Landscaping is Fun!

Having never really had a yard of my own, I have never done any landscaping beyond setting up a container garden on my balcony.  One thing our Oregon house has is a backyard, and it needed a lot of attention.  Even though we’ve owned the house for a couple of years now, I didn’t want to do anything to the backyard because I figured it would all die while we were away.  This summer, however, Mick and I have been spending a lot of evenings sitting outside and staring at that ugly mudhole of a backyard was too depressing so I got to work.

garden_before_1
See?  Ugly!

I know very little about landscaping or gardening in general, so the first thing I did was a little research on the internet.  I found a landscape plan I liked and that I thought would work for our yard:

overhead_meditation

Of course I knew I wouldn’t do anything as complicated as all this, but there were elements of this garden that I used in my own design.  First, I decided that the left hand side of the yard would use (roughly) the same type of plants as shown in the left hand side of this picture.  For this I needed tall grass, a shrub, and some smaller grasses to use as groundcover/accents.  As these plants mature, of course, they will fill in the space better.

garden_after_1

The next element I decided to use was the water feature, although I planned on a simple garden ornament rather than a fountain.  Mick told me he’d really like a sundial, so I ordered one from yardenvy.com.

This is the space where I knew it would go:

garden_before_2

In the “model” garden, the garden ornament is surrounded mainly by groundcover.  I decided I wanted to include some tallish flowering plants around the base of the sundial, then fill in the rest with groundcover:

garden_after_2

Though it wasn’t part of my initial plan, I decided to add some containers to the middle of the garden.  They add balance and color to an area that would have otherwise been too plain:

garden_after_4

The final element of my landscape was a simple cedar garden bench:

garden_after_5

We also replaced the small bistro set we had with some more substantial (and comfortable) wicker chairs:

garden_after_6

I am really proud of the job I did on this landscape.  First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my life!  They don’t call it “yard work” for nothing, that’s for sure.  More importantly, however, I planned it carefully and there was almost no waste—which is not my usual M.O.  The only things I have left over are a little potting soil and a few groundcover plants.  If you don’t count the bench, sundial and new chairs, this landscape cost well under $100 and it really transformed the yard.  If you include the bench, sundial, and chairs, the price still came in under $400, which I don’t think is bad at all if you consider that we now have an outdoor space where Mick and I sit almost every evening to read, chat, and of course, drink wine.

Holly West

3 Comments

  1. Awwww…that looks awesome!! I want to sit out there and drink wine with you guys…

  2. Hey I love it! I can totally relate to the “hardest work I’ve ever done!” Good job!

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