Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Walk Through the Yard

So I have to be honest here. Whenever I think about our yard, my brain sweeps through a rampant series of emotions. On one hand (which seems to have holes in it because it's not as full as the other hand...) I love our yard because it's big and that's what I always wanted...a big, huge, quiet, me-only yard. And I've got that, which is cool. But on the other hand (the heavy hand) I'm practically holding a fistful of scorpions over how ugly it is. While it has come a long way since last year, I am still having a hard time loving it because there are many things that I dislike greatly. Damn you Martha, you did this to me! (I still love you...)

But, I will get over my issues as years go by, as landscaping not only takes time and sweat but also patience and money. Luckily I have the time and sweat part down (although it is hard to keep a grip on it since I rank kind of high in terms of procrastination) and now I'll wait for that second part to come through. :-)

In the meantime, I'll pretend that everything's pretty and show you some photos. Oh- one more thing. I went to Best Buy today to buy a new camera after reading lots of great reviews. I got there and saw how chintzy the thing looked (it looked like a toy!) and had to step away. Damn. So you get the 5 megapixel photo shoot for now. :)

The deck needs to be repainted, but for now I'll admire my pretty Clematis. I stapled a few sticks to the deck as a quick fix till next year when I get a trellis.


Soon I will be growing herbs in these pots. I haven't decided on what, but there will definitely be basil and cilantro. 

The pots above are set within the rock area that I recently cleaned up, and I took this photo a couple weeks ago after the lilacs drifted away from the bush. I'm actually pretty happy with the way it turned out because it was such a clusterfuck before and I didn't see it as being even half decent any time soon. I spent a few hours ripping out the gangly ground cover and repositioned/straightened the retaining rocks and am mostly happy with it, although here you can only see the steps.

You might remember this photo from the winter:
Anyway, for some reason I kept that weird metal country-chic heart sculpture that came with the house, and I'm glad I did. With the help of some hacksaw action (I cut the top half of the heart off) and an old metal barrel ring, I made a trellis for the clematis in the yard, which has yet to bloom:
I picked this bird feeder up at Marshal's last month after I had gotten a similar one for the front yard. I'm pretty stoked about it, I think it was like $9 or something.
My brother, Kevin, was nice enough to come up from Illinois a couple days early & help us prepare for our Memorial Day Weekend guests. I'm SO glad he did! He and Joe spent 7 hours (seven. hours.) splitting wood from a huge tree that Joe and my parents cut down the weekend before. While they did that, I spent 7 hours weeding and spreading mulch, which was nothing compared to this:
By Sunday, we got it stacked up between the pines that divide our yard from our neighbor's. We have 2 more trees to cut down and will continue the fence sometime in the fall. Oh and PS- I thought this would be more subtle than a privacy fence, but just as effective, so that's why it ended up there. Plus it's only about 100 feet from our fire pit. And PPS- the hosta garden needs some serious don't look at it too closely. :)
If you continue past the stack of wood, you'll come up to some really old monkey bars that have grape vines growing on them. They have seeds but I like them because they are sour and I LOVE sour! This spring, we planted 2 apple trees, although you can only see one in the photo. We are in the process of turning this area into an orchard of apples, pears, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Don't ask what we're going to do with all of that, because I have NO IDEA! Although, I am a huge fan of jam so I think I'll be doing a lot of canning (and gifting).
A little further along is a row of lilac bushes that are in need of some care, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I have my Craigslist-score rattan pod chair out there, and behind it you can see some huge ass limbs that were cut down from a sad tree last weekend. I plan on chainsawing them within the next few days (I like to cut things if you haven't figured that out yet) and also clean up this general area. The fence is dumb, I know, but I am working on it...
Another item that came with the house was this bird feeder. I think am sure I rolled my eyes at it since I was not a liker of cats at the time, but now I think it's sweet and endearing. AND it's carved out of wood, which is super cool. To be honest, I never fill it with seed, mainly because I forget it exists most of the time.
So that's the quick and dirty yard tour. I can't wait to show bigger areas at a time once I get things the way I want them. Eventually there will be paths and sculptures and cool ornamental trees that weave their way throughout the yard. 

I must say, I'm much happier after looking at these photos all lined up than I was when I first started this post. There are a lot of things in my yard that make me smile, but most of the time when I'm out there I just feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I know I can conquer that feeling with some work, and this post definitely helps me see the things I can focus on and enjoy the next time I'm outside. 

Oh, and I just found this Madison garden blog and can't wait to read it! (Oh, and for those of you who aren't in the know, we're having some major issues with our Governor, in case you clicked on that link and saw this post which happens to be at the top of the page right now. :)

Alllllrriiiiight I just talked a lot more than I typically like to so off I go!


Valerie said...

Erin, your yard and garden look great! I love the wood pile wall ... great way to divide the yards.
And the cat is so cute. Almost folk art, right?

kate said...

Your yard looks fantastic! Jeez, I have a fraction of the yard you have, and we're in our sixth year of owning this house and yet we're waaaaaaaay behind you.