more Impatiens.

And, of course, no porch is complete without Boston ferns!

I am reusing my wreath from last summer, but I had to take everything off the foam form and use a straw form. After hanging all summer, the wreath was sagging. I'm hoping the straw form will hold up under the weight of the shells. I tied it off with a wire-edged burlap ribbon I found here.

The backyard is almost finished, and we'll show that next!