January 30, 2008

Lisa: yard work

Blake and I never had a yard before moving into our house, and it has been kind of a rude awakening. I thought about the furniture we'd need for our new place, but not rakes and shovels and fertilizer and lawnmowers and all of that. I also underestimated the time it takes to keep things looking really nice over the entire growing season.

The previous homeowners thankfully had a pretty low-maintenance system going. I always intend to weed everything on a more regular basis, but we've been able to keep things basically in control between the automatic sprinklers, one or two pruning sessions, and a (usually) weekly lawn-mowing. But who doesn't want to improve on the status quo, right?

Spring 2005

I bought some planters on clearance at JoAnn's, and filled one with flowers and the other with herbs. The herbs hung outside our kitchen door (theoretically for easy cooking access)...

and the flowers beautified our (non-functional and somewhat hideous) lamp post. I was totally proud of myself for buying some black chain at Home Depot and improvising a hanging system for this planter.

Spring 2006

I picked up two more planters for herbs, and added one on the other side of the kitchen door and one around the corner over our trash cans, to counteract the delicious warm-garbage aroma. I really liked the look of the planters flanking our kitchen door, but they had to get watered every day or they'd dry out in the bright summer sun. That just gave me an excuse to buy a cute watering can and feel all domestic!

We also bought two lilac bushes for the empty corner of our back yard that gets tons of sun and had previously been planted with tomatoes (turning the soil acidic). One of the bushes is doing great, while the other looks sickly and will probably have to be replaced.

Spring 2007

I had really ambitious yard plans last year, but I got pregnant. We started off well, ripping up about half of the black weed-blocker fabric under the top layer of dirt in our flower beds and tilling out the weed-infested area behind our garage for a future vegetable garden. We even cut down the bizarre eight-foot-tall bush-tree at the corner of the house (you can see it on the right of the top picture here) and let it grow back as a regular bush. Soon, however, lifting heavy things and bending down in the heat was mentally and physically out of the question--and I didn't even pull out the planters again.

Spring 2008

This year maybe I'll be able to get to the projects I meant to do last year--a vegetable garden and a raised herb plot off the back patio. The vegetable garden will go behind the garage, where there is a separate sprinkler station so that we can set the timing however we want. There's plenty of sun back there, and the weeds are thriving, so I think it could be a good place for it. The herb plot will go in the weird triangular space between the back patio and the fence separating the yard from the driveway--it's really hard to get the lawnmower in there anyway. LJC is my inspiration for both of these. I want the herb plot to be in sort of a raised box, like this, and I love her four-square veggie garden. I think I'll plant our vegetables in rows, though, since the area behind the garage is more of a rectangle than a square. Maybe when it gets warmer, Nora will love spending time outside and can keep me company while I work on the garden. Who knows?

Spring 2009

Sometime down the road I want to put in a little flagstone patio with a pergola over it on the side of the garage, to make some shade in that end of the yard. I also want to replace the aluminum awning over the back patio with a pergola, and get new (possibly fabric?) awnings for the front and kitchen doors. Onward and upward!

If you've done any of these things before, please share your tips with me in the comments. Assume I know nothing.

Posted by lisa at January 30, 2008 07:30 PM

i wish i was capable of growing a decent plant or two, your yard work looks enticing.

Posted by: dan on January 30, 2008 10:37 PM
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