Saturday, April 30, 2011

3 Years in the Backyard

This summer, we'll be working on the yard, so here is a bit about the backyard.

Spending sometime out there today, it was easy to daydream about how nice it will be when we get the yard cleaned up. Between the day we saw the house and the day we moved in (30 days apart), the yard was allowed to grow, unchecked, and was out of control:

Most of the plants went into compost, but others (like the irises, peonies, mint, onions, etc) were given to friends. I do miss the never ending supply of fresh flowers:

...and the rainbow of potatoes:

When we started digging around the yard, we found lots of weird stuff in the yard, like this barrel. Inside, there was a plastic trash can, filled with (you guessed it) trash. How did burying this barrel with trash make sense to anyone?

To make things manageable, I started tearing out plants. I liked the fresh flowers, but without any beds, or mulch, it was impossible to mow or remove the brambles without removing the flowers. Things have cleaned up quite a bit:

The blackberries haven't quite surrendered. They are making their last stand on this fence:

I'm keeping the lillies- these babies grow to about 7 feet tall. I don't have any good photos of them blooming, but they look good in every stage of growth:

There are a few more plants on the chopping block. Including diseased roses, lillies that don't bloom, a Japanese maple, a butterfly bush, the lilac (which I will sorely miss and may change my mind about) and the plum:

Soon we'll have a blank slate. Looks like we better start getting inspired! Do you have any thoughts about what works great in a yard? Any good lessons learned from your own projects? We'd love to hear about it!


  1. Why this "scorched earth policy?"

    Can't you work with what you have???? Mature trees take decades to regrow!

  2. "Scorched earth"- burn! (Get it??) Anyway, scorching the earth is not our policy.

    We would like to get the garbage dug up (it's EVERYwhere!!), and build a few raised beds so we can garden and grow some vegetables. We don't have any mature trees to speak of, other than the fig which is probably less than 20 years old. I'd love to bring in some more fruit- like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, as well as more tulips and daffodils. Also, we're hoping the new yard will be easier to maintain.