Wednesday, July 04, 2012

gw vol 11- backyard plantings

It's just been too hot and humid to really work in our front gardens. Lots of things need to be moved so that we can finish building all the veggie and flower boxes, so I've turned my attention to our backyard. Our basic concept is that we want it to be fully grown in like our own mini forest in the middle of a city. Everyone else has the same thing - grass and just a few strategically placed flowers or shrubs. That's just so boring! (hence our CRAZY front yard) I'll take a picture so you can see just how crazy it's looking right now. Anyway..

So our backyard. It sort of backfired on us. One portion is starting to take shape. We have quite a few maple trees that produce a canopy around our seating area/ fire pit. Then we also have three really cool Japanese maples, a couple lilac bushes, a large hydrangea and this other super cool bushy/shrubby thing that I have no idea what it's called (I've had pictures of it before- it produces small purplish/ pink flowers in the late spring and is directly outside the window of my studio) that are all filling in around that area as well.

We had put in all the mulch pathways (I posted about that back in the spring, with our free mulch) to start making shape to the yard. But what we did was allow whatever wanted to grow. We thought it would give us the "forest" look or "natural" look. Instead - well it just looked like crap and we had some scary stuff growing back there! Two weekends ago I went through and pulled out everything that was growing along the fence. We haven't mowed the grass areas in between the paths, because well..we don't have a lawnmower. All we have is an old school push mower. Believe me when I say if your land is not perfectly level and the grass not a few inches high - it doesn't cut anything, just rolls over it and pushes it down! In the fall I am going to take out the grass (There are only 3-4 little patches) and I'm going to plant a cool ground cover we got before. It's growing in the other side of our yard. Instead of normal grass it has a combination of multiple little short flowers and different types of grasses that don't need to be mowed because they stay super short. It will look much better when it comes in for next spring.

Here is a mini tour of my backyard:

In this picture you can see what I'm talking about as far as the grass is concerned. But I like this side of the yard because of all the tress on the other side of the fence that give us more privacy and shade.  (You can also see a million toys Ella has dragged out in the yard!)

Here is the other side, again you can see the areas I want to remove the grass. I also am going to move that "work bench" VERY soon. K put it there because we were sawing a lot of wood for my studio and his shop and needed a makeshift table to put his saw on. He never pulled it back apart and moved it, so some of our plants have taken up residency. I have a small farm house style table that is in my kitchen right now where I keep my mixer and the microwave. When I complete my "makeover project" on my "new" cabinet, I'm going to move the table outside and create a small eating area. 

This little area is on the right side of my studio. I love this area. It's full of ferns and really neat rocks that K dragged out of a forest in Massachusetts. I also love these Japanese maples. We have 3 different varieties.  Three of them are those small weepy maples and the other two are different variations of red/purple maples (sorry that I don't know technical names, I'm sure K does). We used to have a small pond over here but decided to fill it in a couple years ago. The center is still dug down a little bit and we are going to turn it more into a boggy area so that we can have certain plants and flowers that grow in wet conditions. 

What is new and planted this past weekend:

We moved a bunch of our purple irises from the front yard into this little island. Ella approves. 

A purple butterfly bush. There is a white butterfly that is always hanging out at it.

I found this ornamental grass at a local nursery. I love this, it's so purple and fluffy. I keep catching the girls trying to eat it though! Hopefully I can keep them away because I won't be a happy mama if I find it all chewed off!

This cool shrub that turns yellow and gets to be roughly 10x10. It's really similar to the pink one I have next to my studio. I found this at Lowes.

Kevin then planted two trees, they are River Birch trees. This will allow some structure to this side of the yard but allow sun to still come through and not shade it all out. I really like these trees a lot. My parents have some in their yard and I remember them when I was growing up. I always thought it was so neat that they had white bark that peeled off like paper.

I also found a kiwi vine at a local nursery. I think I am going to build something so that it will grow up the corner of my studio. The leaves will turn pink and green variegation after two years. Everything I've read said there are male and female varieties. If you get one of each, then they will produce a small grapelike fruit. I have to wait for it to flower to know which I have. 

It was a very productive weekend. I moved some other flowers from the front yard but I'm waiting to see if they take. The purple cone flowers don't look very happy with me right now! I also moved some purple beebalm, red beebalm, mint, and some different lilies. I'm excited to see how things fill in. I tried to move things that like to spread and fill in quickly. Hopefully next year it will look as though I think it will! Just need to wait a year to find out!