When we lived in Michigan, our flower gardens were beautiful! We had worked on them for many years, adding a few new perennials each year, until every summer all we had to do was pop in some bright red impatiens and a few trailing greens, and add some hanging baskets around the deck and front porch, and we were all set for summer. The window boxes quickly became a tumbling riot of red, white, and green. The small round garden in the front of the house was filled with hosta plants, and we would always fill the barrel in the middle of it with bright red impatiens. Then, in between the hostas, I would usually tuck in a few annuals to add a bit of color, but mostly the perennials kept things looking vibrant and beautiful from spring until late autumn.
Well, that took about 20 years to accomplish, and now we live in a different house. A different state with slightly different growing conditions, but fortunately not different enough that we will need to change up all of our gardening plans. In our yard now, we have a pretty large, oval planting area in front of our house, between two large trees. I’m pretty sure it was beautiful once upon a time, but the previous owners were not able to keep up with the lawn and gardens for several years before we bought our home, so now that area is completely overgrown and a tangled mess!
Last year we tried to clean it up, pull out a bunch of vines that had taken over, and at least figure out what was in there. It really was a mess. There was an old wagon wheel that had been sunk into the dirt, right in the middle, underneath an old, rickety arbor. The vines had grown so heavy on the arbor that it appeared to be in imminent danger of collapsing under the weight. So we pulled out that rusty, old wagon wheel (it took a tractor and a chain because it was not only buried in the ground pretty deep, but a strip of metal had been bent around the bottom of the wheel and buried even deeper in the ground, I suppose to keep it from tipping over), and then cut the vines off of the arbor to see if it was worth restoring.
After many hours of weeding, and chopping, and ripping out overgrown vines, we finally gave up and went on to other projects. It looks much better after that, but it still needed a lot of work, so at the end of the summer we decided to make that project a priority for the coming spring and summer. Well, here we are, it’s spring and heading to summer, and that flower / weed garden looks almost as awful now as it did before we started cleaning it up. We were out there on the weekend, trying to figure out what to do with it, and that’s when I decided that we really need to simplify our garden projects. This was just going to be way too much to keep up with every year.
That’s when I thought about our lovely yard and garden that we had created in our yard back in Michigan. Pretty simple to keep up with, once you get everything in place. Which of course, that takes time, energy, and money . . . . but at least it gave me hope that we could move in the direction of creating another beautiful yard and garden that would be easier to manage and would look pretty all summer. Messy, tangled, and overgrown is not my idea of how I want my little world to look! So I suggested to my sweet hubby that we just rip everything out of that oval shaped flower garden, and replace it with a smaller, round garden like the one we had before.
I could tell from the way his eyebrows quickly raised in contemplation, that we just might be on the same page with this project. He doesn’t have a lot of time to spend puttering around in the yard, so mowing and keeping things trimmed and tidy is a pretty big job for him already, and he doesn’t need one more huge, overwhelming mess to help me take care of. So I think that’s what we are going to do! I’m hoping we can get started this coming weekend, but it will depend on the weather. The first thing we will have to do is start pulling out the “good” stuff that is already there to transplant elsewhere or save to put back in the new garden area.
Then we will need to completely rip out all of the weeds and vines. Once we get that far, the rest will be relatively easy and lots of fun! With a bunch of landscaping bricks we can create the circular area, fill it with a bunch of the dirt that is already there, and then fill it in with some perennials (mostly hostas), put a planter in the middle to add some color, and plant grass all around it. It will be a big job for this summer, but in the future it will definitely be much easier to take care of! And hopefully it will look just as pretty as the one we had in front of our old house. Can’t wait to get started!
Here are a few pictures that I found to inspire our gardening projects this spring and summer. I’ll be sure to share pictures of our project as we work on it. Do you have plans for your garden and yard this year? I would love to see what you are working on. I hope you are inspired to make your yard and garden a pretty little corner of the world, too!