Friday, June 2, 2017

Mulch, Stones and Flowers and a Fence

We've been busy as bees around here. I love this time of year when it's getting warm but still cool in the mornings (ideally, anyway) and the weather isn't too muggy to work outside all day.

So here's how things are looking in our back yard these days. 

(Warning: this probably should have been broken into multiple posts, but I just don't have motivation for that right now.)

There are some delphiniums growing behind the coreopsis. These are decended from seeds our former neighbor tossed from her backyard into ours at our previous home. She is no longer living, so these flowers are a wonderful reminder of her. I've learned that they don't all start growing at the same time, and they don't transplant easily, so I've had to be careful when moving them. I have them scattered all over this flower bed.

This clump of orange lillies was planted by the previous owner. I divided the clump last year and now have 3 clumps doing well. I just added a small one to the perennial bed at the corner of our property. They seem to thrive in the mix of sun and shade.

These two bushes are the same kind. I trimmed the one above pretty drastically a few weeks ago. It was twice the size of the one below and oddly shaped. New leaves are growing on it, but it looks kind of sad right now.

Moving on to the garage and garden area...

My mint tea is thriving. Those bags have some mushroom soil we plan to put around the potatoes. We're hoping for a better crop this year than last.

Our first little strawberry patch. The berries were stolen by birds before they were even ripe. We will have to do some heavy duty bird proofing next year if we want to harvest any berries. I was livid. I like birds, but not when they eat my strawberries.

So now the raspberries and blackberries are covered. They haven't done so hot at this location. We brought these raspberries from our previous yard. They had grown under the fence from our neighbor's yard (same as the delphinium) and did really great there. My theory is that they need more sun. They only get the afternoon sun in this spot.

We made the garden a bit larger this year than last. We have potatoes, beets, spinach, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, a brussel sprout plant, an eggplant and  cucumbers. Edwin started a pumpkin plant at school, so we'll try to find a place for that as well. We like to cram things in...

As we gradually try to get rid of all the English ivy covering our back hill, I've been allowing the violets to grow and I planted some heuchera. I threw in a few extra impatiens because I can't resist flowers.

The view of the playset from our fire pit, which is between the garden and this hill above.

Most of where you see mulch in this picture (and some areas not pictured) was formerly English ivy. I spent a lot of time pulling up the ivy, bagging it in yard waste bags (we set out well over 30 bags of ivy and leaves this spring) that our city picks up for us, and then going over the ground again to pull out ivy stems that were still in the ground. I know I didn't get them all out, but I put down landscape fabric over most of this area and then covered it with mulch. I'm hoping this helps to kill the ivy. Eventually, we want to thin out the underbrush in this wooded area, as well as get rid of the ivy and have a more native wooded section. 

You can see a stone path leading up to the playhouse and in the picture above this one, you can see some of the stone bordering the mulch. I dug up the grass along this path and tried to recess the stones a bit so they wouldn't be a tripping hazard. We decided to try this stone border instead of using wood and having a raised border. This way Dan can mow along the stones easily and we can also sweep the mulch back off the stones (if we care to). I'm pleased with how it turned out overall. We used the removed sod to fill in some bare spots in other parts of the yard.

And lastly, one of my favorite flower beds (although this picture doesn't do it justice) is on our back hill. This was my solution for a hill that was weedy and patchy with grass. Who wants to mow that or look at it? I made the flower bed last year, and things are really filling in nicely. It's mostly perennial flowers and herbs with a few annuals sprinkled in for a little extra color. But my plan to is to have perennials blooming successively all summer.

And the fence - let's not forget the fence! A 2-man crew put this baby in in one day. We love it. I like knowing our toddler can't get too close to the street.

And I've been surprised at how many people have stopped to tell me they like the fence. 


  1. I can't wait to see it in person! It looks lovely. Hopefully you can inspire me to do some work in our yard!!

  2. wow, you have been busy!
    I love your fence, too, and I'm bummed about your strawberries. I feel like gardening is hard enough for me and then critters steal my food?!