a little love by the mailbox

I’ve been spending 90% of my outdoor time in the backyard and garden, which is great cause it looks so good!!  Yep, I’m gonna brag, cause I think it looks awesome, and there’s so much more I still want to do! 😉   I love yard work.  Is that weird?  I wish I could show you pictures of Greg’s yard 1 year ago so you could see the comparison.  I kid you not, the backyard was a complete JUNGLE!  Seriously, you couldn’t step more than 4 feet off the back steps because it was so overgrown with dead trees and bushes, weeds as tall as I am!  You’ve seen garden pics, but even that is still a work in progress. I haven’t even planted my watermelon and cantaloup plants. They are going on the other side, which has been cleared out and prepped, but I haven’t gotten around to planting.

The past 2 days I’ve been out in the yard.  Surprisingly, I’ve woken up at 8 and 830 am ready to start my day (yep, meaning I woke up BEFORE my alarms went off.  That’s monumental, my friends). So I’ve gotten in 2 FULL days of yardwork.  I’ve pulled weeds, finished clearing out the “melon” side of the garden, raked up tons of sticks, trimmed up some bushes and trees along the fence-line, and then I decided it was time for the front yard to get some love.  I mean, that’s the part everyone else sees, right?  Remember our ivy covered mailbox area? 

This picture was taken AFTER we had already cleared out all the ivy off the ground.  See how thick the ivy is on the back fence wall?  It was just as thick all over the ground.  The ivy was taking over!!  And it still is taking over…here’s a picture from behind that fence wall…

Again, this is after being chopped and cleared out so that the ivy only remains on the fence.  That whole dirt area was covered in ivy.  And it still is, sorta.  Ivy vines are a mess. They go deep into the dirt and are a pain in the butt to pull up.  That’s part of what I worked on Friday, and why my back was feeling it all day Saturday :/

But, the results are so much better! 🙂  I really wanted to plant a bunch of zinnias (the flowers I used in our wedding), and make this area sort of a wildflower area.  Like this…

But zinnias require lots of sun, as do most the flowering plants I like.  The problem with this area is after about 11am, it’s full shade.  So I headed out to Lowe’s to talk to a plant expert about what would work best in the shade.  He lead me to some little bushes, and although they are little now they will grow as big as 5 feet tall and wide.  We will have to trim them to keep them from getting that big, but they will fill the space nicely with their yellow flowering tips.  They are called “Sweet Broom” shrubs and they are the 3 plants you see in the bed below.  (oh, and after I took this picture I thinned out the ivy on the back fence wall. So it looks a little more like the left wall now)

 And when they are full grown, they will look more like this…

And all around the curved border I planted some hosta root bulbs.  I love hostas.  I think they look so pretty with their big green leaves.  So these will sprout up inside the border in front of the yellow shrubs.

Hopefully in a few weeks or sometime this summer they will all grow in nicely and I’ll come back and show you the results 🙂