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What four years can do for a garden

When we first moved into our KY home four years ago the landscape was in dire need of some love. The house had been rented for the last three years and there was a LOT of weed overgrowth in the very back borders, barren borders and weedy lawn… the homeowner did have a landscape company come in and trim, weed and mulch next to the house before listing it for sale though so that was something.

So this is what the backyard borders looked like then… they were all lined in ugly pink cement pavers… YUCK! In general I am not a fan of lined borders, there are exceptions to this though like for stacked stone or metal edging.

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One of the first things we did was remove the overgrown shrubs from the corner of the house, expand the border slightly and plant 6 (5 ft. tall) Arborvitae’s “Thuja” for privacy on our patio, you see the neighbors had 3 Great Dane’s that were prone to staring and drooling… (I think he wants to eat my little Chewy)

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We also built this planter box for vines etc. to add additional privacy while the shrubs were growing…

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This is what that area looks like today! Very private and lush and as a bonus I can plant plants in the planter that I can’t plant on the ground because of those rascally rabbits!

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This is the view from the neighbor’s side (taken in Feb.), the Arborvitae’s are about 15 ft tall today!

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By the way I listed the pavers on Craig’s List for free and a guy came and pulled them up and hauled away all of them… man am I so glad that he did the work for me!

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We got rid of the Euonymus, mainly because I hate them but also because the deer eat them which would bring them up to the patio to search out other plants as well. We relocated the Princess Spirea to the end of the border and planted lots of herbs, Lambs Ear, Bleeding Heart, Russian Sage and one of my favorite trees a River Birch.

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We also extended the border and removed the “sandbox” (that square thing with all of the weeds in it) and we relocated the rock from the “firepit” (the round thing with all of the weeds in it) to the backside and shaded area of the property.

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The border extension was just done 2 years ago so most of the plants in this area are only a year or two old, except for the Princess Spirea of course.

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They’re Butterfly bushes at the very tip along with Grey Owl Junipers in the background which helps disguise manhole cover.

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We are very proud of what we accomplished in our garden in four years! We love seeing the plants grow and thrive especially as a lot of our plants were started from seed… So now we have to start all over in a new home, with a lot of empty borders… Hubby installed 16 yards of mulch all by himself last Saturday!

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So glad I was not there to help, which sounds awful of me I know, but I also know what a job this was!

Our new borders will eventually be full of plants, the fuller they are the less mulch we will need because I’m sure I won’t be let off the hook next time we need to mulch!

Thanks so much as always for stopping by…

Until next time!

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It’s Fall and Time For Planting!

Happy Friday all! I wanted to share with you the break we took this past weekend (from boring unpacking and tedious setting up) so we could to enjoy the beautiful Louisville, KY weather! While we didn’t spend much of that time exploring Louisville we did enjoy working in our new yard. Gardening is one of our favorite things to do and Fall is the best time for planting trees and shrubs. It is much less stressful on the plant, as it requires a lot less attention and watering from you, plus the weather is usually cooler which is a plus!

We aren’t planning on planting too much more in our yard (we have over an acre) but we did want to deal with some unsightly issues sooner than later…

Here is one of them, these pavers surrounding ALL of the borders and trees… I really don’t care for this look, even if the pavers had been installed perfectly I still wouldn’t like them.

BEFORE

Unsightly borders

I wanted these pavers gone ASAP… but honestly I didn’t want to have to remove them myself, it would have been a HUGE job. So I decided to list them for free on Craig’s List, being sure to make people aware they had to remove them from the landscape. I had 20 emails within the first 15 minutes! I was stoked, not only would I not have to remove them, but now someone else would get something they needed! By the way it took the guy 2 days to remove them all… once again sooo glad he wanted them!

I just really think the landscape looks so much better now with those pavers gone and a fresh layer of mulch!

AFTER

Unsightly borders improved

There were a lot more pavers around back too…

Unsightly borders

Our main outdoor project for this Fall was to remove this unsightly bush/weed combination from the corner of the house, expand the bed and plant a privacy “hedge”. The first thing I did was cut all of the limbs off the unsightly shrub so that my Hubby could do his “manly” thing with the chainsaw, cutting the trunk down as close to the base as possible. The remaining stump is just too close to the house for me to feel comfortable about having a stump grinder come in so we will just let it degrade naturally.

See the two shrubs in one mess below…

Removing unsightly shrubs

We wanted to add a row of Arborvitae in this area and connect the two borders into one larger border. The screening will allow for some privacy from the neighbors while also screening their 3 Great Danes and Bloodhound from our VERY nosy dogs! I want to mention that the neighbors are great, but sometimes a little privacy is important too…

Here is just one of the Dane’s and our little Schnoodle…

Great Dane Schnoodle stand off

By the way do you see the drool hanging from the Danes muzzle… I think he wants to eat poor little Chewy! Let me tell you our little Schnoodle acts like he will tear him up!!! I know that Great Dane is thinking “thank goodness for the fence” Winking smile

After removing the large shrub our next job was to mark the area where we wanted to link the borders together. I then sprayed the area with Roundup in order to kill as much grass as possible before we started planting. You can see the sprayed area still has grass, but there is no need to remove it. We put down a layer of paper (we had plenty from our unpacked boxes) directly over the dead grass and then a layer of mulch. Installing a paper barrier is a REALLY important step to help with future weed control.

Paper under mulch for weed control

We purchased 6 Arborvitae and planted them slightly closer than the recommended 3 foot spacing. I REALLY love the look of black mulch, it makes your plants look super green and sharp!

Adding privacy screening to your landscape plan

Here is how the two borders connected together. We will eventually be installing a small flagstone pathway from the patio to the hammock in the border… I’m on the hunt for a stone supplier here in Louisville.

Planting in the Fall

Here is the view from our patio… and one of the Danes checking me out…

Now you see him…

Adding privacy screening to your landscape plan

…now you don’t!

Adding privacy screening to your landscape plan

These Arborvitae will get about 25ft tall and 6 feet in diameter at their base. They are very quick growing, which is why we chose the cheaper, smaller plants, they will grow about 18 inches a year and will be HUGE in no time! We are also going to install 3 trellises behind the planters. The planters have vines in them that need a place to climb and will be full of flowers come Spring.

So if you have some trees or shrubs you want to add to your landscape go out and get it done this Fall! You will be so glad you did when you see how beautiful they will be come Springtime! My tip for you is if you can wait for the plant to mature, then go ahead and buy a smaller plant. Not only is it less expensive, but the hole you have to dig will be smaller which is very appealing to those who have to dig the holes (which in our house is my Hubby)…

As always thanks for stopping by… now go out and get your hands dirty!

Until next time…

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