I was out in the garden taking pictures this morning, and it struck me how different things look compared to last year when we moved in to this home in Raleigh. Then, the grass was well cared for, but the mulched flowerbeds were mostly empty. We've been putting plants in and putting our mark on the yard for almost a year now, and things are looking much more like ours. Here are some fun "then and now" photo comparisons in a few key areas in the yard.
The front of the house looks pretty similar to the way it looked when we moved in. The main difference in this photo set is the removal of the loropetalum shrub that had been shaped into a Christmas tree shape. We put in three double pink Knock Out roses in that spot, and the dahlias that the prior owner had put in are doing great in front of the roses.
At the driveway area, the prior owner had put in a lot of dahlias, some blanket flowers and some annual coleus, but not much else. I've been filling in this area with monarda, lantana, daisies, yarrow, delphiniums, holly hocks in addition to the returning dahlias and blanket flowers. I still have a lot of room available in this bed, and am considering what I want to put here.
Along the back foundation of the house, the big hostas steal the show, then and now. I've put in five hydrangeas, and one ligustrum, along with a dozen or so impatiens. I also added some astilbe near the hose. This bed is coming along well, and I'm excited for the promise of the hydrangea hedge in future years backing the huge hostas.
This triangle-shaped flower bed near the back porch steps was fairly barren when we moved in... a couple of hostas were trying hard to live through the hot dry summer, but not much else was happening. This year, I've added some annual verbena, some penstemon, and I have a big volunteer sunflower that planted itself there under the bird feeders. I used to have a birdbath here, but the squirrels used it to jump onto the bird feeders, so I had to move it. I'm not thrilled with this bed, and I feel changes coming.
The view of the patio looks so different now, due to the many plantings we've put in. There are shrubs in front of the porch (which are hidden behind the railings in this photo), and lots of perennials have been put in across the way (which we'll see in a moment). I wish I had a big shade tree over behind the grill, as this patio becomes a virtual frying pan in the afternoon sun. I'm not sure if we'll put in a tree or not... still thinking on that one.
This flower bed has been the focus of my backyard efforts, and I'm pleased with how it's coming along. The daisies are so happy in this spot, and the birdbath looks nice nestled into the lamb's ears and annual vinca. The other plants in here are doing well, considering they're only a few months old. I anticipate that next year things will be even better. I'm pleased that the weeping cherry recovered from its drought that it suffered last year before we moved in. We're hoping to help it revive even more.
Another view of the patio shows how things are looking pretty and becoming a true garden, instead of barren mulch areas. There is still so much to do - so many areas to add plants, things to weed, changes to be made. But one little step at a time we're turning this home into "our" home.
Thanks for visiting with me today. I'd love it if you left a comment to say hello!
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