Friday, March 4, 2016

Garden Goals 2016

It's so weird that I don't publish more about gardening.  It is one of my most favorite activities in the world!  I'm definitely at my happiest digging in the dirt.  So I've decided to be a little more intentional about sharing my hobby and show you how our backyard and gardens are coming along.

This house has a decent-sized backyard but when we moved in it was weedy and overgrown.  It's still weedy, but I've carved out some areas for plantings and have bigger plans for down the line. Creating landscapes can be a slow process but I love that each year things improve!

The Backyard Perennial Garden
This is the area that has changed the most since we moved in 2.5 years ago.  Here's my only real "before" shot, but you get the idea:


Here's what it looks like today:

Pardon the iPhone pictures.  Lazy girls unite.


Last year I installed some cheap backer board edging.  I would love to replace it with stone eventually but this girl is on a budget for now!  My goal for this Spring and Summer is for it to be bursting with color.  I want purples, pinks and whites to be my primary colors, like this (I can dream!):

Moderní venkovská zahrada
Photo: Magazin Zahrada
I have already planted Coneflowers (three different kinds), Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Allium, Chrysanthemum, perennial Verbena, Day Lilies, grasses, and will fill in with some annuals.  Did you notice my Christmas Tree? It's doing surprisingly well out here in spite of the fact that I planted it in the dead of winter.  I love mixing evergreens into borders because of the year-round interest and structure they provide.

In the far corner I have some ugly old bag chairs, but those will be replaced very soon with this little set from Ikea:
Ikea Tarno Table & Two Chairs

The Herb Garden
Our herb garden sits in front of the fence to our backyard, along the end of our driveway.  It's one of my favorite things about our landscaping, because it is very convenient to the kitchen and was well cared for before I moved in.  Here's a picture of the clematis that grows there; you can kind of see the herbs in the background:



The herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano) were huge last year, and I hope they will do well again (I grown mint and basil, too, but usually in pots).  Mostly here I want to throw in a few more flowers to fill up the blank spots, and would love to plant more lavender too.

This is its "winter look" and I will come back and share what happens in just a few short weeks:



That vine creeping along the top of the fence is a very old muscadine grape vine.  It produces like crazy all summer; it was overdue for pruning so I got that done back in January.  To the right of the gate, I dug up a volunteer clematis last spring and planted it there for repetition and symmetry.  I'm hoping it gets big like its friends.

For the stairs, I would like to replace the pea gravel with a durable plant we can walk on, like creeping thyme or something. Any suggestions?

The Side Yard
It's comical to call this a "yard" since at its narrowest it is about 2.5 feet across:
Yikes.
This is obviously the strip between my driveway and my neighbor's, and it was one of my top-two least favorite things about this house (don't get me started on my Master Bath).  I've spent a lot of time planning what to do with this strip.  My goal is to have something to look at besides her basement-entry garage and driveway. My plan is to plant a mix of evergreens and grasses this fall, which will give me a better view from my kitchen and provide some privacy.  I'm gathering my inspiration pics:

Photo: Mountain Meadows Nursery

Photo: BHG
evergreen wall
Photo: Northern Gardener
With such a narrow strip of dirt I am choosing compact evergreens, but I am optimistic that this really ugly view can dramatically improve!

So: 2016 garden goals are to improve on the perennial flower garden, make a few small changes to the herb garden, and create a massive planting in the "side yard."  I'll keep you updated as we go along!

 photo e0bcbc63-97e4-4f3b-adae-03bfc854ae09_zpsb8a65301.jpg

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