So onto today, I have the long story of our side yard and how fast shrubs grow...
You can see in the first picture (which was taken the first time we drove by the house July 2008) the left side of the house doesn't have the fence. In the second pic you can see the addition.
We knew that the area wasn't big enough for grass, plants, and a purpose and since it wasn't covered I didn't want to waste the space with a table sitting in the hot sun. After looking out the kitchen window at ugliness for too long Eric cleared out all the weeds and we came up with a plan.
We wanted to have landscape around the perimeter and gravel in the middle with chairs and a fire pit. Eric put down the black lining to keep annoying weeds out of the gravel. We had some flagstone left over from our front walkway so he broke them up and used as a border,cementing the stones into place. We do wish we raised the flagstone a bit because it would be easier to sweep the pine straw off of it.
We filled it in with gravel instead of water-should have made it a little pool. We finally found gravel that I was happy with at Lowes. We learned if you buy the bags with a rip they are half off and still usually full of gravel since they place them in clear garbage bags. Score!
For the shrubs we kept it simple and used Niko hydrangeas, loropetalum, gardenias and double knockout roses. I really wanted to have some green out there even during the winter enter loropetalum & gardenia.
Ok sorry about that ridiculous picture which was taken as a joke but it is the only one we have of the plants right when they were planted. Last summer it was so hot and dry we had to cut back the hydrangeas to save them, but they all came back this year. Eric did end up irrigating the area which is great because we haven't lost any plants this summer. He just used a simple irrigation system bought at Lowes.
What a difference a year makes! Look how big our plants have grown. This was taken before we cut the knockout roses down to half the plant, they were taking over! The hydrangeas are getting too big for the space so they will be transplanted to the back yard.
We have since added day lilies, native grasses, cone flowers, lavender and some blackeyed suzies. I have an OBSESSION with clearance perennials at Lowes. Seriously it make me happier than anything in the summer when I see cone flowers for $1 so that is when we buy our perennials.
I stained our adirondak chairs with outdoor stain and love the way they look, although they did get a little banged up during a hail store. I love to sit in the chairs and read.
We were originally going to take down the chain link fence between the side/deck and main backyard. Once we moved in and spent time in the backyard we liked the barrier and being able to close it off to Claire.
While functional, the chain link fence was ugly and in bad shape. Much to Eric's dismay he and my dad took down the chain link and put up the picket fence. I wasn't aware of some issues with a gate and the wood fence so long story short we no longer have the gates to shut Claire out. That sort of defeaters the purpose of a fence but the landscaping was already set so we had to have some sort of border. And it looks so much better than the beat up chainlink.Forget the gates, what we really need is a fence around my little garden. Claire likes to help herself to the veggies, squash is her favorite.
Unfortunately it is very hot during the summer and the skeeters are rampant so we don't get to use the space very much. Come fall we will use the space more.
We are almost finished with the backyard, we just have the shrubs in the back non-sodded part of the yard. Eric planted 20 hydrangeas! & 3 dogwood trees this week in the back part but hopefully by fall he will spec the rest of the shrubs and our backyard will be complete.
Hope you all have a great weekend! Football practice starts next week so it is pretty much