Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Two G's of Summer - Gardens and Garage Sales!

Hi, friends!  I cannot believe how difficult it is to post entries these days.  Between play dates, trying to stay cool at the splash pad or beach, garage sales, gardening/landscaping, and all of the fun BBQ's and festivals of the season, we all seem to collapse into bed totally exhausted (but happy) each night.  I figure you're all doing much of the same, so like me, you probably aren't keeping up on reading all of the wonderful blogs entries either!

Here are a few highlights of the two G's that dominate summer - gardens and garage sales.

Gardens... When we moved into our home 6 years ago there were no gardens or landscape to speak of.  The prior owners had 5 kids and understandably had their focus elsewhere.  Here is what our backyard looked like. 

We started slowly, as we'd never done this sort of thing before, and added a few things.  We put in some pavers for our fire pit, mulched the area where no grass would grow and our dogs use for their "business", and transplanted some hosta.  Here are the pics a year later.  The white string is for the fence that was about to be installed to keep said doggies safe.
Over the years we've experimented with this and that, but were still not sure what we wanted to do with our space.  We knew mowing the hill at the back of our property was tough so we wanted to limit that.  Also, we'd talked with the city about the RIVER that rages through our yard due to the slope and the engineer's suggestion was a dry riverbed to direct the water and give it a place to flow in the spring and during heavy rains.  So last year we paid a friend-of-a-friend to provide some consulting.  He owns a successful landscape business and had some wonderful ideas for us! 

The result is a plan to incorporate some larger rocks and "planting pockets" into the dry river bed to naturalize it.  Plant perennials on the hill that don't require much maintenance or water and mulch them so there's no mowing.  Plant some trailing vines and creeping plants to cascade over the rocks and hills.  We started this work last summer and got to this point. 
My wonderful hubby has started digging the dry river bed and filling it with rock we dug out of the front last year (we pulled out ancient, overgrown arborvitae and rock, planting perennials, yews, and blue spruce in their place and mulching.)  Last weekend we went out to my dad's and loaded up larger rocks from a farmer's rock pile so we could start on the planting pockets.  We finished the first one last night, yippee!  Here it is, along with our progress to date. 
There is so much satisfaction in a project like this for me.  Do any of you feel the same way?  Knowing that I get to enjoy the beauty and cultivate the growth/maturity of our efforts is particularly rewarding.  Not to mention that I love working together with my husband (it isn't always rosy, but it's a great opportunity to work through some of our communication glitches and enforce our compromise skills - even practice concession occasionally!)  Thanks for letting me share our landscape journey - it's near and dear to us and we'd welcome your reactions and suggestions.

I do believe this post is long enough, so we'll have to save the other G (garage sale) for tomorrow.  I have some fab finds we've incorporated into our home and I am excited to share with you!  Enjoy your day, my friends.  ~J

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have given me an idea for adding some personality to a small space in our own backyard. I like
natural rocks and your use of them.