Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's Alive!

Happy belated Memorial Day all!  Hopefully, you had a wonderful weekend filled with BBQ and lawn games.  We did minimal relaxing, but got a ton of work done.  I am happy to say that our yard is now transformed!  With the help of my parents, we did four long days of trimming, hauling, digging and planting.  Here is what $500 in plants and four days of elbow grease will do for you.  I will post on the back yard today and the front later this week.

Starting from the back, we basically had a jungle growing back here.  Super snaky territory...

Lots of overgrown and/or dead trees.

Beds that were a mess of plants and grass was growing into them.

This bed wasn't too terribly bad, but was still needing some work.

Day one was spent clearing and hauling.  It's funny, Eric and I thought we did some prep work for this and had already cleared tons of branches and pulled grass before my parents even got here.  Even with the prep, we still had to make two trips to the dump with truck loads full of discards.

We also took inventory of plants that we had and wanted to save and created a list of plants that we would need to buy.

Day two, we had a clean slate and it was time to start creating beds.  Luckily, we found tons of beautiful rocks in our yard.  We were able to create bed edging from materials that we already had on hand (but we did also put in the plastic edging as well).

We used the tiller in the beds to get the weeds and bulbs churned up and get the dirt all nice and ready for planting.

Day three was the big shopping day.  We went to a local nursery called The Tree Farm, which is unbelievable.   Here is a breakdown of what we got (note that this wasn't just plants for the back yard, but also the front).

Crimson Pygmy Barberry x 3
Bloomerang/ Purple Lilac x 1
Goldfinger Potentilla x 3
Daub's Frosted Juniper x 3
Black-Eyed Magen Cranesbill x 4
Delft Bl. Riding Penstemon x 2
Purple Ice Plant x 2
Periwinkle Vinca x 6 (six packs)

All are perennials, and all are fantastic for our zone (Zone 5).

So, on day three, we finished up the back yard.  The first step to planting was just setting all of the plants out and seeing how they looked.

In this bed, we left in Eric's hops, which are climbing up the trellis on the house.  We also left the climbing rose bush and a large clump of irises.  Otherwise, everything else got composted or transplanted.

We added some rocks for interest and a sandstone path to get back to our hose.

Quite the difference from this, hugh?

In the back bed, we added three juniper bushes and a barberry plant.   We also left some lilac plants in there so they will eventually grow to cover that cable box.  We still plan to get some nice rock and fill in this bed with that, but it looks a million times better.

The front little bed right by our deck, got transformed as well.

We made the bed a little bit bigger than before, but basically just did a lot of cleaning up here and added a few plants and some rock.

The final cleanup was in another side bed (back behind the chicken coop), where we again just used what we already had and added some rocks for interest.

So on Sunday evening, we relaxed and enjoyed our hard work.
My sisters dog confirmed that our chicken coop is in fact predator proof.

We celebrated my parents 40th anniversary!

And just enjoyed family time in our newly transformed yard.
Apologies for the photo quality.  This was taken on my iphone.

Day four- the front yard is coming up later this week!

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