The Yard Got It's Summer Shine On

I’ve spent a lot of time in the yard lately (you know, since it’s super hot now).  The Engineer just got his private pilot’s license and had been spending all his free time studying for his tests and practicing in the plane.  I wanted to make sure I wasn’t a distraction to him, so I decided to take on some more of the yard while the home office renovation was on hold during the end of his training.

Oh yes, yes I did. 

In the front yard, I still had two massive African iris plants that needed to be split and planted from the last overhaul of the front bed. Engineer actually planted them on the side of our front yard to make a new bed. 

After another trip to Home Depot I came back with a fully loaded truck to convert this to a real bed.

Before I really got to work though, I had to tackle the unfortunately large task of weeding. Our front yard is still a yard of weeds and the entire bed area was covered in weeds that had firmly planted their roots years ago :(

Luckily, I didn’t feel too bad about spending my entire Saturday morning weeding because it was nicely shaded!

Once the area was free from weeds I was ready to install a border.

We really like this border for our pathways and bed areas. We discovered it because the previous owners had utilized in for the shell path in the back yard. When we redid the path, we reused it for the new path. Even though it is old, it has held up very well and provides a nice definition between the grass and pathways or bed areas. We like it so much that our goal is to utilize it in all the bed areas of the yard. It is a more expensive option, but it has been a good investment for us. Thus, I laid it out and started digging a small trench to place it in.

Not only did I encompass the new bed area with the border, but I continued all the way around three philodendron plants in the front yard. In the process I did have to cut through some tree roots and I even cut the bottom of the border in a few spots to go around old irrigation pipes.

I back-filled around the border, compacted the dirt, and started laying mulch.

We threw around a lot of ideas about what type of plant to put behind the African irises. We knew we wanted it to be a tall plant and I finally settled on sunflower seeds. I love sunflowers and have been looking for an excuse to plant them in the yard. I chose seeds instead of plants for two reasons. There are a ton of roots in this area of the yard and trying to dig a hole for a plant is a pain. Secondly, I’m not sure if there is enough sun here for sunflowers. I know they can grow in partial shade and might be stunted, but I just don’t know how they will do. I figured with seeds, if they don’t grow, they don’t grow and we will go for plan b!

So in the ground the little seeds went. I left the mulch pulled back so the seedlings would get as much sun while they are growing. We’ll see how they do!

I also added mulch to the other bed out front and they both look so nice now.

I transitioned to the back yard to take care of the (future) garden area that had gotten way out of hand.

Umm…WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?!??!

I knew we had a little crab grass farm going over there, but we totally lost control. Don’t worry, it didn't take too much to regain control.

Not that the area is super pretty or anything, but it will be once we finish it! And we have little lemons growing <3

I made two more new beds in the back yard just like I had done in the front yard.

I had already transplanted a bush from the front yard to the corner by the work shop, and these poor plants have been sitting in their pots for weeks waiting to be planted.

Prior to trenching for the border, I salvaged some grass for transplanting :)

Just like the front, I put the border in, put new plants in, and mulched.

In this bed I planted a banana tree a friend gifted to us because they didn’t have a yard for it, but we're giving it lots of love here!

I also transplanted these plants from in front of the shed to this new bed.

Even though I only planted them there a few months ago, we decided that we wanted to go in a different direction by the shed. I hope they aren’t too mad at me for uprooting them!

Over by the shed, I had already done work along the fence so I put a new border in, planted new bushes in front of the shed, and mulched.

It sure has been a lot of work in the heat, but I am so so happy with the progress in the yard. I love looking at it through the windows and make little detours just to do so when I am walking around the house haha! What a goober right? The grass in the back really surprised us because despite half of it being completely dead six months ago, it is flourishing now.

Now we will be able to maintain the yard instead of overhauling something every time we go out there. 

Thanks for reading, come back soon to see more updates in the home office!