Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Do NOT Have a Green Thumb

I am not a gardener.  Far from it.  My indoor plants die on me, my outdoor plants simply survive...or not. I never know how to prune plants in spring, I wonder what to do with shrubs in fall while I stand there with shears in hand, and I probably look amazed (because I am!) at the flowers that continue to pop up in the summer.

Imagine my dismay, then, when we moved into this house a few years back and saw that the previous home owners had completely neglected the yard (in fact, they'd completely neglected everything about the house, but that's another story and probably explains why we got a relatively good deal on the house).  The entire back yard was chest-high with weeds and grasses (of the non-attractive varieties); I wish we'd thought to take pictures of it at the time, because it would have made for a dramatic before-and-after series.

So in the spring of 2008 we started to plan our backyard landscaping.  And very quickly got stuck.  We had no idea what to do to make it look decent and low maintenance.  So we hired a landscape architect on his off hours (for waaaaaay less money than had we gone through his office) and he helped us plan the beds.  Then, finally, in mid July of '08, five of us spent an intense, ten-hour day sweating through a cyclone of planting - shrubs, trees.  We emerged with...voila, our yard.

Here's the yard after the beds were carved out, but before the plants had gone in (you can see the plants piled up to the left, just delivered from the nursery).  In the distance, you can see a play structure and fort that my Dad built for Matthew:

Then the shrubs and flowering perennials started to go in:

And the trees:
And gradually, the yard began to take shape:

A few weeks later, Geoff and my Dad, with the help of a carpenter we know, spent three solid days building our deck. We debated between all of the types of materials available with which to build a deck,  and ended up using a recycled, no-maintenance, no-sliver, material called Trex.  We still love it, two years later.

(note: the wooden stakes you see overtop of the bench are actually from the tomato plants behind the deck)

And so, today, our backyard is home to a wide variety of flowers, which I love!

Maybe sometime, I'll talk about our front yard! But for now, I'm just loving have a back yard to play in...let's just hope I don't kill all the plants off!


  1. Looks beautiful!! I'll have to come sit on your deck one day.

  2. Your backyard is so nice! I would love to hire a landscape architect one day... or my mom. She's pretty good. :)