Saturday, May 3, 2014

Tour of our Back Yard

A few days ago, I began taking you on a tour of our yard, as of late April 2014.  I focused on the front yard, and it even took me a second post to get it all completed.   Now I'll show you around the back yard, and once again, it's going to take me a couple of posts just to get it all done, but I hope you enjoy it!

So here's the thing though - actually two things.  First, I started taking photos for this post about two weeks ago.  A lot has changed in the yard since then.  Not only have things begun to green up and grow bigger, but we've moved things around a bit, added some stuff, and generally made it impossible for this post to be accurate depiction of life in our yard as of today.  But my goal is to get you situated so you can join me in future posts without wondering what in the world is happening.  Consider it a baseline for the rest of the summer.   

Oh, and the second thing - these photos show a "yard in progress".  Much of the winter junk is still laying about.  The grass hasn't greened up yet.  There are weeds EVERYwhere.  And other general messy stuff happening.  but, there will never be a day when everything in the yard is perfect, so, this is as good as any.

OK, so, on with the tour!

So, when you pull in the driveway, and park beside the house, this is what the backyard looks like.  There are a couple of little planting beds here (one currently holds the trash cans and hose reel) which started out fairly barren when we moved in.  On the left there is a boxwood and a nandina, and on the right were some dahlias which may or may not make a return appearance this spring.   Other than that, things were pretty empty here.   I've started adding some plants, and will show more about that in a future post.  The fence has a nice gate, and there's a nice paver walkway into the back yard.

Walk up to the fence, stand on the corner of it, and this is the panoramic view of the back yard.   To the left, along the back of the house, there's a paver walk way that leads to a nice patio and screened porch.  The entire back yard is enclosed in the black metal fence.  Behind the property we have about 30' of trees.  On the left and the right side of the back yard, outside the fence, there are rows of large loropetalum shrubs that are deep red leaves with bright fuscia flowers in early spring.  The grass is Zeon Zoysia, and hasn't yet greened up for the summer, though it's working on it slowly but surely.

Looking along the back yard fence on the right side of the property.

and looking across the back of the house:

The photo below shows the flower bed along the back of the house.  The previous owners had six large clumps of hosta in there, and that's about it.  I've added a few things, and am thinking of putting a hedge of blue mop head hydrangeas across the back of the house. This bed is on the north side of the house, and NEVER gets any sun on it!  What is shown below is the extent of how much sun this bed ever gets!

The patio behind the left side of the house is large and has a great place for the gas grill to be hooked up. On the very left of this picture below, you can see in the shadows is one raised vegetable bed that the previous owners had.   It gets full sun in the afternoon. 

And this triangular shaped flower bed is the main focus of where I'm putting my gardening efforts so far this year.   Right now it looks like a big mulch bed, with a few tiny plants.  But I'm hoping to add interest here with perennials, focusing on those that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.   I also have bird feeders in this garden, and have been enjoying watching the different kinds of birds that visit the yard.

Standing beside the screened porch, by the fence on the left side of the house, this is what the left side of the back yard looks like.

And here's panoramic shot from a similar view point.

Here's another view of the patio, taken from the middle of the back yard.   The patio is really nice and large, but the screened porch is my main command post every day of the year, except the very coldest or the very hottest days.

This little garden is just off the patio, at the bottom of the stairs to the screened porch.   It has a bird feeding station (and accompanying messy birdseed all over the ground), and has a solar powered bird bath fountain.  The fountain was a gift from my friends in memory of my dad who passed away in March.   I love it and so do several birds who come to bathe and drink each day.

If you were to walk to the back fence on the left side of the yard, and look across the back of the yard, this is what  you'd see.  The trees are part of our property, but we haven't done much back there except mow to keep the sticker bushes down a little.

In the back right corner of the yard, we built a compost bin last fall.   It's quite messy right now, but we're working on getting this area cleaned up and not such an eye sore.  The white and black thing you see on the wood of the compost bin is a home weather station that my husband operates.  It has all sorts of weather-related measurements, including wind speed, UV radiation, rain fall, and of course temperature and barometric pressure.   Handy for knowing how much rain we've had and whether or not we need to water!

A recent adition to the yard (like, today!) was this bird feeder, which resides in the flower bed along the right side fence in the back yard.   This was a Christmas present from my husband last Christmas, and I'm excited to have it up in the yard now.

I think that's about all there is to show, at least in terms of getting the lay of the land.   In future posts, I'll share more specifics about plants I've put in, projects we've done, how the vegetable garden is coming along, etc.  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you'll visit again!

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