Monday, May 16, 2011

Our House, In The Middle Of Our Street

I'm constantly taking pictures of plants in the yard, but I never think to take pictures of the actual outside of the house.  When we pulled up yesterday from our road trip, everything blooming looked so pretty.  So once the car was unloaded, I headed out to the sidewalk with the camera.

When I first moved in, the front yard was your typical, nothin' but lawn, yard.  There was a giant magnolia that had been massacred in the pruning department for years, so it was a horrible shape.  Plus it was a horrid mess when the flowers dropped.  The grass sloped toward the sidewalk, so watering it was pointless.  The water just ran off onto the concrete.  I hated it.  So one spring about 7 or 8 years ago, I covered the entire thing with newspaper and buried everything in compost.  And started planting.

A year or so later, we put in a fence using recycled fence boards from a fence we tore out and replaced in my mom's backyard.  Then we raised the area outside of the fence about a foot with rock from the Rock Farm.

Eventually, the Magnolia came down and was replaced with a flowering cherry called Mt. Fuji.

Over the years, things have been planted, torn out, and rearranged and I always have the list of to-do's in my head that I'd like to still do out there.

So without further rambling ado, I present to you, the front of our house.  Well, the parts you can see through the jungle anyway.  
(As with all of my posts, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.)

You can see the snowball viburnum I talked about the other day.

Here it is a little closer.

From this angle, it looks like I need to get out my super human stretchy arms and go after those crazy branches on the flowering cherry.

Here's a closer look at the area outside of the fence where we put the rock.

Last year (or was it two years ago?), I again got a wild hair and ripped out all the lawn in the parking strip.  Best day of my life.  Okay,  maybe not the best, but I was really happy to finally see it go.  

I haven't completely decided what I'm going to do there, but here it is now.

It's a huge space, but I know me and me won't go down there to water, so me needs plants that like heat and neglect.  So far, I've put in some perennial grasses, a snowberry, crocosmia, veronica, and an artichoke.  All have gladly accepted my lack of love.

Back up inside the fence, the love is given freely.  A couple years ago, my mom gave me a start of a Beauty Bush (weigela) from her yard that I stuck in out there.  It's just now starting to bloom.  It's an amazing sight when the whole thing is covered in flowers.

Two of the rhodies that were here when I bought the house are just starting to bloom as well.

And an iris I put in a few years ago that's never done much has decided to bloom.

We tore the old double concrete sink out of our laundry room last year and replaced it with a smaller one to gain some extra inches.  I, who cannot get rid of anything, in combination with wanting to put a plant in everything, put the old one next to the porch.  Yes, I know you just had visions of planted toilets, but I promise it's not that bad.  I painted it black and used it as a mini veggie garden last year.  This year, I have sweet peas coming in it to climb on my side-of-the-road window turned trellis.  I also have two hot peppers planted for The Dad.  I'll fill in with some other veggies as the month progresses.

Several years ago, we moved our back fence forward toward the front yard more.  The neighbor is a contractor and does a lot of work during the day in the driveway next door, so we were attempting to block the construction view from our living room, in addition to the noise, a little more.  He had a piece of wrought iron from a tear out and asked if we wanted it.  Um, yes!  He welded hinges on it for us and we hung it as a gate into the backyard on the new section of fence.

Before I go, remember the palm tree I talked about here the other day?  I got a better picture of it and the creepy buds grew even more while we were gone over the weekend.

I can't imagine what sort of insect or critter those ugly things are supposed to attract.

Oh, okay, I suppose since we're in the backyard now, I can show you ONE more plant.  If you insist.  Buwahahahahaha. 
Before we left, my perennial bachelor button had buds.  Now it's blooming.

"I'm not really a career person. I'm a gardener, basically." -- George Harrison


  1. I'm late getting to this post, but I'm glad I got here. I love that you thought to have the fence back a bit and put the rock garden in front. That was brilliant. And everything is so much nicer than lawn and an old magnolia tree.

  2. I loved seeing what you did with your front strip and I love the idea of a fence set back a bit with plantings in front. Popped over to your blog from the Tuesday Garden Party....will be back to read more. :)


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