Mom, Mike and I have spent a lot of time in the yard lately just trying to get it back in shape after "winter." The last few months have actually been really restorative for the plants since they were struggling at the end of last summer's drought.
We had also decided to make some changes to the landscaping and finally had time to do it. The previous owners had pretty ornamental plants and we wanted more edible ones. So we dug out all the hedges and some of the geraniums to make room for a berry patch. Most of last year's strawberry plants survived, and we added a few more to fill in the gaps. They are going strong.
So excited for strawberries!
The blueberry bush we bought last year had basically turned into a stick by the end of the summer, but I'm glad to report that it did survive and it's started to leaf out quite a bit.
We bought two more blueberry bushes and then two raspberry plants, both of which seem to be happy.
One of the happy raspberries.
In order to keep the dogs and Harper from messing up the plants, Mike built a fence around them.
We did leave these pretty tulips in the middle, although we might move the bulbs later.
I actually didn't know they were going to come up until I noticed them poking out from under one of our planter boxes. When I moved the box I discovered a little salamander family living under there. At first I thought they were newts, so I showed Harper and she kept going back to that spot yelling, "baby NEWT!" So funny.
On the other end of the berries there is a beautiful fuchsia plant that also looked pretty terrible a few months ago. I'm so glad to see that it's back in bloom.
The other red and white fuchsia plant got sort of squished by another bush, so it's taking a little longer to recover. But I think it will.
This mum that looks like daisies was another surprise.
I had planted it in the ammo box planter, and not only did it return, it jumped out into places all over the yard.
The mint that was growing in the box got this sort of purple trim around the edges, but it seems to be turning back to normal.
Our hydrangeas look really lush again, which is nice. We have one little and one big, but the little guy is catching up!
The calla lilies that were so pretty last year are popping through the soil again.
And I'm thrilled to see this orchid, the only potted plant I kept from the previous owners, produced these impressive blooms.
I forgot to water this plant I bought at the end of last summer and figured it was dead, but it has flowers on it again. Whew!
I had to trim a couple geranium plants because they became absolutely huge after the winter rains.
The side yard, where the dogs are supposed to do their business, got completely overgrown with shoulder-high weeds.
So I finally dug them all up, plus all the ground cover that was keeping the dogs from using the rest of the yard. We are going to regrade it a little bit to help with drainage and then plant new grass seed.
Just a bit better...
We dug up a LOT of weeds to make a little tomato patch, and then fenced it in.
We got a few more plants to fill in some open spots. And of course I can't give up my dream of having dahlias.
I also can't give up on our little mandarin tree, which has yet to produce an edible orange. It was happiest in the shade of one of our ugly hedges, so now that the hedge is gone I keep moving it around the yard trying to find a good spot.
It does at least have some small oranges all over it. The other orange tree, though, has totally flourished.
When we moved in it had one orange and no new blossoms. Now it is producing like crazy. It has fragrant blossoms and bees all over it.
It has some tiny green oranges and some that are almost ready to pick.
We pruned it a little and weeded around it, but mostly we are just waiting for those oranges to ripen. Exciting!
Our little front-yard garden got kind of disrupted when we had our sewer lateral replaced, but it still looks pretty good. And then mom dug out the little triangular spot in our driveway, planted some pretty flowers and decorated it with a cool rock. I'll have to post some photos of that.
All in all we are feeling really great about the yard and just hoping it stays healthy as long as possible since another dry summer is pretty much guaranteed.