Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spring Garden Tour

Ok y'all,
grab your favorite beverage and put your feet up for a few minutes,
because we'll be taking a tour of our Spring Garden.

Our Spring mulching is finished...

all 322 bags
(23.85 yards)

(We usually get mulch in bulk, but both big box stores had a great sale on bags, which made it less expensive)

So glad it's done!

We finished mulching the flower beds late this year.
A few years ago we started too early and were finished in March. You'd think we'd know by now that April is the best month to get this job done.  The weather is still cool and the perennials haven't popped up yet so it's easier to spread the mulch.
It was near 90 degrees (with a lot of  humidity) a couple of days that we were working in the yard. 

On to the tour:
Let's start in the front yard. Our youngest daughter's boyfriend got us off to a great start and spread the mulch in the front flower beds.
Thank you Blake!
It was a big help. 
I trimmed all 25 of the shrubs in the front by hand the day before and cut out 3 shrubs with my new pole saw.
I tell ya, I was ready to cut all of the shrubs down when I was about half way through trimming them. 

This photo shows what is seen from the front yard, looking into the back.

Our "North" garden raised beds are just beyond the Bradford Pear tree hiding behind two Cleyera shrubs.

This year I expanded my herb garden.
A few years ago I planted mint in a container in the ground to contain the roots. The oregano is doing really well and both the mint and oregano are perennials pretty enough to put in a flower bed.
This year thyme, cilantro and two kinds of parsley were planted. I plant basil ever year, as well.



These are our North garden raised beds and the wood planters  Mr. DIY made for me  last year.
We've already been harvesting broccoli and snow peas. Potatoes and garlic should be ready next month.
Cucumbers and squash are about 8" high.

Turning around toward the house you can see a long line of hostas. They are the first plant to come alive in the Spring.

Now we are back up "topside" on the side of the garage looking down into the backyard.
Our "South garden" veggie beds are to the left along side of the house.

Walking down the hill into the backyard...this is one of the easiest photos to take in the morning because the light is perfect. Photos taken from this part of the yard show the true color of the yard and need no editing at all.

Everything from this part of the yard looks so green, even the lawn which is at least 50% weeds.

We've had a few difficult summers and the grass has had a hard time.

Ok, seriously, this is the last one.

Back up on the deck looking down into the yard...
you can see the garden path leading down to the patio in the woods and my childhood playhouse.

Looking a bit to the left...

...a bit to the right...

...and a little more to the right.  
If you'd like to see how the garden before we did any work, you can click HERE
It wasn't always a backyard oasis. It was REALLY rough!
When I look back at those before pics, it's hard to believe. 

My parents gave me the little blue playhouse for my 5th birthday. It's painted just like our first home back in SoCal. We brought it with us when we moved to North Carolina.

We've changed things up over the years. When our girls were little, their swing set was where the paver patio was and the playhouse was farther back. The path used to wind around to the right and then continue almost to the creek. 

We use a yard of cypress chips on the path. The chips last a long while and we only have to freshen it up every other year.

When the weather is nice, we love having friends over to have a fire in the fire pit. Just wish we could get rid of the mosquitoes in the summertime!

Mr. DIY installed the patio in the woods pretty much all by himself. I think I helped a little. I remember we had a pretty big pile of sand and our girls played in it. I vaguely remember a pretty cool photo looking through a tunnel in the sand and I'm going to have to dig that up. (I think it was before digital photography)

This stone frog sits in the ajuga growing near the edge of the paver patio.

Begonias and a trailing vine do well in a shady spot beside the patio.

I love this spot....

Stepping back into the mulched area...

Looking back up the path toward the house...

My favorite outdoor space is under the deck. I'll have to show you that space another time.

Do you love hostas as much as I do? They are easy to grow from rhizomes. I think I bought 3 bags of 8 hosta rhizomes and planted them in the Fall about 12 years ago. When the plants got bigger, I just divided them until the back of the house and the North side along the house had a long line of hostas.
They are so pretty.
Deer don't seem to bother the hostas planted near the house.

...another hosta near the  patio under the deck.

Well, you made it to the end of our Spring Garden Tour. I hope you enjoyed it. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting our garden!



  1. It is so beautiful. You all have done a wonderful job!

  2. So homey and comfortable. I can just image how peaceful your shade is! So glad we could connect and enjoy visiting your lovely home! xo...Brooke

  3. Oh, I could go on and on looking at such beautiful pictures, your garden is adorable! I love the little playhouse and the patio, so lovely!

  4. Wow this is gorgeous! Everything is so green and neat!! I would love to do a patio down in our woods. Our slope is a little more steep!

  5. Green and Serene! And very, very inviting. You've done great job there.

  6. Thank you! I loved it. One question: do you have deer? I am assuming no, looking at your hostas! What about rabbits or chipmunks to eat all that nice lettuce and leafy greens? No? I have to spray for the rabbit, and we live in a very built up environment. Luckily, the deer haven't been a problem, and most of my flowers are within a fenced area. Ok, maybe I'll do a tour too! REally looks good Pam.

  7. I love your mulched path in the woods and would love to do the same. But have a question. How do you get the leaves off it in the fall? with a blower? We have so many leaves (and sweet gum balls) that I have been afraid to make a mulch path.

    1. Linda, you didn't leave an email, so I hope you see my answer here. Blowing leaves in the Fall is the most difficult thing to do. The path is made of cypress chips and they are really lightweight and usually blow away, so we put the blower on low and blow down the path so the chips won't will stay on the path and not get in the mulch. This year we're going to try doing something different and have one person carry a cardboard shield for the edge, while the other person blows. We hope that will work. The path can also be raked as it really isn't that long, as well. The mulch is difficult to blow because all the leaves get in the plants. Some of the mulch blows away, but by then it's pretty intertwined together and not loose. I also help by raking as he uses the blower. Hope that helps.

  8. Your yard has always been a favorite of mine. You guys have designed it beautifully. The hostas are most impressive along the side of the house. The pathway to your childhood playhouse is like something from a storybook. The fire pit and patio area would be a favorite area for us! Mosquitos are the scourge. We have a trick that helps but it may not be a favorite way for some. The mulch looks incredible. I know the work involved since we do it too. We usually put down around 3 yds of it. Your shrubs look perfect out front! Now you can relax and enjoy it all! Well maybe :-)

  9. What gorgeous gardens and large property. We just sold our house a year ago with all that property. We couldn't do it anymore 20 years was enough. Love your hostas gorgeous and that patio out in the woods is a beauty. I also like that path.


  10. I have severe yard and garden envy....gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous...I love the path to your childhood great is that!...and such a wonderful patio area in the should be so proud of your labor of love!!!...stunning Pam!!

  11. Your yard is just gorgeous!! We finally finished all of our mulching. So glad to have that task done!


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