22 March 2011


Slowly I've been making my plans for the yard- not the vegetable gardening aspect, but the landscaping. A lot of my yard is just mess of weeds or scruffy lawn where I'd rather not have to mow. I want beautiful plants flanking the yard instead of grass everywhere! Some areas I still don't know what to do with, but here are a few things I have in mind for the future. None of it will likely happen this year, but I want to make notes for when I am ready to do more planting of permanent stuff.

- The strip of soil that edges my driveway alongside the house has in the past been just weeds, then Purslane, and last year I planted it with Tithonia. I want something in that space that looks pretty, comes back every year and doesn't have too deep of roots. I think it would be a good place for a little rose bed, but of course now I have to learn about roses!

- The area that slopes down from the driveway to my patio needs lots of filler. Right now it's mostly uneven weedy grass, with a small young Crape Myrtle bush centered on each side (I moved those there last year). I want to plant a ring of nasturtiums around each crape myrtle. At the bottom of the slope against the fence, to shield it from view and give us a bit more privacy, I want some kind of tidy little evergreen hedge (this year I'm going to plant a row of Tithonias there). On the side against the house my Daylily corner is flourishing, and I want a matching patch of it on the other side against the neighbor's arborvitae hedge- but perhaps another color, not just orange ones everywhere. Around the steps that go down to the patio I want to establish some little plant that won't mind being stepped on and will keep grass and weeds out. The rest of the space between everything on that little slope I still have to think about- some other kind of perennial flower probably...

- The front flowerbeds against the house are always a mess. Right now Tulips are coming up, later there will be Grape Hyacinths and my Hostas. On one end is the Peony plant- I want to dig that up, divide it and have more plants, but not quite sure where yet. One side of the bed has a low row of two kinds of evergreen shrub, the other side has Azaleas, under the windows. I want it to look more even, with evergreen shrub on both sides. But I don't know what kind of bushes I have.... so I've been thinking of taking cuttings and trying to propagate them. Only that would take a long time, probably several years before the cuttings (if I can get them to grow at all!) would be big enough to plant there. And I'd have to move those azaleas- not sure how easy that would be, or where else they'd be happy in my yard. Then of course all the space in front of the shrubs, which is pretty empty once the hyacinths are done, I want to put in more perennial flowers...

- In the backyard, behind the rock line I've made across the edge of lawn, I want to establish another, taller evergreen hedge to give us some privacy from the neighbors (I always get the feeling they're watching me garden- the guys stand out there and stare across their yard and the fence at me. I think they wonder why this pregnant lady is digging up soil and turning compost by herself!) Problem is, right now there is a row of Hibiscus along the fence line, and I don't want to loose them. Is it possible to transplant Hibiscus shrubs? I'd like to move them closer to the lawn and prune them shorter for fuller foliage and to better appreciate the flowers. And then replace their spot with evergreen shrubs. But that seems like a daunting task- I haven't even been able to dig out all the poison ivy back there yet, which grows among the hibiscus.

- The rest of that area behind the rock line I want to have some kind of perennial plantings, shrubs and flowers- but the only thing I'm sure of yet is that flanking each side of my shed I want a Forsythia bush. I love their cheerful yellow in springtime. And at the end of the long divided garden bed I want a Butterfly Bush.

Whew! That's a lot of stuff to do, and it would only take care of half the yard area I want to improve! I've probably mentioned a few of these plans here before, but writing them all down again helps me solidify them. So far the only steps I'm taking is researching what kinds of roses would be easy to maintain and do well in my climate zone, and trying to figure out what type of evergreen shrubs do well here and have the appearance I want. It all feels kind of overwhelming.... but I'm just going to take it one step at a time.

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