The Yard. Before and Afters.

Tom and I have busted our behinds for the last few weeks to revamp our yard. All of the things we’ve planted are quite new, so many of them are tiny and most have no blooms yet. Just keep that in mind as you see the pictures.

We’ll start in the backyard. I have to just get this over with. *Big Breath* OK. The other day, I got home from work, grabbed my tools along with some soil and plants, and I went into the backyard. Under the hot, Georgia sun, I tore up all the grass in one corner, dug up some monstrously huge rocks from the clay we have for dirt here, and dug holes. I threw into them a bit of nice soil (that is ridiculously expensive for the cheapest dirt in Home Depot, I’m just sayin’), and placed plants in the holes. I filled the rest of the holes with nice soil and covered that with clay. Then I hauled rocks from our garage to the backyard to surround it all, and I covered all the dirt around my plant-babies with mulch. Then God said it was good, and I agreed with Him. Also, Tom came home and totally dug it.

Then our dogs were possessed by demons and attacked. I am fairly certain that it was foolish of me to leave them in the backyard while I worked. They were incredibly interested in my hole digging. Liam lay on the ground beside me the whole time I worked. Sam would lie in the shade and come check on my work every few minutes. I can only assume they thought I had found an awesome hole digging area and celebrated that fact by making the ground very pliable and filled with plants that are fun to rip up. Because after they got into a serious wrestling match that ended up with them stumbling into my little backyard garden, they decided to trample the impatiens, rip up some cala lilies, and tear the butterfly bush limb from limb. And I cried. As pathetic as that may be, I really did cry. DADGUM IT, I worked hard on it. And sweat a lot. And got dirty. And now there is a stupid baby gate surrounding my backyard plot of plants.

There is still a butterfly bush. It’s just hard to see it in this picture because there are only about 5 leaves now. Anyone looking to adopt some dogs….?

Okay, now that that’s over with, and I find myself still, against all odds, loving my pets, let’s move on. Tom and I also got some window boxes to go outside of our bay windows in the kitchen so we could have some color there during the summer. These contain impatiens and some plants in the middle of each that I don’t remember the name of. Hopefully the mystery plants will do well in shade…and window boxes. We’ll see. They’re also in the backyard. Be merciful, Sam and Liam.

If you go through the gate in our backyard, you will now find a little flowerbed in the corner where our fence meets the house. Before it was just grass. And rocks. So boring. Now, it has a bush (again, I can’t remember what kind) in the corner, tiger lilies (those are the tall ones) along the house, and snapdragons along the border of the bed.

On the other side of the gate, I planted some plumbago auriculata, which should look like this once it grows a bit. (picture borrowed from

If the trellis looks familiar, it’s because it was once on our dining room’s china cabinet…before I ripped it out. I saved it to use for some kind of vine, so we’ll see how it holds up under its new purpose.

So, looking down the right side of our house, you’ll see our (hopefully not dead) baby crepe myrtles, our vine (on the right, against the fence), and our new little flower bed (on the left). You might also see some dirt outside of all the new flower beds, because we had to hoe up all the grass, and red clay was everywhere. We’re hoping it will wash away soon and show the grass again.

In the front yard…well, let’s just have a before and after of that.

Before, it had humongous bushes that made it impossible to enjoy the little porch or to even see it from the street, which made it difficult to see out either. Not to mention the bees and wasps (and SPIDERS) that enjoyed hanging around those monster bushes.

And there were weeds growing up all through the little bushes in front of the monster bushes.

They had to go. So we got rid of them. And instead had a dirt plot. Beautiful.

And then, FINALLY, we were able to hoe up the weeds and some grass, dig out a billion rocks, and plant. We planted five bushes (that I can’t remember the name of…hmm, this is starting to show a bad pattern), along the back, which we can keep pruned down to a manageable size once they grow some more. We put a small topiary-style tree on the corner with some pretty pink flowers on it (and some little white ones that popped up later).

In the middle of the front bed, we put some gerber daisies.

And all along the border of the front bed is lilyturf. And beside the loveseat is a pot with some mint in it. That didn’t go in the ground because I read that mint takes over gardens. I don’t want a mint-yard.  Just a bit of mint will do.

You can even see our little porch from the street!

And by the front door is a small hydrangea in a pot. Just to make the entrance a bit more cheerful.

Alrighty, continuing around the other side of the house, we have three small hydrangea plants that we are hoping will grow to be huge over the years. I love blue hydrangeas. And in front of them are three little dahlias.

And if you walk past that area to where our fence meets the house again, you’ll see my little herb and vegetable garden. Though, the only veggies are tomatoes, which are really fruit, so it’s actually a little herb and fruit garden. But I’m going with veggies on this one. It’s my garden. I’ll call it what I like.

Joining the tomatoes are these herbs: rosemary, basil, oregano, and parsley. All the plants (except the rosemary) in this garden are pretty itty bitty right now. I’m hoping they’ll grow quickly.

Do you like my leaning tomato cages? I got them for free (and used) from my parents. I’m okay with that.

Alrighty. That’s it for now. Next up is getting seed for bermuda grass. Our rye grass is starting to die out, and we’re ready to get our lawn looking lush and green again.

Until then, I’m just battling the Southern sun with plenty of water for my baby plants. (Not to mention defending them from whatever demon possesses my dogs when they are near my little backyard plants.) Are any of you gardeners? Any tips or suggestions or brands you want to recommend to a newbie in this area?


10 thoughts on “The Yard. Before and Afters.”

    1. Thanks, Jenn! I’m glad you understand. They don’t even know they did anything wrong. I was out there with them the other day (before we put up the gate), and they trotted right up to my plants. I think they think it’s a new digging area, for real. haha I need to teach them to stay away from it, but for now, the gate will do.

  1. Geebz that’s a lot of yardwork.
    I can already tell it’s going to look amazing in a few months. I planted some…uh… purple somethings… in my front yard. A whole three of them. And the only reason I planted them is so I can take shots like this. Hah. Lame, I know. :}

    1. It was a lot of work! We were sore and tired for days. I can’t wait to see how it looks when it all is growing and blooming. Assuming everything lives. I really don’t know much about gardening, other than all the weeding I had to do as a kid, so this is kind of experimental.

      That shot you shared is beautiful. Awesome bokeh. I assume you have a macro lens? I want a macro and a 50mm like I want my next breath. *sigh* I had to look through your whole set after that because they were so pretty. My fave is this one.

      1. OMG those photos are not by me. I wish!! ;p Alphageek is one of my friends on flickr who has been taking macro flower shots for ages. 🙂 I am still waiting on my flowers to grow so I can take photos LIKE he does. :p

        Also, if you want to take shots like that, a 50mm will drive you batty because you can’t get NEAR anything. If your camera has a crop sensor (and if it was anything under $1500, it probably is) then the lens is really ~80mm. This 50mm is not made for macro so you’ll be forced to stand pretty far away and then if you manage to get focus, it will likely be too deep and you’ll have to crop like mad. It’s kind of like using a screwdriver for a hammer. :p Anyway, if you’re looking to get all macro-ish then your best bet is a lens labeled as macro that lets you get close. Nikon may have a 100mm macro, which is what I suggest if you’re going to buy another lens.

          1. Sorry I would edit if there was an edit button. :p Also, you got me talking about cameras and that means you’re getting an earful. Buying cheap extension tubes will turn the lens you have right now into a macro lens! I totally suggest the Kenko DG Auto Extension Tube Set. It was definitely one of the best purchases I ever made.

  2. Advice?

    Water. LOTS of water.

    And Miracle Grow plant food is awesome.

    Also, don’t let the dogs eat stuff. Ha, ha!

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