Sunday, June 05, 2011

Yard Work: The Last Three Years

The older I get the more I discover I love gardening. In the last three years since owning this house (hard to believe it's been three years), I discovered a fondness for yard work and perennials. I enjoy heading out into the yard tending to the lawn then sitting on the porch, sipping wine and browsing through the Bluestone's perennial catalog to find just the right plant to add to the garden.

When we moved in the yard was a mess.

Our Backyard Prior to Moving In (2008)

Chris inspecting: "what the *@$# am I supposed to do with this?"

Over the last three years we've put a lot of effort into getting the yard cleaned up.  We have an odd lot, a horseshoe around our neighbor.  We have what we call the main yard and then the upper lot with the shed and a general area we use for parking (formerly a "lot" of weeds). This area needed the most care; last year we got the shed painted, did a lot of weeding and planted some perennials.  I'm pleased with the way it's coming along.

Shed When We Moved In (2008)

Upper Lot and  Owned Area Near Neighbor (2008)

Basically our neighbor has no yard. We own it all.

Upper Lot Coming Together (2011)

In the backyard we have a shady area that the previous owner had filled with sand - apparently held a swing set for his kids. Last year, through Bluestone, I bought a shade garden for it. The garden came with 40-50 different plants ideal for the area.

Sand and Shady Area of Main Lot Back in 2008

Shade Garden Planted in 2010

Itty-bitty Shade Plants (2010)

There's a Garden There Somewhere (2010)

This year the perennials came in nice:

Shade Garden Coming to Life (June 2011)

"Yes, there are Actual Plants There!"

Transformed from Sandy to Lush (2011)

All in all, I'm pleased with the yard. The lawn is not as lush as I'd like it; we have had some grub issues. I'm using an organic compound called milky spore to get rid of them but it takes several applications.  There are a few brown patches but in time the green should come back. It's certainly better than before.

Chris and Bandit in 2008

Backyard with Shot of Neighbor's House (2011)

Lawn Coming Along in 2011

So now you've seen almost every inch of my yard. It's not perfect but I'm proud of it. It's a lot of work, a labor of love that has come along way.

Now before I leave you, I have to show you the best shot of all...

The Little Boy Playing with His Ball


Jim said...

You guys have done a lot of work in three years! With a garden there is ALWAYS something to do. We have been at it for 20 years and for the last couple of years we have arrived at the 'maintenance'level of gardening. I can see that it has become your passion. Nice job.

Sean said...

It's amazing how ownership can change a chore into a pleasure. Very nice work, I how you have a ride on for cutting all that grass.

Craig said...

What an amazing transformation in three years. You should be very proud. We've only been in this house for 3 months and we're just about to have our over own grown weed patch re-done. After all, you need something nice to look at while sipping a glass of vino!

Rick said...

@Jim - maintenance level...ah the thought!

@Sean - would love a ride on!

@Craig - something good to look at indeed

Stew said...

I've now been in my place for 16 1/2 years. New construction with no landscaping. I too, have arrived at the maintenance level, simply because there is no more room. My once sunny lot, is now shady and there's no room for any annuals except for the random pot.

You've come a long way and it looks great. Keep up the good work and all the neighbors will be jealous.

Jason, as himself said...

Wow! It looks amazing! I'll be up next month for a visit.

Ur-spo said...

The older I get the more I discover I love gardening.

Sensible man !

wcs said...

Beautiful! It's fun to watch stuff grow, especially if you planted it and nurtured it along! Do you have any veggies or herbs?

My word verification is phyph. Like phive on the phyph. :)

Rick said...

@Stew - your yard looks beautiful!

@Jason - if you're in the area, you're welcome!

@Spo - coming from a psychiatrist...hmmm, guess I'm not off my rocker then

@Walt - no veggies, herbs...not into that...yet

Ron said...

Yard work is my absolutely favorite pastime. When I was a kid I used to hate it. I love it now! Put up a bluebird house and some birdbaths and your yard will be complete. Put in the bird baths and you'll be surprised at how quickly the birds take up residence in your backyard.

Rick said...

@Ron - yes, definitely need a birdhouse or two

Peter said...

What a change in 3 years! Do you cut the grass electric or men power?

word verification: greenz

Rick said...

@Peter - man power all the way (and with a little gas)

Anonymous said...

Rick - Keep the good word! The shade garden looks amazing. Perenials are great. I have a few planted around the yard and would more if allowed.

BosGuy said...

I grew up mostly in NH where my life was spent tending the yard; mowing the lawn, raking, clearing out the undergrowth, shoveling (ugh), etc...

I think I've been running away from it ever since. I find no satisfaction from yard work and happily pay my ridiculous condo fee to have such maintenance work done for me.

Having said that, I do appreciate such nicely tended yards and when I travel I often visit public gardens... Pretty soon I suppose I'll be leaf peeping too. Must be an age thing.


Ur-spo said...

Gee, isn't that yard work done YET?

New post !

CJ/Rick said...

Isn't it good to see all your efforts pay off? Looks great! Oh and Bandit steals the post.

Summer said...

Your yard and gardens look beautiful. I know how much work that takes. Great job!

Summer said...
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