yard reno 2011

Our backyard has long been an eyesore.  Like many other things in our house, the previous owner (owners probably) neglected to maintain the yard and it ended up completely overrun with weeds.  You name it, we had it back there: clover, thistles, wild strawberries, some other kind of clover, crabgrass, and of course dandelions. There was a small amount of real grass but it was in random patches around the yard, the rest was long ago choked out by weeds.  After 2 summers of attempting to mow the weeds as they grew more and more out of control we’d had enough.  Due to drainage issues and the sheer enormity of the problem, we knew we had to do something drastic.

We had a few landscaping companies come out and give us quotes for overhauling the backyard and putting down sod.  The project was just more than we were willing to DIY.  Our biggest concern was removing all the weeds without using Round Up or other harmful chemicals.  The company we ended up choosing was able to do it without any chemicals, by using a sod cutter to cut out the existing yard.  Basically it shaved off the top few inches of our yard.  They were then able to rake it into piles and haul it out.

They used a rake to get the weeds/grass closest to the fence.

They ran out of sod today so will be back Monday to finish up the last corner of the yard, but they did enough for me to show the dramatic before and afters 🙂

Before (about a month ago, weeds were much taller by now!)


I love it!  I think it will take some getting used to 🙂  The pugs are quite perplexed.  They seem lost when we take them out back now and feel the need to re-mark all of their favorite spots.  Now we just have to water water water and take good care of it while it gets established.  We do need to do some more research on how to maintain our yard without using harsh chemicals.  This book has been helpful so far.


New garden pictures

from 6/23, the light outside was very strange, kind of a yellow/pink sky

tomatoes are ripening!

this tomato plant looks more like a tree

green bean plants are the ones with the big leaves and refusing to stay in their squares!

and this bed of black eyed susans and zinnias has really come out nicely, I love it.

and my black eyed susan/zinnia bed, which I love!

Hydrangea Blooms

I snipped a few blooms off of our hydrangea bushes today.  The blue is endless summer and the pink is invincible spirit.  Love them both!

Our garden has exploded during the last week, I will have to share some photos of it soon!

Weekend landscaping

We got most of our flowers planted over the weekend, I’m still working on a few container arrangements, but I thought I’d share what we’d done so far.  Can’t wait to see it all grow and bloom over the next months!

pink begonias around the clematis

pink and white impatiens around our invincible spirit hydrangea bush

coral colored geranium with dusty miller around it

strawberry pot filled with vinca, vinca vine, and geranium

red geranium (I have another basket with pink geraniums but the wind did a number on it and all my blossoms are gone)

trailing geranium and vinca vine

vinca, begonia, and zinnia in this hanging basket out front

black-eyed susan, more zinnias, and ageratum in this formerly weed filled bed out back.

my shade loving perennials are looking great, the hosta and columbine came back up and I added phlox and hydrangea this year.

Cheap Pot Makeover

In preparation for installing our hang-a-pots this weekend I gave some $1 terra cotta pots a makeover with a couple of cans of spray paint.  I used Krylon indoor/outdoor spray paint with a gloss finish in ivy and bahama sea.

Step 1: Tape the rim of the pots with blue painters tape

Step 2:  Find a well ventilated area to spray paint, for me it was a little table covered with a drop cloth in the middle of my backyard. Position your posts.

Step 3: Apply several thin layers of spray paint, let dry between coats (this paint recommends 1 minute between coats).

Step 4: Remove tape and admire your work!  (Whoops switched pots on ya!)

We’ll be hanging these babies on the fence this weekend, weather permitting!

Plants in the Ground!

Our SFG is just about complete!  We just need to add the tomato cages and then fence the garden in to keep the bunnies out!

Tyler mixed up the Mel’s Mix and filled the beds while I was at work last night:

then I nailed on the lath board to make it an “authentic SFG”

if you had the patience for it you could measure to make sure all the boards are evenly spaced, but I just eyeballed it

then it was time to sing “plants in the ground, plants in the ground!” and plant these babies already!


the squares that appear empty are not necessarily so, we planted some shallot bulbs and green beans that have not germinated yet, and we left some squares around the zucchini for it to spread out since it is a garden hog!