Friday, June 19, 2015

The Garden... Finally!

After a ridiculous amount of sweat and hard work, I have to say the back perennial garden is essentially DONE (for this year, that is).  Of course, that is, unless I happen to come into some free plants, cause then I really couldn't NOT plant them! 

Let me give you a little back story:

This little garden of mine came about 3 years ago, when I decided to finally start adding a little life to our (at the time...) backyard.  And so I decided to pick up 4 5' tall Cedars to plant along the back fence for some interest.  At the time, the only other thing in the "yard", was sod.  It was a sad little space.

(this planting in-progress shot is somehow, the only one I seem to have)
I then decided that it looked a little weird to have these floating cedars and really wanted a divider of sorts and decided I was going to put in a stone retaining wall of sorts.... if I were to do it all again, I would have done my job differently and made a slew of changes, so I will NOT be giving any sort of tutorial on this.  I mean, it turned out okay and looks not bad, so I'm not about to rip it out anytime soon, but just know that taking shortcuts, isn't the best way to do most tasks....
But I started it in 2013, then went thru a HUGE life change, took a little hiatus and finished this bad boy up last year. 
In addition to those cedars, I added black mulch and a few plants here and there.

One of my cedars didn't do so well after that first winter and slowly started to die.

I was a little worried about the one next to it, but I hung on to both, hoping they might come around...

Which takes us to this year:
While the 3 others flourished, that sad little boy on the end, was DOA!  So I dug that sad puppy out and replaced it.  Unfortunately, the new guy is the same size as the old ones when they were first planted, so he has some catching up to do.
It's actually already filled out since this photo was taken a few weeks ago.
My biggest goal this year was adding in a ton more perennials to really fill this space out.  I ventured out of my comfort zone of pretty, colorful flowers and even embraced non-flowering shrubbery which was scary for me.
A few of this year's additions were:  Lilacs, dogwood, peonies, irises (a transplant last year from my mom), hyacinths (bulbs I planted in the fall), cotoneaster, and something like a firebush whose name I can't recall...

My favorite decorative addition this year was this old Ikea mirror on the back fence.    It's missing a little mirror on one of the arms so I got it for free from an old showhome sale. While it's not the right style for my house, it's PERFECT out here!! 

Here we are a couple weeks later:

As you can see, things are definitely growing and I think Irises have become my new fave!  Look at that gorgeous purple color just taking over the centre portion of the garden!

I added some stakes so the dropping blooms wouldn't crush everything underneath!  I am definitely going to be asking mom for a few more of these to fill in some of the blank spots!
I may have overdone it in this area and will most likely transplant some of these shrubs to different spots once they start filling out.  I did manage to get one beautiful peony though..... sadly it is long gone though.  It's my first year though so I wasn't expecting much from it. 
The next thing to bloom in this garden will most likely be these lilies.  I planted several plants last year, and they have DOUBLED in size in all sections and have a crazy amount of buds, which I am definitely looking forward to.  They are one of my faves and will bring a nice burst of color to the garden once the irises have come and gone. 
One of my goals was to try and pick items that would bloom throughout the season, so that there was always something starting as others were fading.  However, I am a lazy gardener in that I have no patience for choosing plants that growing in optimal conditions or work well together, or even look at the growing times... I just choose plants that I like and that I think will be pretty to look at.  Thankfully, it has worked out so far!

My "spilled pot" roses are coming back, but hadn't quite greened up yet.  Thankfully I added another shrub of very similar ones next to it, so once they are both going, I hope this arrangement will look stunning!  It was super pretty last year.

The roses were memorial flowers I planted last year in honor of my Mischu who passed.   I also happened to pick one up for Greyson who was still living (at the time).  He passed in November and I am happy to say that both bushes made it through the winter and are slowly starting to get buds so I am excited to see them bloom.  I found these sweet little plaques in honor of each boy and they are holding place next to each boy's rose bush.

Look at the color combo here with the purple, the red and the chartreuse!  LOVE!

It's no surprise that I love birdies, so the garden is full of sweeties like this cute boy!

While it is hard to get a full shot of the space, it is slowly coming together and I love heading out the to backyard each night to see what's blooming and doing my daily weeding.    it's by no means complete, but I have definitely got a nice base of plants here now and can't wait to see how it grows!

Now, I've just got to tackle those darn dog spots in the grass..
How's your garden doing?  I love seeing spaces and getting tips! Feel free to share!


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