Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gardening baby steps

We have lived in this home for almost 7 years. It came with a beautiful front yard with nice grass, 2 small trees and a very nice flower bed with 2 rose bushes, a big Rose of Sharon, several hosta, pink dianthas and 2 other fill in bushes.
The previous owners had 2 very active dogs so they never finished the back yard and neither have we. But I am starting to get the gardening bug and I want to make a backyard a nice place.
I've been reading lots of gardening how-tos and advice, mostly from Manuela at the Pleasures of Homemaking. And I decided to just get busy, use what I have and do something in the backyard.
I found a shovel and gloves and starting digging in 2 different spots.
For plants, I dug up a big hosta from the front that gets too much sun there and is always burned so bad when the weather gets hot. It was big enough to divide into 6 nice size plants.
Jeff started 2 bushes from volunteers that sprouted up from the Rose of Sharon. And I bought a flat of red and white vincas.

This bed is by the bay window. I would like to extend it to the right to the corner of the house.
Theo seems to approve anyway.

This bed is in one of corners of the yard.

The previous owners built this pergola but we have never added anything to it. I think it mostly needs a concrete patio under it and hopefully that will happen next spring. And it need some flowering vines growing up it too.
I don't have a lot of extra funds right now but I think by next summer, we can do some thing more than just a couple of hand dug flower beds.

So, if this was your yard, what would you do?


  1. I have no helpful suggestions, as I am trying to nurture my green thumb; currently it is restricted to simply admiring plants and other people's handy work and creativity.

    I do love the look of your backyard though! It has a lot of potential. I can't wait to see what you do with it! :) And, of course, I can't help but smile at your sweet gardening assistant - who poses much better for photos than my pups, too. :)

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Hi Rhonda,

    Your yard is pretty. I would put a brick patio under the pergola. It's much prettier and won't crack like concrete does. It's an easy, DIY project, too. My husband made one for me in our last house, and he doesn't consider himself handy in the least.

    A nice bistro set would look great on the brick patio, with a few hanging pots. :-)


  3. Good start - will think about what else you can do. Love, Mom

  4. I am glad to see you are starting to enjoy gardening Rhonda. I love to garden and it is a national pastime in Holland. No matter what size garden a person has here, it is full of plants. I love seeing lots of plants growing.

    How about trying gravel instead of concrete under the pergola? It gives a country feeling and is easy to do. A climber of some kind would look great on each corner. Most important is to have fun trying things out.

    Hugs ~

  5. I would do either a brick patio or some kind of paver. And something climbing on each corner. Your yard and your home are very pretty.

  6. Good start on your back yard Rhonda! With your flare for decorating, I am sure your yard will be beautiful. I think wysteria would be pretty on your pergola.

  7. You have a very nice home! It's always a work in progress though as we have found out even after being here almost 12 years.

  8. I, too, have a pergola covering our slab in the backyard. What I wouldn't give for a covered patio, maybe someday. My comment is about vine plantings, which mine had when we moved in last year.
    I have a carolina jessamine growing up one of the posts closest to the house. Since it is not a terribly aggressive vine, that's the perfect spot for it. The beautiful yellow spring blooms don't last too long, but the vine is evergreen and grows well in the Tulsa area. Two of the other posts have our native trumpet vine growing up them. Pros: wonderful gnarled mature vines up the sides, beautiful orange flowers that are a hummingbird's delight, and it's an easy-to-grow shade provider. Cons: aggressive climber and some might consider the seed pods a nuisance. I cut my trumpet vine back hard in early March and it's blooming like crazy now. I will have to do this every year to keep it in check.
    I also have a wisteria trained as a standard against our privacy fence. Beautiful, yes, but so much work! Oh, and wisteria is poisonous to animals, so you couldn't leave any clippings on the ground with Theo around.
    I love gardening but am not into "dumb maintanance" like constantly pruning vines and hedging boxwoods. I would recommend the carolina jessamine and a coral honeysuckle (NOT Japanese honeysuckle!).

  9. Hi Rhonda, this is my first time here I love you interesting blog. I was thinking I would grow grapes on that pergola, it would be so nice, and Yummy too!


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