The leaves are just starting to come out on our plants and bulbs are beginning to come up. I thought I would post some pictures from around the garden to show the current state it is in. Most of the plants in our garden are ornamental. The previous owners planted several of each type to run their flower business. We had about 10 hydrangeas and heavenly bamboos, several azaelas, fuchsias and honeysuckles and a large number of both male and female skimmias. They all require a lot of maintenance to keep them trimmed and looking nice which I am not so excited about. We have given away about 20 of the smaller ones, mostly in the front garden area and along the side of the house but as you can see in the pictures there are still many more left. I am hesitant to remove too many of them since we have a very healthy bee population I don’t want to disturb.
We have a relatively isolated front bed we will eventually turn into a vegetable garden. Currently there is some sort of tree, some white and purple butterfly bushes, some heavenly bamboo, some succulents that take over everything and several other low growing flowers. Last year we cleared a large section of it and installed a vegetable bed we inherited from our neighbor (free garden supplies are my favorite!). Our plans this year are to add another vegetable box next to the first one and to install a fence to help with pest management. Last year all of our starts except for tomatoes, beans and hot peppers were eaten. I am slightly discouraged by the holes I keep finding in the ground and when we turned the soil in our first garden bed. Please don’t make the same mistake as I did and let your children turn the bed by themselves..I found a large amount of our “good” soil squashed in with the “bad” stuff all around our garden bed. I may need to add more this year so it isn’t too shallow. We will be growing tomatoes, pumpkins, beans, peppers and carrots in these beds. I have also started sunflowers and watermelons but they will be planted in the ground.
I would also like to work on the South side of the house but we are experiencing some drainage issues there so they need to be resolved before we can start. I am torn between several ideas. I would love to add a greenhouse along this side, but we also need a play structure for the kids and somewhere to put chickens…my list is long and usable space is small since we are on a slope. As you can see the yard is a bit of a mess right now. We badly need to put down a weed barrier and mulch everything but time is a huge issue for us. I am also trying to do everything as frugally as possible and reuse materials whenever we can. We are having a tree removed asap and I am hoping they will be able to provide us with some wood chips to spread along the pathway to prevent further erosion.
My two gigantic hydrangea bushes in the front are beginning to leaf. I love these bushes. Last year they were covered in gigantic blue flower clusters. We had hydrangeas on the kitchen table for months. My daughter would carry them around the yard shaking them like pom poms and yelling at the top of her lungs. It was the best free entertainment for both her and us. She is hilarious. I can’t wait for this year when she teaches the baby how to shake the “ya yas”. He will love it. As you can see, this bed needs some TLC. I have trimmed two of the sword ferns, yanked out the opportunistic succulent starts and weeded, and weeded and weeded. It still is covered in weeds. I am going to mulch this bed for sure this year. On the street side is our asparagus and some herbs my husband planted. We will also be installing a fence at some point that will cut through this bed so it will need a little rearranging.
I also took some time today to check out our fruit trees and bushes. Our combination apple tree that we planted last year is beginning to leaf out. We recently planted an Asian pear and a pear combo that we got at Costco (our favorite place to shop) that look like in another week or so will begin to leaf. I was very pleased and a little worried that our Shortcake raspberry (planted last year) is spreading farther out than I thought it would. It is supposed to be small and compact, great for containers but I found several starts surrounding it. I may move it to a container to prevent further spreading since I also was gifted some large raspberry canes from a local Buy Nothing group member. I have no idea what variety they are but I know for sure they will spread so I placed them temporarily in the garden until I can make a box for them. Our blueberries are beginning to leaf and we are waiting to plant our third one until after I gift a white hydrangea left over from the previous owners.
Whew. I didn’t even get to the back yard today and already my list is super long. Happy gardening!