A refresher, then. When we moved in two years ago, our yard was... a dud. And six months later, it was still a dud. We had the space to do something, but weren't at all sure what to do. And since our efforts were focused on some major projects indoors anyway, we were happy to let it be.
A year and a half ago:
Late last summer, we hosted my parents for a weekend of brainstorming and space-planning. We talked about how to salvage (or not) the ugly yew hedges that border our side yard, how to make our side yard more inviting, and how to maximize the space without making it too linear. They came back in October for a H-U-G-E planting weekend, all under the eye of our visionary commander-in-chief, my mom. We decided to rip out two of the worst yews to create more breathing room in the border, to weed our butts off and mulch the hell out of the side yard (I think we put down 30 bags that weekend), to define true planting beds for the first time, to plant some large, pretty things that would be dormant until spring (lots of peonies and hydrangeas), and add some great fall color, too.
My parents came back in late April to implement Phase 2 of our plan. Thankfully, everything we put in the ground in October lasted through the winter beautifully, and we were starting to see some real growth with the warmer temperatures. This time they pulled up in the BusyBee (nickname for my mom's car - long story) with a few more large plants, spring and summer color, and lots more classic "Mom" yard touches. Our big goals were to refine our space-planning now that our little plants were big plants, define edges, switch out cold-weather color for warm-weather color, and develop a path for the side yard. About a month after their visit, I'm pretty thrilled with our results. And to know that the color out there will just continue to intensify (the peonies are just beginning! the hydrangeas are coming!)... we are giddy.
Our front yard today:
Aaand... color! (Only two of our five peony bushes have bloomed so far... I cannot WAIT to see them all!)
(apologies for the ADT photobomb)
Here's our fantastic side yard. Keep in mind that most of these large plants haven't yet bloomed, so as it gets warmer we'll have color there, too. Because our side yard is so shady we chose hydrangeas - blue, white, pink, green, and ivory lacecaps, too. The stepping stones are sandstone, and we've dotted the pathway with white star creepers, a groundcover that will slowly spread and turn our entire pathway green. As you look at these photos imagine a swath of green cutting through the mulch in between the stones - that'll be our path before too much time has passed!
(looking back to the front of the house)
And that's that! I'll be back with peony and hydrangea updates soon, so stay tuned. My Instagram feed is pretty much going to become a flowerfest for a while, so prepare yourself!
And I really do have to give another HUGE thanks for my parents for being the vision, the brains, and half the muscle. We could NOT have done it without you!