Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Spring Make-Over of the Backyard

I drive my husband nuts because I am always changing up things around the house.  He's a traditional kind of guy who likes things to remain as they are (saves having to take time to adjust and definitely saves money).

We moved into our little townhouse with our little backyard  (our previous house in the mountains was 7/10 of an acre) last June.  Here are the "before" pictures:

The front yard needed work, too.

But June and July were hotter than you know what.  And we were busy traveling for 2 to 3 weeks as soon as we moved in. I let the landscaping lie after several attempts at planting new stuff resulted in shriveled up plants.

But this Spring, all has changed.  The warm sun came early.  The lilacs bloomed with wonderful profuse and fragrant flowers.  The hummingbirds came early. The lines at the garden shop at Lowe's were a mile long.  I was thoroughly motivated last weekend (probably because my Italian final exam was Monday and I didn't want to think about that).

First, I removed the ugly red pavers that were uneven and overgrown with weeds growing in each crack. I envisioned a greener backyard retreat with flowers and birds and butterflies, cooler than all that cement. Ron opposed the do-over:  "What's wrong with it, it's perfectly fine.  What will we do when we have a large outdoor party?"   But, frankly, it wasn't working for me.

 I began the demolition, carrying the bricks out 2 by 2.

My next door neighbor said she could use the pavers to extend her walkway so I piled them up between our lots.

I braved the Saturday gardeners at Lowe's and got endless bags of soil as well as some colorful flowers (pink Dianthus and sunny yellow Coreopsis) and a Japanese Honeysuckle.  I went to Osuna Nursery and got pink, red, and blue salvias, English Lavender, white Candytuft, yellow-red Sunset Potentilla, thyme, and grandifora and floribunda rose bushes with lots of sweet smelling flowers.  I left some pavers in their original position for an artsy look.


I have ordered grass plugs and will be putting in a soft carpet of green Zoysia grass in an area about 7 feet by 12 feet (see below).

I planted creeping thyme in the cracks of the railyard tie steps down to the lower yard
 I am going to start part 2 of the project (the lower area of the backyard) later in May.

The lower part of the backyard

The backyard is beginning to look like a delightful retreat for the summer.  Loving it!

I got so excited about the spring flowers, I planted lovely violas and pansies around the exterior of the house.

I planted the Dwarf Alberta Spruce my sister sent to me for Christmas 5 years ago - looking good

 Looking at my front yard, I am happy with the Mugo Pine, Smoke Tree, and Quaking Aspen I planted last fall.

Looking northeast from my front yard toward Sandia foothills

What great weather we're having!  It's been a mild winter and an early spring.  We've had 3/4 inch of rain in the past two days.  The purple plum tree already has fruit and it's only May 6th.

The courtyard patio off our bedroom is looking great with the lacy Red Japanese Maple and the Blue Columbine.

Ready for company.  

1 comment:

  1. This gender scenario is very familiar around our house except for one twist. She is always changing the house and arrangement. I like it the way it is. I add and subtract to my gardens. She never would get her hands dirty and considers my efforts mostly a waste of time and energy...