Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Flower Garden

Before we ever bought this house, we talked about the idea of putting in a flower garden in this little back corner of the yard just off the patio.  However, our first summer here Jeff decided that the space would be better utilized as the home of an above-ground pool, so that's what we put in. We enjoyed the pool for two summers, but when we took it down last fall we decided that maybe it was time to consider other options.  After we got our basement room renovation completed, we got serious about doing things for the patio since we were now seeing and using it more. In the process of getting things situated in the garage, Jeff decided that he needed a small garden shed for all his yard equipment and tools and that nice, level corner of the yard was the perfect place to put it. However, that forever eliminated the option of putting back the pool and left us with a decent sized piece of yard that looked quite pitiful. It was flower garden time!

We had some lattice work on the side of the patio acting as a screen between the patio where our table and chairs were sitting and that lovely little corner of yard. When the pool was there it was fine, but since we wanted to put in something pretty we wanted to be able to see it, so Jeff cut three arches in the lattice to serve as window. One of the pieces we cut out was then mounted on the garden shed to add some detail and serve as a sort of background for our fountain. Jeff had bought this long before he ever met me, but never moved it from his mother's house because we never had another place to put it until now.

Then we created the garden itself. We made four beds around the perimeter with two openings that serve as entry points - one to the yard and one to the patio. The beds were lined with pavers and filled in with dirt. The area inside the beds was filled with pea gravel and 4 larger stepping stones. Inside the beds, we chose a variety of different plants and flowers. On the lattice wall, we got a jasmine vine. As it climbs the lattice it will hopefully surround those "windows." We also got a St. Francis bird feeder. (Apparently the chipmunks are quite fond of it because I always see them running past the door when Patches is inside and while most of the bird seed is staying, the sunflower seeds are being picked out!)

In the bed by the fence is a bush that is supposed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It is supposed to be a spring-blooming plant so it was on sale. I don't expect it to make it through the summer, but right now it's nice and I'm looking forward to seeing what it draws in next year. We also put a couple of (what are now small) cypress trees in the corners. Hanging on the fence we moved an old iron hook we found in the woods where someone had tossed it with a hanging basket. Right now it has miniature pansies, but I'm sure it'll get changed out periodically.

In the bed by the fountain we put some bushes that are supposed to grow to a "medium" size and will fill in under the fountain. Like most of the beds, it also got some ground cover/filler flowers that will add some color.

The bed by the yard has some flowers in it, although one is about dead because Patches has decided he likes to water that one himself! We'll probably eventually dig it up and replace it with a small statue of a fire hydrant! We put some light fencing on the yard-side of that bed just to keep the dogs from running straight through it and give it some definition. It looks very nice.

We put a small iron bench on the gravel that is big enough for two people. It's the perfect place to sit and think. I just hate that it's so blooming hot now! Still, in the evenings it's a nice place. Obviously it's not in this picture, but you can figure out where it goes.

I love that we can see this area from the patio and the hot tub. The fountain is on a timer so it's not running all the time, but it does turn on in the afternoon/evening which is when we are generally outside anyway. And in case you are wondering about the spare piece of lattice between the fence and the shed, we used that L-shaped area around the shed to make a sort of "play pen" for Cocoa. She now has a secure area outside where I can leave her during the day so she doesn't have to be inside in her crate for hours on end.