Saturday, July 13, 2013

Small Gardening Efforts

I’ve written before about feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to our yard. We’ve removed 2,500 pounds of ivy and countless loads of other plants like holly and blackberry...but I’ll be damned if those aren’t the three most tenacious species known to man. They simply refuse to stay dead.

So instead we’ve adopted a piecemeal approach to the yard, tackling small areas and devoting our resources to keeping those small areas ivy/holly/blackberry free.

Our first test patch was the area beneath the front deck that runs along the stairway.

When we bought the house in 2009 it was completely inhabited by a massive laurel bush/tree.

It required little watering but was pruning intensive and blocked the view from the dining room.

Judging by the historic photos of the house, it had been there a very long time:

But the view of the lake from the dining room was definitely worth fighting for so last summer Chris went to work with his chain saw. 

Here is what it looks like today (with crap phone photos - sorry):

Thanks to several consultations with my mom, we came up with a plan. The main plant is a dwarf Japanese maple - we didn’t want anything that would grow beyond 10 feet and block the view that we’d gone to so much effort to obtain.

The hostas (two types) were donated by our neighbor John and the grasses came from my parents. I love that fabulous big-leaf spiky thing. (Mom - what’s it called again?). It looks prehistoric.

That’s an evergreen camellia in back of the variegated hostas and that lovely bright green thing on the right is something... man I’ve got to write these names down. Eventually it should sprout upwards and outwards, hiding a bit more of the ugly cement foundation. The succulents and ground covers in front were slow to start but are having a fantastic bloom this summer. They’re fighting it out with the dandelions and it’s a vicious battle.

One of my favorites is the evergreen dwarf jasmine. Oh, it smells heavenly. And the fish are hand-painted by my god-siblings - I tell people that they’re the pacific northwest equivalent of garden gnomes.

Looking forward to another year of growth, particularly in the ground cover department. 

Baby steps. 



Next up: Our massive trenching project that tore up half our yard.