Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blog Carnival - New Years Garden Resolution

I realize I am late with this entry but if no one sees it I will at least hold myself and my resolution accountable this year.

We have a long back yard and it is divided pretty much into three areas; backyard 1, 2 and 3. Back yard 1 is the one in need of lots of work. Presently it is overrun with forget- me- nots and dandelions in the grass, in fact, the grass is slowly disappearing due to their spread. I have not been adding many plants to this area as the beds need to be reworked, re-sized and rearranged (not in that order :). As well, two years ago we had the house stuccoed and despite the great work and a new clean look, cleaning up after a renovation is still necessary. I have had a plan in mind for quite a few years and I truly hope to make it a reality this summer.

This is the front corner of the house. The terrace has stairs that lead down the side towards the back. Some of the route to the back is gravel and some is grass. At the end of the house is a door with side windows. There are original stone steps down to the door. One small project is to link the stone stairs of the terrace with those of the steps to the back door. I would simply like to put in some flagstone to link these two areas. Then, the idea is to continue the new flagstone path to the back garden where we would put in a flagstone patio.

Side at steps to door. Rose of Sharon in flower.

This is the back of the house.
Here is where you will have to use your imagination.
This yard is surrounded by trees except for one open area that leads down to yard 2. Presently in this space is a concrete table and three benches that will be removed as they are disintegrating, and the remains of an old apricot tree that finally died last spring. We will have to do some regrading of this yard. And with the aggressive forget-me-nots which I will never forget, probably replace the topsoil.
I am considering growing either native hydrangeas or viburnums in front of the windows, in an arch, so that they will provide a backdrop to the new patio. I would like to add a small native tree to the right of the house and am thinking of a dogwood (hopefully the Anthracnose is not in the city).
I can not find any photos that show parts of this garden, however looking at the photo there are 3 rhododendron on the right sitting in front of a cedar hedge. Across from the house is a garden bed that needs to be enlarged and moved closer to the house as it backs onto a variety of trees that continue to grow into the bed. To the left of the house is a garden shed, another future project.  Across from the house and to the left is the opening to the rest of the back yard.

view to yard 2

Project number 2 starts here as I believe the next step is too large to take on as well. That step is to change the slope from yard 1 to yard 2 into stairs or terraced stairs down. The forsythia in front of the black walnut tree would be removed. New plants are needed especially on the right side to help control erosion. But that is for another time.  

Naturally if anyone has some ideas or any kind of input I would love to hear it. Winter is a great time to think about the garden.

Many thanks to My Little Garden in Japan for hosting the blog Carnival. Please visit the site to see what resolutions other gardeners around the world are making.


  1. Your ideas sound very feasible and ambitious. The stone work will be lovely and it is good design to connect the 'parts' of the garden. You sound to be on your way.

  2. I saw some garden photos that made terrace on slopes and grow flowers or vegetables and look so pretty. All the best with your garden project for 2011. Please join & share your expertise with us for "Seed Week".

  3. Patty your patio is beautiful and your idea to connect the front with the back sounds like a fine idea. You are so fortunate to have such a large, spacious yard! The exercise of writing down my projects was mostly to hold myself accountable too. Best of luck with your progress.

  4. Hello Patty !
    You have a lot of great plans for your gardens .. having them separated gives you a chance to try out a lot of different ideas and plants. I also have the need to connect my front and back garden along with the side .. random stone paths are what I would really like .. and to plant "steppables" around the stones getting rid of more grass!
    Yes .. I so want that arbor/gate to be sorted out and finally ot worry about the TILT factor !LOL
    Joy : )

  5. Sorry! I've been a bit self involved lately! I had a great evening catching up with your blog. I don't recognize the house. %-) Gorgeous. Very good luck with your plans. Busy and enjoyable summer I hope.

  6. You have a fairly clean slate with which to create your garden. The light color and the clean contemporary lines incline me to think of a slightly contemporary sort of garden. I am sure it will be a lot of work, but will be very rewarding when it is all done.

  7. I've enjoyed reading about all your great ideas! What a fun time you have in store for yourself... Larry

  8. Strange, where did my old comment went? anyways,..

    Love your little terrace. Keep us posted on those projects. And best luck for the starting year!