May 25, 2013

backyard: then and now

the backyard was horribly intimidating to me when we first moved in. thankfully, i was not in charge of anything relating to outside. instead, i relied on the expertise of fish's dad (rip) and the i'll-try-anythingness of fish.

the worst of the backyard was along the back gate --
what i affectionately called The Jungle.

last year, fish hacked and hacked and hacked away at it...
in the process, he found wild garlic gone...wild. 

...gooooorgeous peonies!
i don't think we ever definitively found out what the spindly purple flower-weeds are. any guesses? someone suggested wild chives, but i never verified.

this year, we had some more surprises: tulips and daffodils!
so cheerful!

we also added more tulips to the existing surprise ones:

then, we planted sunflowers along the back fence to the right of the tulips. K had a lot of fun helping fish dig the holes then deposit the seeds. :)

one more surprise flower-slash-bush (?): what i'm guessing is a bleeding heart. it must have grown last year, but i don't remember it at all. it's by the patio, closer to the house.

back to last year: besides building a new shed (that is still yet to be painted!), fish removed the superfluous red wooden gate, the five-million-ton faux water pump, and more random concrete squares.

once extricated from the ground, the water pump sat tossed to the side of the yard allllll winter long...forlorn. its concrete base was still firmly attached and it laid amidst the rest of the rubble fish was able to rip out of our yard.
why so much concrete???

about a month ago -- when he realized he had the proper tools to chip away the concrete base -- fish got to work, then dragged the bare metal pump to the curb. after sitting in our backyard for almost a year, it was snatched up by a passerby within the hour.

in its place sits one of two new cross-pollinating and quickly-growing cherry trees we (fish) planted! fish loooooooves cherries...but, we've been warned birds will probably get to them all first.

pretty cherry blossoms!

we (fish) planted the other cherry tree just in front of where the aforementioned giant pile of rubble used to sit.

after removing the rubble and dumping approximately seven hundred bags of topsoil on the resulting bare earth, we (fish) started a vegetable garden. the two 4ft square raised cedar bed kits are from home depot and were on sale for just $30 each. the kit ended up being easier and cheaper than buying the wood ourselves and making them. 
the side slats of the beds simply slide into grooves on the corner posts. they can be linked together in this way, but we chose to build the two separately so we could walk between them to weed and water without having to step in the beds and disturb any growing. :) the only tool-use involved is screwing the caps into pre-drilled holes on top of the posts. easy-peasy!

we started out with chives, tomatoes, parsley, and strawberries.

here is a side view of what the garden bed/cherry tree area looked like during home inspection. we thought there was a tree growing up between cement squares, but it turned out to be a very fast growing weed.

finally...a progression of our backyard over the year that we've been here. even though we (fish) have done a lot, i think the most noticeable changes are along the back fence. that's ALL fish, i did nothing back there.

i've noticed...even with all the improvements in the backyard, K and i almost always spend our days in the front. huh.

how about you?
do you spend a lot of time in your backyard?

is it an oasis? a work-in-progress?

any gardening tips for our veggies or flowers?

* mari

Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

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