The Outdoor Series – Watch Them Grow

Let’s watch how our garden beds grew over 3 years.  We made lots of changes and there are more to come that I will share with you in a future post.

Before – Left Side Garden Bed

After we cleaned up.  We hated the wood, but it stayed for about a year that way.
Then the following year, we pulled all that wood out and made it one level and added garden blocks to finish things off.  Garden Blocks or Retaining Wall Blocks were bought at Lowe’s.
All you have to do, if it’s not a retaining wall, is make sure the dirt is down a few inches below your surface and that the dirt is level.  We just used a small level and a mallet, {no hammers for project like this}.  You just gently tap the top of the bricks to level out the brick and then you move onto the next one.  Then the next layer up gets staggered, so you will have to cut the brick.  I believe my hubby used a circular saw to score the bricks and then you can use a chisel and mallet to break it in half the rest of the way for a nice straight cut.  It took us the whole weekend to do all three beds, but we loved how it turned out.  This had to be done before we bought any plants for these garden beds, so we were happy for it to be finished.
Then the following weekend we planted.  We bought smaller plants, which saves you money and within a year they grow in soooo much.  Great way to save yourself some money in the long run.
The yellow flowers are called “Daylily Happy Returns Hemerocallis”, Hosta’s, Blue Spruce bush {that’s the light blue/green bush in the middle}, Golden Euonymus {yellow & green leaves}, Emerald Euonymus {cream white & green leaves}, & Green Boxleaf  Euonymus {solid green leaves} and Golden Mop Cypress.  We love all the plants.  All are evergreens except for the Daylilies & the Hosta’s, but they come back the following Spring.  Daylilies can be divided in the Spring or Fall.  Daylilies also multiple over the years.  So even a small bunch with multiple the following year and so on.  Our’s our pretty big now and we need to divide some of them this Fall I think.  They bloom from late Spring to late Fall.  The flowers will die off, but more will come back.  The Daylilies also close up some at night and reopen in the am.  They are a pretty cool flower to have in your garden.  We have yellow in the front yard and red in the backyard.
And a year later….see how much they grew.  WOW they really filled in.  Can’t wait to show you how they look this year.  They are all three years old and a lot bigger.  We even had to prune them.
Before – Right Side Garden Bed
Cleaner, but empty.
After – Right Side Garden Bed
And a year later…
Front left corner garden bed with the wood border.
With the Garden Bed Blocks.
And a year later…
In this garden bed, the red tree is a Japense Maple, the green weeping tree is a Weeping Cherry, we have hosta’s, evergreens bushes that we don’t know the name of because they were already here when we bought the house and a Hydrangea bush in the middle.  There have been some changes to this garden bed and I will share them with you in a future post.
Front Yard – Before
Front yard – After
There is still more to come in this outdoor series.  I’m not finished yet.  I have more eye candy to show you.
Is anyone else doing some garden or outdoor projects?  What are you up to right now?  Let’s here all about your projects.  Spill the dirt!!! {silly pun intended}
You can check out the rest of The Outdoor Series post, here, here and here.
Thanks for stopping by everyone! Have a great day! I would love to hear your comments, so please leave one if you want. I love sharing and inspiring others, but I also love feed back and sharing of others ideas and thoughts. :)

The Outdoor Series – The Clean up Begins

Next in the Outdoor Series is the actual clean up.  It will get a little better, then a little uglier, but it really turns out the way we want in the end and I can’t wait to share it all with you.  We still have smaller projects to do as well this year, so stay tuned for those posts as well.  We are very excited about it.
We basically pulled everything out.  We really didn’t like the wood in the garden bed, but it wasn’t a priority when we first bought the house to make that change, but stay tuned for the change that we did make.  Our garden beds really evolved over the last 3.5 years.  I will show you the progress once I get through all of the other posts about our yard.  It still amazes me how far we have come with the house.
This is basically how the garden beds in the front looked for the first year.  We closed on the house in July 2007 and we didn’t plant anything until June of 2008.  It can cost a lot when you have to put in all new plants.

So this is how the house looked the first month we owned it.  {it’s a Hi-Ranch if anyone is wondering}  It’s a little sad looking right now, but over time we will change things and make it ours!!!
Goodbye ugly brown roof and hello nice gray roof.  The roof had to be done one way or another, so we did the roof in August of 2007.  That ugly brown door with a burgandy screen door has to go to, but we are getting ahead of ourselves there.  I will get to that soon.  There were soooo many changes that we wanted to make, but they all happened over time.  Having patients is very hard sometimes. πŸ˜‰

Now let’s move onto the driveway side yard area.  OK, so that junk car and all that other stuff of the previous owners is gone.  You can check out this post to see the befores of this area.  We were left with  big rocks in the dirt area & vines all in between the fence.  Thank god our nice new neighbor hated the vines also and helped us cut everything down.  Then he sprayed weed killer for us.  Almost 4 years later, we are still fighting this vine back.  Once we take down our fence and maybe their fence, we will be able to dig out the vine roots and hopefully be rid of these vines forever.  Now if we can only save up our pennies to replace the fence.  πŸ˜‰
These are all the rocks that came out of the ground in the picture above.  We heard from our neighbors that the previous owners had brought these rocks back from Pennsylvania years ago and they were supposed to use them in the yard somewhere.  I have no idea where they were going to put them.  We used some of them that we liked in some of our garden beds.  All the rest were Freecycled to someone that was making a waterfall area in their yard.  That made us happy that someone else was able to use them and that we didn’t have to get rid of them at the dump.  And let me tell you, some of these rocks were really back breaking.  Took three of us to move some of them.  Crazy work out for us.  Took us 2-3 days to dig them out and move them to the concrete area of the driveway.
Opposite view of the vined fence.
Here are our two ugly sheds.  The gray one in the left front of this picture came down weeks after we bought the house.  We used it for some stuff for a little while, but it was trash and had to come down.  Thank god.  Our second ugly shed in the back of the picture.  Just keep thinking about paint for that ugly shed.  It was a diamond in the ruff. πŸ˜‰
Thank god it was not nailed or screwed to the house, so it came down quickly.
YAY!!!!  No more vine fence.  Thank you to our neighbor for helping out!!!
Here is a little “Before & After” of this area.  Yup there was only part of a wood picket fence put up and the rest was still chainlink.  But we fixed that the following year.  Stay tuned for that transformation.

Here is a view of some more of the backyard.  That decking in the background is the upper pool decking.  This fence had to come down between the two areas.  Stay tuned.

Remember this picture from this post?   Let’s check out the other side of the fence now.
YIKES!!!  This was the other side of that mess.  The root of the mess.
It had to come down.  We have no idea what it was, but it was another vine type of plant with flowers.  Don’t get me wrong it had pretty flowers, but it was way to wild for us.  Plus it was in the neighbors yard on the other side.  They didn’t help us take it down, but they were very happy when we did take it down. {ha, ha}.  There was actually a garden bed under all of this.  We would have never know it was there.
Oh so much better!!!  {you can even see the pool a little bit in this picture}
Can you see how big that bush actually was?  It was the one in between the fences.  Well there were multiple bushes actually.  Why oh why were they there, we will never know.  {rolling eyes}
And here is that garden bed that I said was there at one time.  The bush had even started to get flowers again between the fence.  This picture was a few weeks later I think.  We had to really cut into the bush and try to get as much as we could get of it to kill it off.  Wasn’t easier, but it never came back thank goodness.
Then the following year in 2008, we decided that the fences in the front needed to be painted white.  Hubby power washed them first & then we primed and painted them.  They were just so ugly and we didn’t have money for fencing……yet!!!  Stayed tuned for that project.

They looked soooo much better for now!!!  It’s funny what white paint can do for something ugly.  Don’t get me wrong the fence was still ugly and needed to be replaced, but it had to wait until we had that kind of money.
Thanks for stopping by everyone!  I would love to hear from you, so leave a message.  It really makes my day to share with all of you.  Have a great day everyone!!!  :)