Landscaping can take years to develop and fill in. The side of our house by the driveway (with pictures from 2020 and 2021) has shown the starkest improvement compared to when we moved in. (Before pictures are at the end of this post.)
First off, those Spring Irises....Wow!
The Irises were volunteer plants that came up along the drive. I just divided the plants which had survived years of neglect and replanted them. I also added three Varigated Willow Bushes that thrive here.
We moved two Hydrangeas from their position cramed against the front of the house to the side where they enjoy more space and shade. I've added Shasta Daisies and various shades of Coneflowers that get a little more sun along with shaded Creeping Murtle.
Above is a little white crab spider resting on a Coneflower blossom.
And, below, I couldn't show off our driveway with out sharing Mark, the Percheron, who is often in the paddock on the other side. He loves this shady spot and is obviously waiting for a carrot.
Blue in our backyard Winter 2022.
Lantern in our front yard Winter 2022.
Let's start with the positives...several nice volunteer plants or plants that could be moved.
Black Eyed Susan's, August Lillies, Daffodils, Monkey Grass, Hydrangeas and more to start with! There were a few plants I haven't identified yet. It was nice to have something come up to get started with and try to envision where we were headed.
Here is the jungle of volunteer plants and weeds beside the house:
Two hydrangeas were jammed up against the front of the house. The side yard by the driveway was loaded with mostly weeds, a few volunteer plants and loads of daffodils.
We moved the hydrangea to the side yard where they would still get plenty of shade and have room to grow. I tried to strategically move the volunteer plants and daffodils while removing the weeds in the side yard by the driveway. It was still looking rough at the end of the Summer 2019 so we know we've got a lot of work ahead of us!
However, here is the front of the house with some new Azaleas and the relocated Monkey Grass:
And my husband Keith said he always wanted to put up a flag so here you go!
The lovely Magnolia Tree by the front door was misplaced in a shady spot when planted long ago. It's now rotting at the base and will at some point die. I want to get some new things started before it finally succumbs to a natural death.
On a brighter note...one of the many lovely surprises about this charming cottage was the peach tree in the front yard. Peaches are my favorite fruit! We had no idea the peach tree was there until the day we moved in and I saw it covered in baby peaches!
And finally, in the first week of August, they were ready to harvest!
Some other problem areas we have begun to work on or would like to address (in no particular order here):
1. We took away Blue's stick pile!
2. We have several large stumps to get rid of.
Since taking the below picture, I've added some Leyland Cypress Trees and various shrubs to give some more privacy to our backyard.
3. And there is this corner of the backyard that needs to be cleaned up with the wood pile neatly stacked nearby.
4. Some day it would be nice to put vinyl siding on the concrete block detached garage. Since the below picture was taken, I've planted a mint and blackberry patch along this side!
5. There is a carport along the back of the house. We will never use it as a carport. It needs roof repair, paint and a new floor surface. It's actually a very nice area to use the picnic table and pamper the dogs.
6. The backyard needs to be re-fenced to include a side yard porch (not pictured). Most of the backyard is wood post with chain link. It looks horrible.
We would like to re-fence most of it with 5 feet with wood posts, 2x4 inch wire and a nice wood top rail. This would fit our rural looking neighborhood and add rustic charm to our home. I love the idea of including the side porch in the backyard. The side porch never gets used because of course I want to take my dogs outside with me and currently it's not fenced in.
I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt again and bring more of this property back to life!