Landscape my Yard

This is my dream for my vegetable garden, behind my shed someday....
 Chris and I bought our home March 2010 when snow was covering the yard. That spring after the snow melted we found we were blessed with lots of weeds, a tree stump, wild bushes, and large flower beds to keep us busy. We were also blessed with pregnancy, therefore our yard grew pretty wild last year. This year I swore it would be different but with a 5 month old, I am finding that we are still way behind on our yard.

(Said house...in the fall of 2010 before we bought it...notice the front flower bed has been covered with mulch to hide the monster underneath)

Apart from all the manual labor required there is so much more to gardening then I anticipated. The major problem here is "know how." I simply have no idea what to do with my flower beds? How does one clean them up and prep them for planting? How do you keep weeds away? How can I do this cheaply?  I have googled a few different things and found a lot of mixed information. Therefore I am asking you smart people for some help. Here are the problem areas and the questions I have.
Driveway Bed, Problem # 1:

As you can see its a cute little bed but a huge mess. First of all those "landscaping bricks" if you call them that, are falling all about and don't seem to hold the bed together very well.

 So What shall I do here
  • Remove the bricks and build a new wall? Materials to use?
  • Leave them and go with it?
  • How should I maintain the area?
  • Suggestions of what to plant?
  • What should I do to keep the bushes alive/pruned/looking good?
  • Before I re-mulch should I lay landscaping paper? or newspaper? If so, do I lay it over the leaves and weeds as is, or clear away as much as possible first?
this is what the bed looks like after I pulled the Dandelions and raked away the leaves

This is what the bed looks like, with leaves and debris, and mulch on top. Do I keep it like this and just throw some more mulch on top? How do I keep the weeds at bay?

Weeds, mulch, messy brick, and some plant I don't know how to care for.

 Side of Garage, Problem # 2:
that stump not attached to the ground...I am sure its a home to many an ant or something like that.
This is where all the weeds in my yard got together and decided to breed. What would you do here? No one will really see it, but just knowing that it is a mess back there frightens me. I often stay up at night fretting about it. I have contemplated just spraying the entire area with RoundUp more than once. I really would like to keep the pesticide usage to a minimum. I thought it might be lovely just to grow like a butterfly garden of sorts back here or should I just get some gravel and pave it down. How should I prep the area either way? What are your thoughts?

 Back of House, Problem # 3:

This is the least of my problems but I could use some suggestions. First off, how do I get rid of these pretty but pesky little purple flowers from intruding on the bed. Second what should I do with this bed, what should I plant here? How should I maintain it?

notice our grass is desperately in need of help as well

you can't even see where the grass starts and the flower bed ends.

close up of those purple flowers
Shady Side of House, Problem # 4:

This area is in danger of becoming a marsh in the summer time. It can retain enough water in this area to make the grass lay flat, while also attracting slugs and the like. Currently it has some sort of little white bell like flower growing up, but it looks a little wild here. What should I do to this bed? How should I plant and maintain it?

Bushes, Shrubs and Wild Trees?, Problem # 5:

What in the world do people do along there fence lines? I mean its nice to have shrubs growing to provide a little bit of privacy but its a little crazy here. What do we do with this area?

I have many more spots requiring help, but these are a good start. I would appreciate any suggestions or words of advice. Also if your ever bored I am sure I can think of some way to keep you busy in my back yard.

I hope to have a vegetable garden some day, but before any of that can begin, we need to do some major clean up.

Thanks for looking.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Absolutely LOVE landscaping, not so much vegetable gardening. Some comments...
Get any soil from the compost site off Hanson Blvd. The compost soil makes for good planting soil and it's FREE for the taking. May need to be 'lightened' up a bit by mixing with your own soil (sandy?) or some peat moss.
Any areas requiring Round-Up for starting out fresh with rock or plantings...mow them and get some Round-Up on them now. In a couple of weeks the areas will be ready for rock or planting or whatever.
Not exactly powerful words of wisdom, but I just couldn't resist saying something. I LOVE this blog post and simply adore reading you speak - delightfully creative. Makes me really miss being there with you but helps me to 'feel' closer to you!! Love You!!!
Auntie Becky