Outside Patio and Garden Project


I have a vision for our back yard. Hart and I are trying to make it happen on our slim budget. When we bought our house, our backyard had pretty much NO landscaping alongside the back of our house. (Our front yard looks great, minus some slowly dying azalea bushes!) We have slowly tried to change this to create a more inviting space, but our back yard is tough for various reasons. The soil is horrible. It is very hard, rocky, lots of clay, and so far, not much has really taken off. However, that is not stopping me. Give me a bag of dirt and some miracle grow, a little prayer to God...and Lord willing, this space is gonna get there! I've never been a gardener or felt like I had a green thumb, but to my surprise my creativity is helping me garden! As we transform this garden space, I hope to share the changes that take place.
We know we will have to spend some money to make this area more beautiful, but my goal is to do it as cheaply as possible. My vision for this space is to have a cobblestone patio area outside of our beautiful screened in porch. I also envision adding an architectural height element, hence what seems like a random board strung between two trees (below), that my hubby worked so hard on yesterday.

Problems to Work on or Around: Shade. Our backyard is very shady. Most plants like sun, so my choice of plant selection diminishes to just shade lovers. Notice our lovely neighbor's backyard (above). We share that ugly fence and whether I like it or not, that nice, not working truck sits right in my line of vision. I don't know why you would just park a vehicle in your backyard instead of getting rid of it, but that is what they decided to do, so we all have to live with it... bitter? Maybe! We have slowly worked on pulling out the 50's wood pieces that are interwoven along the fence, but we still have more to do. I have planted Confederate Jasmine along the fence, and it is slow growin'. Eventually it should grow up and along the fence to create a natural barrier and I will no longer have to look at the fenced area OR truck. At the current growth rate, I think whoever lives here after us, will be the ones to actually benefit!

The Plan: In a nutshell: Cobblestone area; garden lights; weepy plants; take the indoors out.

So, my plan is to put some planter boxes up on the board that Hart suspended between the two trees. Then, we will plant some type of weeping plant that will dangle over and drape down like a curtain of sorts. Hart's parent's have some that they are not using and they said we could have. I believe this will create a "wall" to make this a more intimate area. Underneath the board I want to put the bench or swing that is on our screened porch, as well as some garden lighting (lots of fun ideas here).

In front of the seated area is where I want to put some cobblestones to create a patio. I haven't priced these yet, and so I really don't know how much we will be able to afford, but that is the vision, at least. I spent $50 at Lowe's and bought some plants that we started in this plant bed.

It is rudimentary at best right now. I have to get some dirt to amend our soil right here, but so far this area is the best area I have discovered as far as soil type goes (in our backyard). I need to build this area up with some dirt and mulch. It might be hard to see from the picture, but I have some Phlox's planted, some Hosta plants, and some Pampas Grass (to help hide the water meter area). I would love to have some plant that would grow up and fan out, but for now I have put these plant hangers in this area to add a height element, until we can get something better.

We will keep you posted!

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