Outside – Current

I don’t know if you noticed that I used the word “tomorrow” several times in Thursday’s post about the state of our yard before we planted a bunch of stuff. That was intentional, so I would guilt myself into not putting off the follow-up post. But then I started to edit pictures and got all excited to show you what the yard looks like now anyway, so a self-nudge was barely necessary! And then? Chrome and WordPress decided to have a massive fight, which resulted in the browser crashing every other time I tried to insert a picture for the post. I struggled about halfway through it, but my bestest was coming for the weekend to visit, so I put it off anyway. Better late than never?

Away we go!

Tim’s mom is a pretty talented landscaper and has a bunch of really lovely gardens at both the family home and the lake house, so Tim wanted to get her opinion on what would work well in different parts of our yard. We all headed to Oakland Nursery, where we worked with one of their employees to narrow down our options more and pick some awesome plants for us. Sandy graciously bought all of our plants at Oakland as a joint birthday present for Tim and me. Thanks again, Sandy!

Our car was super-full of plants on the way home from the nursery! This was without getting any compost or mulch. And we got a few more plants (like the mums) at the second nursery we visited that day.

Seriously, our car was stuffed. Also, our little Spectra5 has turned out to be a great partner in our home renovation. We can fit tons into it, even 8′ lumber. I rode home with a canvas-covered tree all up in my grill, but we were just glad we didn’t have to rent a truck or pay for delivery!

Tim surveys the pots of plants in our back yard.

First, a giant hole needs to be dug for our beautiful hawthorne tree.

Tree all planted! We threw down a tarp we wouldn’t have a pile of dirt hanging out on the sidewalk and in the grass. And that’s when we learned that dirt is SUPER HEAVY.

So on Sunday afternoon, we bought a wheelbarrow! Tim wheels the next few plants up to the front yard for planting!

We ended up with a total of three mums for the porch. This totally doesn’t count as a landscaping picture, because the mums aren’t permanent, but I loooove them.

Tim picked this lovely grass for the corner of the front bed. I love the tassels on the top!

We got a weeping white spruce tree for the corner where our porch meets our neighbor’s chain link fence. I am in love with the shape of the tree, plus the fact that it’ll have needles all throughout the winter. We planted two holly bushes along the fence as well. They’ll fill out nicely and block the chain link.

Holly, holly, spruce. I am so excited for how beautiful this area will be all winter. The glossy dark leaves, plus the red berries! I am glad we went this direction instead of shrubes that would lose their leaves and be all skeletal in the winter. Also, I’m not saying this was what swayed me on the holly bushes (the size is slightly bigger than we wanted here, but we can prune them back), but when the lady at the nursery got into using clippings in holiday decor, I admit my interest was piqued. I also can’t wait until that weeping spruce is bigger, you know I’m draping Christmas lights on it!

Here is our beautiful winter king hawthorn. It will get red berries in the autumn and keep them through the winter (unless birds clean them out, which the cats will enjoy watching from the window). In the spring, we can expect white flowers. Year-round interest!

A closer look at the hawthorn. The bark is lovely and smooth, kind of like a birch. Tim really liked the leaf-shape on this tree, too!

A closer look at the new grass in the corner. It should fill out and get a little taller, so it’ll anchor the corner nicely. It is cool to watch it move in the breeze, and the long blades have some brown at the base, so there’s some lovely color to it as well.

While I was at work last Monday, Tim tackled the back yard alone (we finished the front on Sunday). I came home to find that he’d been quite busy, having gotten still more plants from the nursery! He got two more of the grass plants to put along the garage wall and compost area.

Tim also picked up two more lilac bushes (we’d only planned on the one in the corner of the yard), to make the garage wall more interesting. I am super-excited to have beautiful lilac blooms to cut in the spring!

To make room for the lilacs, Tim moved the forsythia to the bottom of the stairs. Whenever we had extra dirt from digging holes for the plants, it got broken up and dumped in one of the uneven parts of the yard. To help keep the soil in place somewhat, Tim added some compost and sprinkled grass seed on all of the new dirt patches. We’ll be ripping up some of the yard for a walkway to the garage (and along the fence for gardening), but in the meantime, it’d be nice to have a yard that was slightly more even.

Another picture of the peach tree! Maybe this year it’ll bear fruit and we can keep the squirrels away!

Finally, in the narrow, wasted strip of grass between the patio and the fence, Tim planted several boxwoods (we originally bought 4, but he got two more on Monday). The wild patch of green between the deck and the patio is some mint that Tim’s mom helped us transplant when we moved. It is delicious and handy and gets REALLY unruly!

So that’s it! It was a massively productive weekend and we made more progress on the yard than ever before. Between new landscaping and the brick sidewalk, the look of our house from the outside has grown in leaps and bounds in just a single season! It was great to get another good project under our belts, since we won’t really be doing major work on the inside until after the holidays. (We’re hosting Christmas for my family, so we’re putting off anything major, rather than be battling plaster dust while getting ready for company.) Now we’ll get to enjoy some beautiful plants all winter long!

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4 comments on “Outside – Current

  1. Doug and Marty Huss says:

    I can’t wait to see it in person. We may just have to drive by next week between Dayton & Mohican State Park.

  2. chiclygreen says:

    It’s all gorgeous, but I especially love the King Hawthorne. It’s really stunning!

  3. Sandy B. says:

    Kate – Great description. You two are amazing. I knew the plants could not be in better hands! Hope you are enjoying the process.

  4. […] We slowed down a lot on building and redecorating because we had our minds on some other things, but looking back, I’m surprised at what we did actually accomplish this year. We put in a laundry room, added a TV to the kitchen, hired someone to re-lay our brick walk for us, and did some landscaping. […]

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