Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Walkabout

Since I have gardening on the mind, I thought I would take you for a walkabout through our yard and show you some of the improvements we did last year and of course point out the things I would like to do this year.

Let's start out front. You saw the house the other day from this angle. What you don't see in this picture is that where the grass ends in the photo, the yard suddenly slopes downward. We plan to put in a retaining wall there, hopefully sometime this summer. (I happen to know that it is number one on This Earths to do list, so that is pretty promising.)

If you are standing on the other side of the front of the house, and its not such a gray day, it looks like this. The other HUGE project I would love to do, this year, is paint the outside of the house, the stucco part of the house. I am thinking yellow, because it would contrast nice with the brown shingles on the top of the house a give it a nice pop. Just about anything would be better than patchy-tan stucco.

Along the side of the house and wrapping around the front is one long garden bed. It might be more appropriate to call this a "mulched area". When we moved there were two Goldflame Spirea shrubs (see above) in front of the house and along the side was an uncontrolled area of lily of the valley, some ferns that volunteered from the neighbors yard and a ton of milkweed (see below). We cleaned this all up last spring and planted orange and yellow lilies, purple iris, coral bell, a peony bushy, some ground cover I don't know of the name of, a few succulents and at least one other flowering plant that I am blanking on now. All of this came from my mother's yard before she sold her house.  Thanks mom!!



And if we keep on walking on to the back yard, through the side gate, we have another bed that was cleaned up last year. It too was over run with lily of the valley (my arch-nemesis). We planted a lot of the same stuff here that we planted out front plus some hosta's, fountain grasses and a rasberry bush from the neighbors yard.


 And after

Let's pull back a little though and give you the long shot. Which includes the two 4x6 garden beds we built last spring.

In the above photo you see the sidewalk of to the left, that's where we are headed next. This bed was already here when we moved in. Yay! The side in the lower part of the photo is our strawberry patch. The other side is a herb garden that I planted last year and plan to do again this year. Over in the corner is our Rhubarb. Oh, and see that gutter hanging out in the middle of the sidewalk. I HATE that thing. I am hoping to put a rain barrel there and remove that so no one trips over it and dies.

If we pull back from here, you can see the whole of the back yard near the house that we have been talking about. I can't wait for an after picture with the house painted.

The perimeter and the far side and the back of yard are also lined with a garden bed/mulched area, it's about 2 feet deep. (That little line in the image below is meant to help you understand what I am taking about because I don't have any close ups for you). This where our two peony bushes are. And some Purple Clematis which is growing on that white trellis-y thing. The Clematis did not survive the fence building project  of 2011 but is already starting to come back this year. Fingers crossed. We put in lilies, coral bell, ground cover and a few other items last spring. I also planted tulips along this perimeter in the fall. They are coming up now but no actual flowers have bloomed as of today.

And so our walkabout comes to an end with a final photo of the last garden bed in the back corner of the yard. There are lots of hosta's back there and some other green stuff. It's a dark little corner so the colorful plants aren't so happy back yonder, but it's nice still. And how about that tree?? Two of me can not wrap my arms around it. We think she is older than our house. She provides lots of shade, especially in the back part of our yard which we love.

Now, if you are still reading, it's time for a little game. In the back corner garden is a little bird bath. You can hardly make it out in this picture, but it's there, I promise. And it's in a few other places through out this post too. Can you guess how many spots we put that bird bath in before it ended up there? I'll tell you this, it was in more places that you find in this here walkabout.

You can expect a lot more posts about the yard in the coming months, here is a little list of projects I hope to get done this year:

  • -Add a two tiered retaining wall to the front yard to correct slope
  • -Plant lots of flowers in the new bed of the retaining wall
  • -Paint the exterior of the house - yellow??
  • -Fix gutter to flow into rain barrel
  • -Add trellis over the back gate
  • -Add third garden bed
  • -Plant more flowers


  1. I forgot about all the place we put that stinking bird bath.
    nice post. Its nice to see how far its come already...

  2. I'm guessing 5. I know I've seen that thing in different places, but I've never actually seen you move it. I think it has legs of its own.

    Anyway, I love this progression of photos. Such a lot of work you two have put in!

  3. Gorgeous yard Amber! Next time you come visit, maybe you can give us some tips.

    1. You should come up for a visit dear, I'll give you an actual tour then, instead of a virtual one.