Spring Flowers

Operation Fix My Yard is currently underway, but it’s being held up by the extremely uncooperative weather.

Our yard is, for lack of a better word, ugly.  Well, not the whole thing, but pretty hefty portions of it.  The area around the cemetery is in pretty good shape, although it’s dotted with stumps from trees that were cut down by previous owners (makes mowing even more difficult than just dodging graves and headstones).  There are even some daffodils growing in good spots that brighten that part of the yard.  But most of the rest of it is in poor shape.

We can’t really do anything about the grass right now, since the best time to re-seed is in the fall, but I can tackle the landscaping around the front of the house.  Here’s what it looks like now:

Our "lovely" landscaping

Lovely, huh?

Obviously it needs a great deal of work.  Those funky shrubs are coming out; we might transplant them over by our storage building, but I haven’t decided on that.  There’s also what looks like a mum down by the corner of the house that’s got to go.  In their places, we’re putting in lots of flowering plants in shades of white and purple, along with some herbs for color and scent.

Thyme makes a nice green ground cover, so I’m starting with it closest to the driveway.  Follow it up with white, lavender and purple pansies, then some more thyme.  We were going to then plant some Johnny Jump Up, a lovely deep purple and yellow, but my mom commented that the stuff spreads like dandelions, so we might re-think that.  Miss Saigon Dutch Irises, white calla lilies, lavender, and delphiniums in shades of white and purple.  With more thyme and maybe some rosemary to fill in where needed along the ground.

The other side of the driveway looks like this:

The corner by the garageThat bush is coming up, as are the daffodils that apparently cropped up behind it.  The daffodils are definitely going to get transplanted, though, even if it’s just to the other side of the porch.  In the little brown bush’s place, we’re putting in an Oregold hybrid tea rose bush.

We’ve also got a packet of Chinese lantern seeds.  These pop up in awesome green bushes with great, bright red paper lantern-esque pods that hang down.  I might plant those down by the willow tree or to each side of the driveway for a splash of color:

I swear, it's in there somewhere...It's a bit bland.


About SouthernSugar

A Southern girl who's used to small town life, I found myself moving to Washington, DC, in 2008 for a new job, and living there was an eye-o
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3 Responses to Spring Flowers

  1. Dindrane says:

    You know, my parents have Johnny Jump Ups, and I actually rather like them. They live in Texas, too, where the only thing that ever kills off plants is the heat in summer – their growing season is from like September to May.

    They do spread like crazy, but they’re such pretty little flowers that it’s really hard to mind it. They’re a lot nicer than dandelions.

    I agree with you about those shrubs, though! They don’t even look like they’d be all that attractive when they were larger.

    I don’t know if this particular plant would work in your part of the world, but I’ve got a little Nandina plant on my porch. At least in my climate, it’s one of those magical I-totally-can’t-kill-it plants. It’s drought tolerant, cold tolerant, and shade tolerant (although its colors are more vivid if it gets lots of sun). It’s a slow-growing shrub, of the type that will never steal the spotlight, and never look ugly. I have a variety called “Heavenly Bamboo” (even though it is not in any way, shape, or form a bamboo) – it’s a dwarf version that looks a bit like this: http://www.greenscenelandscape.com/images/Plants/Nandina_domestica.jpg

    Anyway, it makes a good hedge, and it won’t take over your yard. I can also vouch for the fact that it looks good in all seasons, which is kind of a nice thing when everything else looks like crap.

    • southernsugar says:

      We might keep the Johnny Jump Ups — they fit the color scheme so well, and Southern Honey actually picked them out — but I just foresee myself having to pull them up all over the yard in the future. But at least you’re right that they are nicer than dandelions! 😀

      I don’t know what’s up with the shrubs, or if they ever were any bigger than they are right now. They just look… bleh, although they’re greening up a little bit But they’re goners.

      The Nandina plant is cute! I can think of a few places where they might work around the house… I will definitely keep it in mind when I start planning the next section of landscaping. I’m trying not to bite off more than I can chew all at once, so I’m starting with the front landscaping and the trees that should be coming from the Arbor Day Foundation. Then in the fall, I’ll plant some peonies and we’ll reseed the yard so that hopefully it will be in better shape for next summer. Maybe then we can do some of the Nandinas as well. (I need something unkillable to keep my spirits up in case everything else goes horribly awry, lol!)

      • Dindrane says:

        I think it sounds like an excellent idea to take the landscaping slowly. 🙂

        Incidentally, nandina comes in several varieties – the one I have is a dwarf, so it’ll never get much bigger than 4′. But some of them can get rather tall, I think.

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