Flower Beds – Fill ‘er up

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I happen to love a wandering flowerbed.  That feeling that it almost “just happened” that way.  Like if you go around a bend you might find a secret garden or something.  Now my yard is clearly not big enough to have any of that but that’s what a wandering pathway or flowerbed puts me in mind of.  Sure it makes it harder for mowing and for putting in your edging but it’s worth it in the end 🙂

At first I just made my shape, pulled out all the sod and weeds and rocks and planted a couple perennials because I wasn’t positive what I wanted to do with the patio yet.  20150522_094724

Everything was so tiny that I used some pots and urns to create a little visual interest and height variation the first season and added some red mulch.  Mulch always makes everything look better!

It wasn’t long before I didn’t have a crisp edge anymore and I had grass creeping back into my flowerbed.  I knew I was going to have to put in some edging – I had planned to all along.  I just didn’t know exactly WHAT sort of edging I wanted to put in.  My favorite is brick.  I have a thing for bricks.  I envision a beautiful herringbone brick border along this winding flowerbed someday…..or at least a lovely wide brick border…..at that moment I had to just get something in and so I dug a trench to get the bricks the correct height for my lawn mower, laid them in there and stood on them to pack them down a little.  I know, really a pro job!  It was temporary…..3 years ago lol.

2015-03-03Need a little reminder of the improvement a little sweat equity and mulch can make?

Fast forward a little and we are at the present.  I still plan to widen my brick border and re-level it since it has settled in places and not in others making it a wee bit “wonky”.  I’m filling in the perennials a little each year and have gotten a much better idea of what I want to do with this front patio.  SO many plans!  I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag on everything but suffice it so say there may be a bit more of a set entrance as well as a water feature!  Can you picture it?  I sure can….

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This patio and front flowerbed is shaded by the house for most of the day with its sun being a few hours first thing in the morning.  Clearly I need a few more peonies and hydrangeas – am I right?

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Oh!  And a new load of red mulch!

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Fire Pits and Flower Beds – A clean slate

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When I first moved in to this house it was the middle of winter so I didn’t get much of a feel for the yard until several months later.  Let’s just say there wasn’t a whole lot of love lost on the yard for me!  Clearly curb appeal and flowers were not top priority up to this point.  At least the entire back yard was fenced with tall, white, vinyl fencing so there was an awesome area for the kids to play where I didn’t have to worry about them on the street.

In order to make things better, you sometimes have to start by almost making it worse, am I right?

I pulled out the wild rose bushes that had taken over the back of the house, even covering some of the windows and patio doors, pulled out all sorts of dead plants and trees around the property front and back.  Basically started from scratch!

Do you love it yet?  🙂 Yes, the house was green back then!  I love the white fenced yard though, if you can’t be out in the country!

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Lots of sore muscles and a huge pile of brush and dead plants later……we were ready to start fresh!

One thing we decided to do, which is still a work in progress, was to make the area by the sliding glass doors into a patio/entertaining area.  We chose to take out all the sprinklers in that area (BIG job) and will be putting in patio stone instead of the grass.  We still haven’t gotten to that point yet, as you will see from the pictures.  In this area we decided to put in a fire pit so we could enjoy cool evenings outside with the kiddos, campfires, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows etc.

I started by shaping the fire pit where I wanted it using some leftover concrete blocks we took out of the front beside the driveway.  We marked the space to dig and then the MR started digging.  (I had to take pictures, you know 😉 )  After we had the hole as deep as we wanted it, we put the blocks back in place around the edge.  I can’t tell you how often we have used this fire pit already!  The kids LOVE having fires out here and so do we.

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Hey at least you can get in the patio doors and see the windows without being attacked by thorns!

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