Monday, April 14, 2014

Back Yard Is a Blank Slate

Click on picture for larger view.
Our backyard is a blank slate. There are many very large, gorgeous trees with a 150 foot canopy that casts a grass-killing shadow over the property. Mark raked a winter's worth of fallen leaves and pine straw, filling a big trash can and TWENTY-TWO big black trash bags. He sprayed weeds - the only green in the yard, and trimmed back the only two plants in the backyard: a palmetto and a giant invasive philodendron (hate them!).

This weekend we participated in the neighborhood garage sale, cooked a smoker full of chicken legs (60) and went to a family reunion. Afterward, we went to visit my parents. On Sunday we went to church, visited an uncle's grave, had lunch with family, and went to my parents' house again. Somewhere in there, we watered all the new plants in the front yard and then Mark and I found time to start planting. Here is a list of the items we planted:
  • 3 Christmas poinsettias (2 from mom, one was mine)
  • 2 hip-high Japanese plum trees - outside each bedroom window to block light and traffic noise (mom)
  • a nice hydrangea bush (from mom's yard)
  • a skinny Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow plant that will one day be a nice, full, flowering bush (mom)
Plants we have collected but haven't planted yet:
  • 4 big azaleas - 2 pink, 2 white
  • 3 or 4 climbing roses for the back fence
  • a trumpet plant that I rooted from a cutting daddy gave me
  • a foot-tall baby dogwood, potted by momma's friend Lucille Long, now deceased
  • a couple of dozen orange blooming amaryllis bulbs (mom only wanted red ones)
  • some hibiscus cuttings I rooted from my front yard plants
  • grass seed, fertilizer, and bug killer - all to be spread eventually
Planting the rest of the items listed will be a challenge. Our neighborhood was built on what used to be a swamp. Plants and trees didn't have to go deep for water, so the surface is coated with a billion trillion roots. We cannot just pick a spot and dig a hole. Mark has to use the limb loppers with every hole he starts. It's a big fight to dig a little hole...The amaryllis will be a big pain!

We think spreading pine straw (they sell bales at Lowes) will be nicer to walk on and more cost efficient than mulch. Our idea is to make big curvy beds. I'd like to also add bunches of pretty, shade loving, mounding impatient flowers and maybe some other flowers (white periwinkles?) or an assortment of wild flower seeds or squash to fill in the empty spaces. Next year, the yard will look lovely.

1 comment:

Patty Wise-Noble said...

Periwinkles. That us what the drug Herceptin is made from. Who knew that such an insignificant plant could save a life? Oh, and the "trumpet" plant is called "Angel's trumpet", not to be confused with Trumpet vine. Looks great. A good way to try out flowing lines for the beds is to lay a garden hose out and try out patterns with it.