Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tackling a Problem Area

In a previous post I mentioned how I have a few problem areas I want to tackle (January post called “Problem Areas to Tackle in 2012”). The main problem area for a long time has been the overgrown area next to the screened-in back porch. There used to be a big tree there and after part of it fell on the house and we had to have the rest removed, the stuff that was growing under it went crazy. Mainly lots of ivy and honeysuckle, but lots of other stuff including poison ivy resided there. I had tried to clear out part of it two or three times over the past few years and it just kept coming back. The area takes up almost half of our back yard. I finally came to the conclusion that I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed help. Help in the form of big strong men, with perhaps some chemicals (which I hated to use). So I hired a landscaper to clear this area out. What a difference. I feel like I gained half my yard back. (Ha! Nice shot of the crappy built-in grill that came with the house!)

Overgrown area cleared out.
Overgrown area cleared out – as seen from the back of the yard looking towards the house.

(Was I drunk when I took that picture???? It’s all crooked and blurry. Sorry about that.) As you may notice, I decided to keep a few things — the wisteria tree (that looks GORGEOUS every spring), some hostas (which to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of, but they fill in shady areas), and a tall grass.

I have been working on some plans and started to lay out my stone edging. I have to finish setting it out and then dig it in so it’s sideways like the edging around the flower garden. About half of these stones were buried under the overgrown mess. The other half I got from Leonberg Nursery. The garden bed will be to the right of the stones and I’ll put grass seed down in the area to the left of the stones. We have talked about wanting to put a patio in here sometime, but that will have to happen sometime in the future.

Starting to lay out the stone edging.

I planted a couple of shrubs that should grow to hide the neighbors eventually. I planted a skip laurel and a summer wine ninebark. I have always wanted a summer wine ninebark. I love the color of the foliage and its weeping branches.

Skip Laurel and Summer Wine Ninebark.

Unfortunately, you can now see how bad the fence looks on this side of the yard. By the way this fence is facing you would think it was our fence, but it’s not, it belongs to the neighbor on the left side of us. Sigh... I seem to have no control over fences.

I am looking forward to working on this side of the yard. I am planning for it to be not as attention-needy as the flower garden on the other side — mainly shrubs with a few perennials. Nothing that needs a tremendous amount of care because I already have that!  It takes time, energy, and money to do all this, though. We’ll see how long it takes for it all to come together. I’m sure it will be a work in progress for a long time. Just like my flower garden still is.

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