Saturday, June 01, 2013

Backyard Dreams and Updates

Welcome the world of what our backyard used to look like and what it looks like now. I'll give you a little step-by-step tour and explain what we've been working on the past few weeks!

First off, the Vegetable Garden!

These two pictures are along our back fenceline and all that used to be there was grass. We did some tilling, and dug up LOTS of sod, so that we could put a vegetable garden in!

This is what it looked like after all the digging was done and we put mulch in the beds. That metal jungle gym thing is now gone, thank goodness!

This is the veggie garden now, with manure mixed in, covered in some weekly grass clippings, and the hose for the dripline put in. (Notice the lines where we dug for sprinklers nearby...that's another story!) We've planted cucumbers, eggplant, watermelon, pumpkin, butternut squash, 5 kinds of tomatoes (cherry, heirlooms, and roma), 5 peppers (sweet and hot), and 3 types of onions (red, white, yellow). It's going to be a bounteous harvest!

Still to do in the Vegetable Garden:
  • Edge out the garden with something like railroad ties, or cement border
  • Finish putting the drip heads together for the dripline (happening today!!!)
  • Wait for the plants to grow
  • Plant some lettuce in the fall
  • Plant berry bushes (blackberry and raspberry)
  • Plant a couple fruit trees (peach?!?)

Back Flower Bed

Once again, everything used to be ALL grass. (Seeing a pattern here?) So, we dug out that sod and put in a flower bed at the back of the house, to give some interest to an otherwise "hum-drum" area.

Here is what it looks like now with mulch and compost in, (once again, notice the covered trench from the new sprinkler line) and an assortment of perennial flowers, some feather reed grasses, and annual flowers. Oh, and a hydrangea bush. I'm so excited about that. Anybody who knows me knows that hydrangeas are my favorite flower, I had them at my wedding, and now I'm happy to actually be able to grow them in my very own yard!

You can see the dripline is in, along with the new manifolds for the sprinkler system. 

Still to do in the Back Flower Bed:
  • Put heads on the dripline
  • Expand the flower bed about 6 inches into the yard
  • Hide the wires hanging down from the siding (they are everywhere!)
  • Bury the pipes for the gutters into the yard
  • Watch the flowers and grasses grow (the grasses will get as tall as 4 1/2 feet)
  • Build a cover for the AC unit that looks something like this:

Area by the Back of the Shed
We have trimmed this tree a couple times already as it desperately needed it. The poor thing, I'm pretty sure, had never been pruned in it's life. The area underneath it became our dumping ground for sod when we were digging up the garden/flower beds because grass didn't grow under there anyway.

Things to do:
  • Remove the rest of the sod and leftover pavers (you can see them on the right)
  • Mulch the area and edge it to make a nice large bed around the tree
  • Fill with shade-loving plants and flowers
  • Prune the tree again in the fall

Miscellaneous Backyard
Here are my herbs on the back patio in nice big pots. They are thriving this year! I've got basil, parsley, dill, cilantro, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and peppermint.

Another tree in our backyard that had never been pruned. You can see the large part of the trunk that had fallen over the fence a few years back, which we cut down in the fall. Our backyard neighbors were so grateful. They said that they had offered to do the same when the trunk fell, but the sweet old lady asked them not to, because she was afraid the tree would get hurt. Haha. Little did she know it was better for the tree in the long run! Michael put his little hammock chair on the tree so he could sit there, with his laptop, on Fridays when he works from home and enjoy the weather while working.

Miscellaneous Backyard things left to do:
  • Finish cutting down the stump on the tree above
  • Prune random branches in the fall
  • Pressure wash the back of the house 
  • Put up a new vinyl fence (this would be my dream in maybe in a couple of years)
  • New sconces by the back door and garage
  • Grass seed for the recovering trenches from sprinkler redo

As you can see, we've been busy and still have lots more to work on this summer. We're already pretty tired from all the yard work, but we're loving it, seeing everything change for the better. Our neighbors have all complimented us on how much we've gotten done this early on in the summer. I just can't wait until the veggies come in and we can reap the fruits of our labors there! Post about the front of the house to come..... :)


  1. So pretty! We need to take a page out of your book, I want SO badly to have a little garden in our flowerbeds but I feel like I don't know enough to get started. I know I could do it if I just did a little bit of work to research and then DO it. But it's so much work. You inspire me!

    1. Thanks Shantel! I've been looking at your house post and looks like you've been busy too! Starting a garden really is quite easy. You just need a few basic ingredients and you can grow pretty much anything. We should talk if you have any questions!