Since we've been so busy in the yard, I thought I'd show you what we've been up to. It's definitely a work in progress. Here's where we are now:
The perennial bed I started last spring is looking so good this year. In the fall, we took out an old lilac that was planted on the left where the pink flowers are now. Will took up the stump and we filled it with soil so we could put three new perennials in. Come summer I'll have beautiful flowers to cut for every room in my house. I still have one to plant, and I think I'm going to have to replace a couple more that are struggling to come up, but the rest look really good. The sections without mulch have Sweet William and Zinnia seeds planted. I wanted to give them a chance to come up a bit before putting mulch down.
We transplanted these rhododendrons from the front of the house. We had just planted them up there a couple years ago, but they were getting too much sun and weren't doing that great. This spot in the corner of our yard is shaded by huge pine trees. I think they'll be really happy here. Also, see that green stuff coming through the fence? Most of that is poison ivy. I'm really allergic so I'm not sure yet how I'm going to get it out of there.
Pretty rhododendron blooms.
I was able to wrestle half of my raised bed back from the kids and planted four Brandywine tomatoes and two hot banana peppers.
The other raised bed got two rows of cucumbers (left), three rows of radishes (middle), six hills of spaghetti squash (right), and butter beans (back). I've never grown spaghetti squash or butter beans before so we'll see what happens. I'm a little afraid that the squash will totally take over, but there's room for them to spill over the side and back so hopefully it will work out.
This year, I planted all of my herbs in pots and have them between the fence and the raised beds. Obviously, I still need to weed underneath them. These three are chives, mint, and cilantro. (There's an ugly basil plant in the pot all the way at the bottom that I didn't include in the picture.) I love those chive flowers so much that I'm considering making a chive border somewhere in my yard (in the perennial bed next year?).
More herbs: rosemary in the ground at the top, then parsley, more basil, dill, lemon balm, and thyme.
Tucked into a corner between our back deck and utility shed is my shade garden (which is usually completely filled with weeds). When we moved into our house three years ago, that hydrangea and the azalea on the left were out in the sun and didn't bloom. As soon as I moved them into this little spot they perked right up and are beautiful every year. I added the hosta last summer, and we just transplanted the camelia there in the back right corner on Saturday. That was up front with the rhododendrons and hasn't done well at all. I'm hoping this will be a better spot. This week I'm going to dig up the hosta, split it, and plant it across the front behind that wooden beam. I'll also add those little pink bells in there somewhere and then mulch the whole thing.
Since we moved the rhodos, we had to replace them with some sun-loving shrubs. I picked out hawthorne (green) and abelia (yellow). They're both evergreen and both bloom with little white flowers but at different times, so they'll be interesting to look at during all four seasons.
Out by the mailbox, I planted a bunch of zinnias. Sunflowers are still my favorite, but zinnias are a close second.
We planted a pretty purple and white clematis that will climb up the lamppost and then the same hawthorne and abelia on the other side of the front porch. In the space up front on the left, I'm planning to plant some daylillies after I split them (see photo below).
This is a sunny spot to the right of our back deck. I planted those Knock Out roses last summer, and they bloomed just in time for Mother's Day this year! On the left are the massive daylillies that I'm going to dig up and move around. That spot will get one each and the others will be put in different places around the yard.
I still have four packets of sunflowers to plant - they'll go all along the inside of the back fence - and a packet of wildflowers that will go in a new bed to the right of the raised beds.
So there you have it - our yard in progress. I'm really happy with what we've accomplished so far. It's really amazing what some flowers and mulch can do for sprucing up our home. All this rearranging in the yard has me itching to do the same on the inside of our house. If I can convince Will (and I'm pretty sure I can), perhaps I'll be taking you on a tour of our newly rearranged interior in a few weeks!
What's going on in your yard these days?