Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Progress in our yard.... little by little....

It's been awhile since I looked around our new (old) house that we purchased last October, so see what we've accomplished... so today I took a little walk around our yard and inside the house, and compared what I saw to the photos I've posted.  Just as a reminder, here's a "before" picture of our front yard!

My "future rock garden" below the dead tree!
There actually ARE a few changes, additions, etc. that I thought I'd show you. I guess I've been busier than I thought! Here's a little (quick?) tour: 

First let's look outside. I finally did a little cleaning up and landscaping cleaning up old bark and rocks and weeds, etc. to the area by our front "stoop" that I thought would make a pretty little rock garden. 

"After" digging out a flower bed about 12" out from the rocks, moving rocks around, planting some vine flowers (not sure what they are - got them from my son's place up in Washougal, WA), and cleaning up all of the twigs and branches that fell down from the tall dead tree (one day have to have it removed I'm sure).
 The above picture is the "after".... had it all clean and spiffy until a wind kicked up that night and littered the lawn once again with all the little twigs that come off of the dead tree.

Pretty proud of myself - now have a real "flower bed" to plant a few things. I think I'll go with some pansies here.

These vines have pretty lavender flowers all over them (well they did before I dug them up).. so hope they will survive until next spring.... although my kitten seems to like using them for her bed under the shade of the lilac bush.
Can  you tell I'm proud? Lots of pictures..... I put some bark mulch on top of the dirt.. it looks so pretty (for now anyway... until the cats use it for their litter box).!!
The chrysanthenums along our front rock wall have gone crazy! they are HUGE... awfully soon for them to be so huge so early in the year, as they don't bloom until the Fall. I'm going to have to pinch them Back.  I also put/am putting some bark mulch along this flower bed, but ran out.  This rock flower bed runs along our walkway to the house from the driveway.

Our lilac bush bloomed a little bit... I pruned it down like crazy last October... didn't even know what it was!  Our next door neighbor has a wonderful fragrant white lilac that has some new shoots coming up that he said we can have. Oh joy!

I just discovered was told by our neighbors that our front and back lawns are totally COVERED with the much hated goat weed (such pretty little lavender flowers) that everyone around here hates. After they bloom, they turn into horrid tiny little hard balls with stickers on them.. that get dragged into the house on  your shoes. We must take action now (we were told)..... and definitely plan to get some weed and feed on the lawn forthwith.

I planted 15 gladiola bulbs along a front (new) flower bed that I dug up in the front yard, and my hubby planted 35 more along the back rock wall flower bed.

The "lawn" in front has alot of weeds in it! darn.... there's my gladiola bed where the little rocks are placed.. so I know where to look for them when if they break through the dirt. 
Here's the back yard rock wall flower bed.. these are "wild" grape hyacinths there were growing in our front lawn by our mailbox.. so I dug them up and transplanted them all along the back fenceline... also put some in the front by our huge mums.... and the gladiola bulbs will (hopefully) come up behind the hyacinths along the fenceline. The glads haven't come up yet... hum.m.m.m.m.  I'm wondering if we put them in too early?

"Before" picture last Fall, of our back fence and rock flower bed! Ugly............

I've been really good at scavanging flowers and plants, etc. from neighbors or my son's place up in Washougal, WA. Haven't bought one plant or shrub yet, and the flower beds are starting to fill in. Well I correct myself.. I did buy the gladiola bulbs.

Rhododendron from our neighbors.. don't know  how hardy it is but it's been in his yard for 4 years.. but he said never any blooms on it. In the little green planter, are some sort of Daisys from another neighbor's yard. She had a huge wheelbarrow full of them to give away!

My beloved vine maple tree that we brought from Washougal, WA from my son's property. These are one of my all time favorites for Fall color! I'm so happy it has leafed out. We have 4 more that are on the verge of leafing out. They will grow huge if we don't keep them pruned.

Another plant from my son's place in Washougal... we call it the "helicopter plant"... it has gorgeous purple flowers on it in the summertime, but I have no idea what it is. does anyone know?

A close-up of the Daisy.. I tried looking it up in my garden book, but the pictures hardly ever show the leaves, so I'll know when it blooms I guess. We planted a ton of them all over.
More Daisys along the side fence. 

My beloved raspberries that I brought from our own house in Washougal, WA almost 4 years ago. They've weathered the La Pine climate of 32 below zero 3 years ago, and another move to a different house, 20 below temperatures there, and zero temps here in Madras this last winter. They've been living in a plastic tub and we just transplanted them to the ground along the south facing fence. I've left room for about 4 more raspberry plants that I'll probably have to buy.
We got two free sheds shipping crates from my sister and husband that were used to ship heads over from Africa from their hunting trip to Africa a year ago! We are going to use them for outdoor storage for now.... until we can afford a real shed. Free is good right? The bigger one is the size of a closet... they both have doors that we need to install with some big hinges.. and want to paint the roofs with some sort of roof tar to keep them waterproof.. then paint them, etc. They are sure better than nothing!

Now if we were handy at all, I'd want us to hook them together and then add a little peaked roof on them so it would look like a little house.... but.... I have no idea how to go about it, neither does hubby.  We dragged those across the yard ourselves and they were HEAVY! Set them up and leveled them ourselves.. that's about as "handy" as we are.

Right above the sheds, our neighbor's gorgeous apple tree was blooming just a couple of weeks ago. 

And here's the "side yard" mess that we've done nothing to (above), other than try to keep the weeds down. It has also kind of been our outdoor storage area! It has a layer of gravel on it (under the weeds) and we want to build some sort of patio/deck there. For now, it's just a fight to keep the weeds mowed/down/killed, etc. And neither of us are handy at all... so how is that going to work?

So far, we've done everything in the yard with very little money and lots of elbow grease! (and lots of scrounging).

We've done a few things to the inside of the house too, but I'll leave that for another post. 

Have a great week!

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  1. Marilyn, how fun to have a new old house and yard to work on. If I were you, I'd watch just a little bit to see what comes up in the flower beds. You never know what wonderful things might be waiting for the right warmth. Just cracked me up that your neighbor marched over to tell you that you have the yard...the one full of weeds. I hope he or she brought cookies. :)

    That little vine with purple flowers looks like it might be vinca minor which is perennial. It's a ground cover here but I don't know what it might do in your climate...and then again it might be something else.

    1. I definitely am watching the flower beds to see what comes up. This house was a rental for a long time and I think when it sat vacant for several months, people came in and took any plants they could! Good to know the vines may be vinca minor.. I'll look them up... and it is a ground cover and grew profusely where I dug it up from. I've noticed in a few of my pots that wintered over outside, that a few things are coming up again (hardy little critters).. even a geranium! some little stout pansies are making an appearance too. Our climate here is dry and harsh in the winter.. can easily get down to 20 or 25 below zero.. and 110 in the summer. Marilyn

    2. Hi Marilyn. Thanks for your sweet comment about our pond. We are so happy that it's finished and loving every second beside it. :)

  2. Looks like you have been busy....funto see what comes up in your new(old) garden.
    We have been busy pruning the roses etc.here.

    Thanks for your visit,

    1. Your blog and beautiful gardens are a constant source of inspiration for me! Thank YOU for sharing your wonderful piece of Heaven with everyone. If I lived closer, I'd definitely come for an afternoon tea!

  3. Hi Marilyn. Your yard will be gorgeous with all your new plantings. Should be very colorful. It's alot of work to keep a garden up but once you get it established everything will fall into place. You are like me, I really can't tell most plants if it doesn't have a flower on it, then sometimes that's iffy too..Happy Wednesday and thank you for your nice and caring words to me. I appreciate them so much..Judy

    1. You're very welcome! It's always fun, once your yard is established, to walk around in the mornings with a cup of tea, and see what new things are blooming! Can hardly wait!

  4. How exciting to have a new old house and a garden to grow...all your planting looks wonderful and it will be such a pleasure to watch it growing and blooming as it becomes established. You have worked hard and it shows!
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

    1. Thank you Helen! It IS hard work, but once established, it'll be easier. Right now, it's very back breaking! Marilyn

  5. Thanks for visiting and your lovely comment Marilyn. Is there any possible way I can convince you to come do my yard next? Seriously though, things look to be shaping up beautifully, a true labor of love. enJOY the weekend, Kim

    1. Thank YOU Kimberly.. for visiting and saying hi. I really appreciate and LOVE comments. Probably by the time our yard is fixed up, I'll be too pooped to do yours! LOL..... it is alot of hard work, and at our ages, we can only do a little at a time, and then rest. It's a very slow process, but also a JOY to have our own place and know we're doing this for us. Hugs.. Marilyn

  6. You are doing a great job of taming your yard and making it your own. I cringed when I thought of heads being in those wooden boxes. Don't tell me what kind they were! :-| Yes, those are Creeping Myrtle or Vinca Minor.. they'll spread real well for you. Thanks for the tips on getting my blog post to go up on time. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. Yard work can be so tough, but I don't have to tell you that! You're making good progress, but it will take time, and most likely will always be a work in progress. That's just the nature of gardens!

    Keep up the good work Marilyn. It will all be worth it.



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