Sunday, April 27, 2014

the garden(s)

Our first summer in the house (2012) was spent preparing and updating the interior in anticipation of Elden's arrival (and our general need to live in a habitable place). The yard got very little attention outside of mowing. We were horrible at weeding or really anything else. Last summer, we began to pay the outside a little bit more attention with the introduction of my raised veggie garden and doing some DIY grub and fertilizing treatments to the grass. However, 2013 was a year of adjustment with Elden and therefore we still didn't do much outside or inside.

This is the year that changes all that! We have spent the majority of our focus of 2014 on the outside, specifically the back yard. Come to discover, plants are one of those things that you just don't realize how stupidly expensive they are until you have a desire to buy them. Luckily for us, both of our parents have sprawling gardens that focus on completely different plants. Jon's yard has a ton of hostas and grasses and more leafy plants than flowers. My parent's yard has a ton of flowering plants with fewer of the grasses and leafy plants. This suits us well because we have a vast array of shady (ha) and sunny spots all around the house so we have no shortage of {free!!!} options. On Easter, my mom brought over a ton of flowers and a few grasses for the south side of the house. This bed had either been entirely empty or filled with weeds the last two summers. Pathetic.
Not pictured on the left: concord and green grape plants
The green scattered is grass clippings - I had just mowed and mulched with them
Last year, we inherited a bunch of lillies from Jon's grandma's garden. This year I moved some of the edging from the north side of the house to the back because we never really walked past it on the north side and I felt like it was a waste.
On the north side of the house (next to the garage) we had inherited two sad little bushes. They got in the way of the sidewalk and were not doing well there. When Jon's parents called saying they had a load of hostas for us I knew I wanted them to replace the bushes. Jon's dad wasted no time tearing those out and laying down our new plants.
The front is mostly the same from when we first moved in. We have big, big plans for the front in the long-term, but these plans are pretty expensive (want to place railroad ties on the huge slope in the yard among other major landscaping changes) so they will be implemented in phases over several years. However, We did add a few more grasses to the mulched island between ours and our neighbor's drives, and we also were gifted with some beautiful hanging flower baskets for Easter from Jon's parents.
And since no post is complete without pictures of our favorite little helper:
Still left on the list this year are cutting down a whole bunch of trees and branches in the back--something that Jon and his dad intend on tackling themselves and make me very nervous. We also need to build a fence around the raised veggie garden (there are 2 raised beds now and a container of parsnips) and I overseeded with grass in the back because it was all either dead or moss. We plan on buying beneficial nematodes once it gets warmer out to help fend off grubs, beetles, and termites and I'm hoping that will really help with the health of our lawn. I'm trying to be as productive as possible because I know next summer we'll have a 6ish-month-old in addition to a 2-year-old and time/energy/money will be lacking...

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