The Yard...

April 24, 2010

I enjoy our yard!  I mean I really, really do!  I love our retaining wall; I love our long driveway; I love the ledge in the back; I love the "infinity" look to the side yard.  I love it!  Spring is my favorite season and I especially love how green everything around us gets.  It contrasts so nicely with the brown tones in our house and in the rocks.  It's a very earthy sort of atmosphere. 

Our yard is not yet the showplace I would like it to be.  That takes a lot of time and dollars, so it's going to be a long process.  We were lucky enough to move right into some really great landscaping from the get-go.  Unfortunately, the nice shrubs in the backyard didn't make it through the first year.  That "soil" back there is clay and sand and nothing much is going to flourish there.  Originally,there was a nice "path" of round river rock laid behind those shrubs and down to the edge of the yard.  The ledge has eroded over the past 2 1/2 years to the point that all that nice stone is covered.  I'm in the process of leveling the mounds that contained the 10 shrubs and digging underneath the new dirt to get that river rock.  The river rock is being used as edging for some additional flower beds I'm putting in in the front.

Here's a close up of my mad rock-laying skills.  I've spend roughly 3 hours working on this project so far.  Now, here's an idea of how many more I'm going to put in!

I truly love it, though.  Lilah comes out and helps...  The girls occasionally come to the deck and ask where such and such is.  Jamie might stop by and give me a little encouragement...but, this is my thing.  It's like therapy for me.  I do a lot of thinking and talking to God when I'm in my zone.  It also keeps me out of the kitchen.  (I've lost 4 pounds since Monday -- counting points again.)

This is my first attempt in a smaller area.  Obviously, I need to weed and get some mulch.  Aside from that, I want a real natural look that goes with our house. I like the stones flush with the ground, just to give the bed an edge.  These irises (mine have not bloomed!  Everyone else's have bloomed!) are from my parents' house and, I think, Mom brought them from her parents' house.  Cool, huh?

Now, let me just give you a little tour around the rest of the yard.  I have a sort of obsession with my Japanese maple.  He's just grown into a beast this year.  I really think his height increased by 1/3 and I've had to cut back lots of the lower branches just to keep him in shape. Yes, it's a he.  I don't have a proper name for him, but I'm sure he's a he.

He's a beaut, isn't he?  Please don't judge my photography skills!  I'm trying.  But, let me tell ya...these pictures were all taken with my wonderful Canon point and shoot that I actually ran over on Easter Sunday.  I

I have an issue with mulch.  I don't like to buy it.  It washes away.  It's expensive to replace as much as we need every year, so I've tried and tried and tried to get some various types of ground cover to grow and fill in so that we don't have to buy much mulch.  Here's my Vinca (from Mom's again) and my sweet potato vine (newly planted, no taking off like I'd like it to).  I think I may take the remaining river rock (there is a ton under all that dirt) and use it to fill in the front big bed on top of the retaining wall. 

This post is getting long!  Bear with me as we go to the back.  Here's another area where I've planted irises from my parents'.  I really like the natural, woodsy look.  Good thing because that's about all I'm going to get around here! 

These are budding!!!  If you've followed my Facebook at all, you may know that I have tried to get English ivy (again, from my parents' house -- I love for my plants to have a story) to take off in the back and grow up the ledge.  Well, I've had a little success!

The thing is, I need a lot more of it!

See where I'm digging and leveling?  We just the grass to grow and fill all that in once I've gotten everything out from under the layer of eroded dirt.  If the ivy will hurry up (like, in the next 3 years), maybe we can keep too much more of the ledge from falling off. 

So, this is my oasis.  I need a swing, a hammock, a good table and chair set, and some lighting. 

Here's a funny story.  This iron butterfly was a gift from my mom a couple of years ago.  Easter?  Anyway, my sister got one, too.  She proudly displayed hers in her front flower bed at her house in Bentonville.  After a few days, she noticed the stones were all missing.  Dang neighborhood kids!  Isn't that funny?  Her butterfly is bare : (

Since it's a rainy, rainy morning that is likely to turn in to a rainy, rainy afternoon, I should get some housework going.  I'd rather be outside!

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