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Getting Our Garden On

It’s my favorite time of year, May through September, when everything is in bloom, the greenery has never been more vibrant and, thanks to the previous owner of our house, we  get to enjoy the beautiful garden she created. But our garden needs some sprucing up and so that’s where we’ll be focusing our attention for the next little while.

Our house is so beautiful in the spring and summer because the previous owner planted so many colorful perennials that our outdoor spaces become so vibrant during those times of year, as you can see in the photo below taken a few years ago. The problem, however, is that the house kind of looks dead when they are not in bloom.

This is especially true of the front of our house. We have these huge, gorgeous hydrangeas, peonies, daffodils, and tulips and they are all so gorgeous. But that is only for a short time of the year. So, a couple of years ago, we added a green shrub to the front so that there was something that looked alive all year long.

In addition to adding colorful annuals to various pots to up the curb appeal, which we do every year, I would love to add a short Japanese maple to the center of our lawn and then cover the ground underneath it with shade plants. I have been obsessed with Japanese maples since we moved to town but they are expensive and have always been out of budget so we haven’t bought one yet. I also would like to add another evergreen shrub to one of the garden areas on the right. The benefit of of adding these two plants is that they will have their color (purple and green) even in the winter and help us retain curb appeal throughout the year.

Japanese maple / Photo courtesy of GardenGoodsDirect.com

Now, moving into the backyard. The backyard is, no joke, mostly a garage and driveway, which is unfortunate, but we’ve managed to turn it into comfortable hangout spaces. You can read more about that here and here. These areas also will get minor updates this summer, which I’ll write about later.

The rest of the backyard is mostly plants. Whatever grass there was when we moved in is mostly just mud thanks to having a dog. April through June in the backyard is stunning. The lilac tree is in bloom, the rose bushes are starting to bloom, and there are a variety of tulips, as well as hyacinths, hostas and other colorful flowers.

Places for us to plant in the ground are split up into three areas: 1. a side yard that barely gets sun; 2. a long raised bed area  that includes the aforementioned lilac tree on one end, a hydrangea on the other end, and a vegetable garden that we created a couple of summers ago in between the two; 3. A center garden full of rose bushes, tulips, strawberry plants, lavender, hyacinths and other plants.

I want more, more, more! I want some areas to look lush and overgrown and other areas to look clean and manicured. I started that process last year by planting a mountain laurel, azalea, dwarf cherry tree, rose of Sharon and a few other things with names I can’t remember. I also painted the side of our garage this vibrant color and added two trellises and a trumpet vine for one of the trellises. Because I planted these at the end of last year, they were at the end of their seasons so I didn’t get to see them flourish but they have been so pretty so far this year and I can’t wait to see the trumpet vine in its full glory. For the other trellis, I’m planning to add a wisteria. I also plan to add more moss and ferns to the less sunny areas and areas where we can’t grow grass.

Amethyst Falls Wisteria vine / Photo courtesy of Inspired Room

For the manicured garden in the middle, I am replacing a rotting and broken wood barrier and walking path made of cheap materials with…pea gravel? Some kind of small to medium-sized stone in a grayscale? Square pavers? We shall see.

Photo courtesy of Inspiration Seek