My backyard -- a work-in-progress

alison(6b/OH)June 27, 2012

Had a lovely weekend working in my back yard, and while it still needs tons of work, it's showing hints of the peaceful green retreat I dreamed of. Here's what I started with almost 3 years ago:

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alison(6b/OH)

(Not sure how to post multiple pictures in a post; bear with me)
Here's what I've got this weekend:

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 2:13PM
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alison(6b/OH)

Different view:

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 2:17PM
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alison(6b/OH)

For two summers my hosta flourished here, but for some reason this northeast corner has been exceptionally bright this year, and I had to remove my blue hostas. Still, what's left is doing fairly well.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 2:30PM
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alison(6b/OH)

A shadier stretch with heuchera and Christmas ferns and little mini hosta peeking out:

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 2:34PM
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alison(6b/OH)

This bed of Royal Standard hosta, Palace Purple heuchera and woodruff has been thinned twice already. When the hosta blooms it's pretty heady!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 2:39PM
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alison(6b/OH)

Still a lot to do; I want to put a water feature up against the neighbor's garage; I'm got some succulents rooting in brightly stained frames to hang like pictures on the fence; I've started some vines on the fence posts and am looking for a large plastic mirror to hang behind that -- a little touch of mystery with a faux window. I'd like to figure out a way to bring out the tender ferns for the summer. and I still need to bring the chairs for the patio table up out of the basement.

But it really is a wonderful space, despite it's size. My neighbor to the west has large trees in his shady, overgrown garden. And it seems that no matter how hot and still it is, there's always a bit of a breeze coming from that side. This is the only outside my cats have, and it's lovely to come out early in the morning with a cup of coffee and the newspaper.

Hard to believe it's less than 2 miles from the center of town, 200 yards to a major hospital -- and only 350 square feet!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 2:47PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

alison - it's very pretty - good work. But you have all those fences and walls naked! I see a whole mass of growing opportunities not being used. I can envisage clematis, climbing beans, jasmine, morning glories, roses ....... my garden is not much different in size and I can't see the walls for most of the year. You have a whole lot of vertical space still to expand in. And that lovely bannister post just crying out for a vine.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 12:14PM
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alison(6b/OH)

True! And that's where I'm going next. I've got vines started at the bases of all the posts, and this weekend began 2 large size sedum "pictures". It will take a few weeks for those to establish, but then they will hang on two of those fence 'walls'. (The outer frames are stained bright red and purple, so I think they'll be a nice focal point all year.

I have plans to put in two posts on either side of the large bed of royal standard hosta, with a bar running between them for hanging baskets or pots, to fill in that large blank brick wall.

The trick is to not make it feel closed in, or claustraphobic. (I get chokey easily!) I'm thinking of trying an espaliered tree on the neighbor's garage wall, something with some real impact, but that you can still see thru.

And still have room for the clothesline!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 2:28PM
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leira(6 MA)

So pretty!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 8:42AM
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amanda_m(z7 MD)

Your yard is delightful. I can imagine sitting there on a warm day with my beverage of choice, enjoying the various colors and textures.

One thing I would do if it were my garden is add some punches of color somewhere. In the second picture you posted I can see your cooler and some bright blue pots and the red plant support and a pink flower. Those little flashes of vivid color make the whole area more interesting. Now I realized that your cooler is not there all the time (probably) (smiling), but it points out that just a bit of color, like one amazing planter or pot, or splash of color painted on the wall can make the area more appealing.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:23AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

alison

Looks great. What about your roof. Looooots of wasted space, or do you have anything up there. Does 6b by chance refer to inner city Cincinnasti. Please don't let my wife see your yard or I have to answer up to her for my yard is still a mess. .

Here is a link that might be useful: https://plus.google.com/photos/111099372377958308731/albums/5864651368775846321?banner=pwa&authkey=CI763rvAj8eLAg

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:25PM
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alison(6b/OH)

Steven -- Awesome roof garden! What an incredible job. And I recognize the general area -- I grew up in Cincinnati, and lived in Mt. Auburn, Walnut Hills and Northside before moving to Columbus. That is really inspirational! I wish I could go for the roof, but it's a three story house -- and the roof is a long ways away. Still, that doesn't mean I can't grow up more....

Thanks for the kind words, amanda; I do love my little space. And I think you're right about a little more color. I had read in some article on small gardens that you should limit the color palette to two colors -- which was just too restrictive. I was going for green, cream and touches of dark purple, but you're right -- the "accidental" color like the cooler really pops -- which shows the need for more color.

Shortly after I took these pictures, I put in a few bright coleus, and I'll do that again this year. I had some success with cypress vine and hyacinth bean vine covering some of the bare expanse of wood. Alas, this is on the north side of the house and the sun in the pictures is about all it gets. So flora's suggestion of roses and jasmine unfortunately won't fly. (Even the Zephrine Drouhin and Gruss und Achen I tried there didn't do well. They hung on -- but only barely, and will be moving to the sunnier front of the house this summer.) I am on the look out for more shade tolerant vines. If I can get a bed going alongside my neighbor red garage, I'd love to have another sweet autumn clematis -- I had one at my old place that grew to the top of a two story apartment building!

Thanks for all the positive feedback -- the work in progress continues to progress!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:57PM
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elixir75(8A)

poncirusguy, what's the long vine growing down from the balcony?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 10:05AM
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jemsister(7)

Your yard is fantastic. I love it! Wish I could do more with mine, but it's a rental, and the landlords seem to want it to stay boring. XP Thinking of asking them again if they would mind a few minor adjustments. I really love all the greenery you have, Very peaceful.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 5:21PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Hi.

Those are green striped crawshaws on the west side. On the south side they are jubilee watermelon on the north side is a jubilee watermelon of about 10 lb and on the east side there are butternut squash. The west side has by far the longest which are green striped cushaws.
Here is what brought me to gaden web is my meiwa kumquat tree grown from seed.

click link below to se Meiwa 's complete portfolio

Here is a link that might be useful: https://plus.google.com/photos/111099372377958308731/albums/profile?banner=pwa

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:52PM
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amsonia2(7)

Beautiful yard. Can you post pictures of your progress this Summer? I have a very small house and my yard is also a work in progress. You can view what how I am progressing at www.trishbur.blogspot.com

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:41PM
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amsonia2(7)

Beautiful yard. Can you post pictures of your progress this Summer? I have a very small house and my yard is also a work in progress. You can view what how I am progressing at www.trishbur.blogspot.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Bloom where you're planted-urban gardening in Philly

This post was edited by amsonia2 on Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 0:02

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:43PM
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alison(6b/OH)

Will do! I've been focuing a lot on my front yard in the sun, and I'm moving things around in the back to accomodate my sudden, inexplicable addition to hostas -- but I'll post some pictures as I go.

I'd love to see what you're doing with your space, too!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 8:01PM
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NewGirlinNorCal(9b)

I love your bedding choices! Very elegant. I hope you can post a picture when the hostas bloom- I can't grow them where I am (snails, I need say no more) but your pictures sure make me wish I could!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 12:11PM
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alison(6b/OH)

Still chugging away! Had a big setback a few weeks ago -- I had to replace the sewer line from the house to the alley. I'm lucky; most homes this would be a 30-40 foot trench -- mine was only 12 feet long. Unfortunately... it was a big trench. and right thru the middle of the beds....

I had no idea they would dig up as much as they did; they popped two 8' sections of fence and brought in a backhoe, then dug up a trench 8' wide, but 12' long and 8' deep. And dragged the earth over a comparable size space.

I'd dug up some plants before they came, and rescued more just ahead of the backhoe. And they filled in the hole and compacted the dirt before they left. The real challenge is the soil they left. Unlike the carefully shifted and amended foot deep soil I built up fver the past 4 summers, I'm now dealing with clay and rocks -- worse than when I moved in!

But I'm making progress, and hope to have some updated shots soon!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 3:19PM
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SweetyEl

Hello everybody,

In July, I will be leaving my parents house to move in a new appartement. Fortunately, the appartement has a balcony facing south and it is on the first floor.

While living with my parents, I always get used to eat fresh vegetables directly from my garden.

Do you have any idea about how I could arrange my balcony to setup a small vegetable garden?

Is it possible? Which vegetables would you recommend?

Thank you in advance for your answers!

Best,

Eline

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:43PM
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arkansas_girl(5A)

OH dear lord Alison! That's traumatic! Good luck with restoring it back, it looked so cute before! :(

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:52PM
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amanda_m(z7 MD)

How did things work out later in 2014 with your garden after the earthworks?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2015 at 3:10PM
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