Look At My Garden Grow!

I’ve mentioned on here more than once that I’ve been doing some heavy lifting in the yard this summer and I’ve had some requests to share some photos of the work. So today is the day — I’m going to take you on a little mini-tour!

First, a little background. My hubby and I put a lot of time into our yard when we first moved in over a decade ago and had grand plans to have lush and large gardens with veggies galore. But then babies and work and other things came up and we found ourselves struggling against the big Black Walnut tree adjacent to our lot. And we kind of let it all go. I don’t have “before” pictures, but just imagine 10years with no mulch or weeding or effort. It was an overgrown mess.

My good friend is a bonafide garden guru and last year we started talking about what I could do to fix things. Life got in the way for a while, but this summer she came up with a plan and then spent her share of time, sweat, and home-grown plants to get me going. And now — I’m not going to lie — I’m a little obsessive about it. The daily weeding, watering, and monitoring of each bed is something I really enjoy. The goal this year was to just clean up the most neglected parts right around the house.

We started with the front yard.

img_4075

Hmmm…

It turns out there is no good way to photograph this bed — lol! As you can see, it’s a little overtaken by lillies and I may have to thin them out sometime, but suffice to say it arches and is chock full of lillies and daisies and echinacea and bee balm. And although it’s currently a little unwieldy, it feels pretty true to my life and family and I really love it.

img_4087My friend contributed a number of awesome plants to this bed, including a snapdragon which just got its first bud. I can’t wait to see it!

Over the years, I’ve been splitting a single sedum plant I got as a housewarming gift to create an entire sedum border in the front yard. The plants are huge and healthy and I love the texture and when they pop with their lovely pink flowers. This year, for the most part we left all the sedum in place and added a few things here and there.

img_4082 This is one of my favorite spots in the gardens — my friend tucked these pretty flowers into this decrepit planter and they are such a fun pop of color. And do you see those big leaves to the right?

img_4073It’s rhubarb! We planted our rhubarb plants probably 8 years ago and where we had them they were just barely surviving. We’ve never been able to harvest from them. I showed it to my guru and she said, “let’s move those up front.” They looked like toast the first couple days, but they have BOOMED in a huge way. Boomed so much that I worry we should have given them more room. It’s just plain awesome. What a great problem to have!

Along the east side of the house, it was literally a heap of weeds and two big hostas.

img_4076It has been transformed. Neat & tidy and eventually it will be this full, gorgeous bed of hostas in loads of sizes, shapes, and colors.¬† There are a pair of kale plants in there, too…

img_4098 I randomly planted them 4 or 5 years ago from seed and they just keep coming back. I moved them both when we refreshed this bed and this one came roaring back.

img_4083Oh, and there are sunflowers here and there. Some are volunteers from the winter bird feeding, some are deliberate.

On the south side of the house my friend brought some amazing  organic tomatoes, peppers, and basils.

img_4078These are two of the tomato plants and looky here…

img_4103A nice big tomato is coming in!

Wrapping around our back deck is another troupe of sedum.

img_4080I have them lined up on all three sides — these are all split from some plants we got from our daughter’s 4K teacher. They’ve been a little slow coming around because they were wildly overgrown with weeds, but I pulled them all out, weeded, and replanted all three sides of the deck this summer. My lawnmower doesn’t bag clippings, but our neighbors have generously been sharing with us and I’ve been mulching my way around the house with each fresh load of clippings. If you hadn’t heard, our neighbors are awesome.

And this little ‘secret’ spot is heavily shaded by a giant forsythia, but I think of all that we’ve done this makes me the happiest.

img_4079It’s so simple and delicate. It probably look a little bare to you, but I love that’s it’s just a little tidy spot. I love the rich green of the hostas and the pinks and reds of the coleus. They don’t get much sun, so they are pretty tiny yet, but I really adore them.img_4077Oh! Another sunflower. This one was another plant from my friend. And last nigh, I realized this correlation with my spindle project…

9df99d67-3a25-4bea-a947-ca1b73efbbf7Incredible.

I realize to some my progress might be a bit underwhelming because there’s no proper mulch or stones for edging. It’s nothing too fancy, but did I mention my budget for this has been $0? I fully plan to thank my garden guru with some fiber when she gets back into spinning this fall and I’m sure I’ll be shoveling our neighbors’ walk come the winter snow to thank them for the clippings, but other than that I’ve been astounded by the changes that we could make that are 100% sweat and time. If you would have told me last year that I could clean up my yard and make it look mostly neat & tidy on this kind of a shoestring I would never have believed you.

These days, I’m a teensy bit behind in the weeding, but it only takes an hour or so to sweep through everything around the house. And I can and will enjoy making that happen. I’m sure I’ll check out how the pepper buds are coming along (I couldn’t grab a good photo as I have poor light at the moment) and how high the basils have shot up and how much the tomatoes have grown their decadent fruit. And I can’t help but find myself dreaming of going beyond the beds around the house. Perhaps I’ll take on a small veggie garden next year and start in on a creative adventure with the rest of the yard, my garden guru is certainly encouraging me and she has me completely and totally hooked. Perhaps… perhaps… perhaps…