Today I am having as part of my lunch a cucumber that grew in my garden. *smile* That’s just kind of neat. I like being sort of a little bit self-sufficient when it comes to food. There is at least one other cuke ready to be picked, so I’ll pr’bly have another tomorrow or Wednesday. And there are lots more (pr’bly eight to ten) that just need some more time. I know because I found them this weekend when – in a fit of self-disgust – I finally cleared out all the weeds from that patch. *blush*
We did some sort of .. well, at least general idea planning this weekend about the yard. It started with a discussion of what do we want to do with the side yard now that the bushes are gone and developed from there. Generally, we’re going to pretty much overhaul the look and feel of our yard over the next several years, mostly in the back, though the front and side yard will change a bit too.
The biggest change we’d like to make is to re-landscape the backyard and get rid of most of the grass. We tend not to use the backyard much because there’s very little shade. There’s lots of wide open grass space, but we don’t have much need for it and we have mutant grass and very good soil, so the grass grows incredibly fast so it’s a pain to maintain. So our loose plan is as follows:
1) Move the fence between the backyard and the side yard out to where the bushes used to be, and shorten it to about half its current height (it’s currently 6 ft. tall). This brings the shade from the apple tree into the part of the yard we’re most likely to use while still allowing folks from the street to see the garden.
2) Use patio pavers to extend the patio area out into the backyard another 5-6 feet. This will require us to dig up that section of the yard a little to get it all level, but allows us to make more of the yard actually usable.
3) Pull out the sand cherry in the back by the garage. Relocate the raspberries (don’t laugh, we can make it work) to the other side of the fence so they grow along the fence and will therefore be easier to actually get to. To do this, we’ll likely replant plants to the back of the fence and then just use something to completely kill whatever remains. Don’t worry, we aren’t planning to grow much there anyway.
4) Continue the patio pavers along the property-line fence (not really on the property line, but on that side of the yard) to what we hope will be a little gazebo area around the small apple tree. Possibly with a fountain where the raspberry bushes are currently.
5) Create a pergola over the patio and the walk to the gazebo. We’re looking for something here that we can grow some kind of quick-growing vines across to get shade in the summer, but that will die back completely in winter so the roof-structure doesn’t need to be strong enough to withhold the snow incumbent with a Midwestern winter. This piece is the kind of crucial one – it will give us a lot more shade in the backyard and make it a more green space.
6) Fill in along between the patio and the gazebo with plants – not grass. This is the big piece for me – getting to plan an actual garden instead of just borders or whatnot. We’re thinking something that will be diverse and bloom throughout the summer, but requiring little in terms of annual replanting. A good friend has a yard like this that we really like and he’s offered to help us design ours (and to give us starters from some of his plants).
7) Leave the side yard as grass, enclosed by the existing (or planned) gardens. The veggie garden will be put in the side yard where the bushes used to be because they’ll get the best light there. We may also replant several of the rose bushes to that line to get them off the garage.
8) The front yard will stay mostly as it is, but we’ll run morning glories up the front of the porch (from window boxes) and likely some shade-loving veggie or whatever up the side of the porch, so we’ll get the shade in the summer and the sun in the winter.