Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Spring is finally here in south central Nebraska!  After several false promises in the form of spring snowstorms and hot weather followed by freezing temps, I think (hope) we're finally out of the clutches of Old Man Winter.  Everything is about 2 weeks behind schedule as far as blooming, but it finally looks like spring now.  :)

I've decided that this is the year I make our yard PRETTY.  I've always put a few annuals in the front yard and have a couple of pots of geraniums or petunias, but this year, I really want to go at beautifying the yard with a plan.

The front flower patch

I've always enjoyed working outside, but have historically been a REALLY lazy gardener.  The extent of my knowledge ended at petunias ( my "go-to" annual) and tulips.  If I had to put a lot of effort (read:  maintenance) and research into gardening, it was out of the question.  

I've been slowly branching out though, the last couple of years have seen me buying potted hanging geraniums, and marigolds.  This year I'm trying some Asiatic Lillies (along with the uniform petunias, of course).

I've had perennials growing in the front flower patch since we bought the house (planted by a previous owner, goodness knows how many years back) and have never bothered to find out what they are, exactly.  I just saw them come up, said "Those are pretty" and waited for them to die back before planting my annuals.  

This year I want to know what they are!  Because I'm more interested now (funny, this age thing), and also because a few of them really need to be relocated.  Thanks to some help from my friends on Facebook, and some sleuthing on my own, I now know the following:

This is an Autumn Joy Sedum

Jury's still out on this one, but we think it's a Statice

This is Scilla Hispanica, or Spanish Bluebells

I'm also branching out into my backyard, too.  In the past, I just wanted the grass to look nice and didn't bother with "beautifying" the backyard.  For a few years too, I tried to be uber-crunchy and have my own "urban homestead vegetable garden" until I had to admit sad defeat that 1).  I'm just not cut out to be a vegetable gardener, and 2).  neither is my yard.  Our backyard is extremely shady, and we have a black walnut tree which doesn't want ANYTHING edible to grow around it.  

So this year, I'm tired of looking at the ugly bare spots full of weeds.  I'm learning to work with what I have - a shady yard - and am slowly cleaning things up and making it pretty.

strip along side the garage that used to be full of weeds, now holds shade-tolerant impatiens

area by the backdoor that used to be either weedy or just bare, turning into a perennial shade patch with a hosta, and astrilbe

(these top two shots are what it looks like today)
(this is what this area looked like 4 years ago, with the old birdbath and landscape rock that was buried under the dirt)

One spot that does get fairly decent sun is this bricked round area that used to have a bird bath, that we think may have originally been a fountain or fish pond because if you dig down deep enough, you don't hit dirt, you hit a rounded cement bottom.  Three years ago I took out the crumbling bird bath and all the horrid white landscape rock and filled it with dirt, but didn't really do anything with it afterwards.  This year though, I've cleaned it up and planted a hosta and marigolds.

Step by step I'm going to turn our backyard into a place I enjoy being in, with pretty things to look at.  I'm enjoying getting to know new plant varieties, and learning what will work in our yard and what won't.  I have lots of ideas for other spots in the yard, but I'll have to take those areas on as energy - and funds - allow.  In the meantime though, I think I"ve taken a good first step into reclaiming my yard, both front and back.

1 comment:

  1. Spring was an absolute tease here this year, too! (So much though, it could have launched its own burlesque show! :D) With sudden starts and stops, snow until April, and flowers that failed to bloom for the first time this year until May, after a couple of weeks of solid sunshine, I can safely say that it's here for good. In fact, in true Okanagan fashion, it almost feels like summer, more than spring. No complaints from me. I craved the heat something fierce all winter and am thrilled to have sundress weather once again.

    Big hugs and many heartfelt thanks of your caring, supportive comment (re: my new Etsy shop) today, dear Betsy.

    ♥ Jessica


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