Wednesday, March 20, 2013


One year ago on March 3, 2012--I walked into the front door of our house for the first time. I saw walls that needed painting, a cat smell that needed eliminating, and a wonderful floor plan that I could see our family gathering in.  Matt was camping at the time and so I made an offer on my house without even talking to him--thank goodness we have a good relationship!

It is a year later and the walls have been painted, there is now a toddler smell in place of a cat smell, our family regularly gathers and it is time to turn our attention outside.

When we bought the house the backyard was 100% bermuda grass with a wood deck next to the square of concrete right outside the doors. Not a shrub, not a flower, not a tree in sight. In fact, it was so boring we don't really have any "before" pics.

With limited resources and time I managed to do a 4' x 4' veggie garden that I mostly began too late in the season and some potted flowers.

Last fall we planted a Cleveland select flowering pear tree (which I now am reconsidering for something more multi-tasking like a cherry tree or serviceberry tree), and I dug up two flowerbeds alongside the house to prepare for spring. I planted a few bulbs but nothing else, letting cardboard and mulch chill for the winter.

After a lot of research and numerous measurements and countless sketches on graph paper, I've finally got the bones of some landscaping for our backyard down.  With gas and cable lines running a full 5 feet along the back of our yard by the fence, I'm restricted from really doing much along the fence, although I'll try some vines to help bring a little life to the boring wood.

A few weeks ago, after a lot of snow and some rain and before another storm was supposed to hit, I dug up the outline of Phase 1 garden area in our backyard. 

And realized I was either going to have an awesome backyard come June or I'd just made a really big mistake.

So I've spent the last several weeks outside, digging up bermuda grass, adjusting my plans, taking measurements again. Roy has enjoyed the increase in outdoor activity and decided to adopt a log of firewood as his new toy.

It has grown larger over the weeks...

And has spread...

And I've had a very willing helper...

And a very lazy dog (other than chasing away those savage birds)

I was able to find time to put a few flowers in one of the flower beds I started last fall, and the bulbs are coming up now. The back row will be sweet peas, and morning glories will climb the trellis.

And little by little we're digging up the hated bermuda grass and getting ready to put in the raised beds. It looks different every day...put probably only to us! And now to tree or not to tree...that is the question.

We're hoping to get that done this weekend and get some seeds in the ground before we leave for Northern California next week to spend Easter with Matt's parents. Wish us luck!

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