I've been a little afraid to post about our yard. For fear we may give up, as we have so many times before. When we moved into our home 8-1/2 years ago, we planted a few shrubs and I planted some woodland plants and flowers. But we never really landscaped. My husband seeded the front yard and grass grew for a while, but now the weeds have taken over. It truly is the most unsightly yard. Secretly, I was hoping my neighbors would submit our yard to the DIY Channel to get a free backyard make-over!
Well, I live in the real world, and those kind of fairy-tale endings don't really happen in my neck of the woods. So a few weeks ago, I sat down and drew out what I'd like our yard to look like. My dream yard. I have always wanted a fire pit. Not just an ordinary fire pit, more like an outdoor fireplace. I've been pulling pictures from magazines for YEARS. I've purchased some doodads that I'd like to decorate with way back when I was working in Savannah. I can't really remember the first place I saw an outdoor living space, but when I did, I knew I wanted something like it in our yard.
The thing that stands in our way is money. It always is. I have several established bushes and flowers I will be able to divide and transplant when the time comes, so that will defray some of the expense. In the end, I figure with a lot of hard word, lots of sweat (which I totally hate and detest beyond words), a little inspiration and a lot of free stuff from freecycle and craigslist, we might be able to finish the yard of my dreams.
So far, we've been taking a few hours each morning and raking up the yard, moving dried leaves to a huge pile to recycle later into compost. We've been pulling weeds and tree seedlings (are those called saplings?) from our hundred year old oak trees. We deal with baby oak trees every year. The roots can go as deep as 2 feet on just a little 6" seedling (sapling?).
I've taken a length of twine and attached it to some rebar to help sculpt rounded beds around the house. I used a shovel and dug up the ground to help create the edging I was looking for. I've been scouring craigslist and freecycle for free bricks so I can place them as the edger and hopefully prevent the weeds from jumping over into the flower beds. I'm still looking for free bricks.
Since our yard is very wooded and there is no real possibility of true grass growing under the trees, I decided we'd go with spreading Monkey Grass (a.k.a. Lilyturf, Liriope). There are a couple of different varieties and we wanted the spreading kind so it will fill in like grass. My brother and dad did some work for a friend whose backyard was completely taken over by this stuff. They offered to them and now I have a 5 gallon bucket full of it. We're just waiting for some free fill dirt and then my brother can bring over his Bobcat to smooth out the yard, so I can plant it.
I was inspired by a garden at Mr. Cason's Vegetable Garden at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Also, there was a garden featured on HGTV from Douglasville, Georgia. The owner is Suzanne Hudson and her garden has been featured in many magazines including Southern Living.
Eventually I hope to share the final results with you. For now, you'll have to make do with my chicken scratch drawings.
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