We’ve lived in the same place for 6 years now. When we arrived, it was May and the yard was just beginning to unfold for the summer. The tenant before us had done some planting and landscaping, it was quite nice. I had no idea what was there, but it was a lot of fun to water it and watch it grow. Our yard is full of surprises, there are waves of continuous change over the growing season and I love to spend time with it. Over the years I have spent hours watering it, I’ve pulled billions of weeds and probably some gorgeous intentional plants too, disrupted and relocated many bulbs, allowed weeds to join the party, added more plants, learned about new plants, I have made mistakes, and there have also been many victories. It’s a beautiful yard full of life, at times it is a bit wild and out of control, but I think it’s perfectly imperfect.
Here are a few images of how the yard looks at the beginning of April. Signs of life emerge while signs of death still linger from last year. It looks rather empty at this point, however, there is already a lot happening. It about time to get to work!
The section below always seems to get particularly out of control. I’m hoping to somewhat tame it this year. A couple of years ago I transplanted a row of Hostas bordering the grass, they finally took off and will look nice and full when they grow in. Last year I planted a sage bush that did really well. You can see what’s left of it in the center. I didn’t bother to chop it down at the end of the season and because we ended up having a rather mild winter, the sage plants ended up living until January or February. So what we were left with by the time April rolled around was a bunch sprawling scraggly sage branches trying to root in odd ways.
Sage is such a pretty herb even when it’s dried out and brown, it still has lovely detail and softness in the leaves. I think this is a great herb bush to have around, even if you don’t use sage in your cooking, there are a lot of other benefits- it smells great, you can use it to make sage bundles, it thrives for a very long time, and it blooms lovely stalks of purple flowers. I hope this one comes back in full force, I think it will once I prune it a bit. There is another Sage plant across the yard with a similar story.
In the past two years I transplanted a bunch of Hostas around the yard in effort to have a few more solid easy perennials in the mix. I harvested some larger varieties from my Dad’s garden and others from the walkway between the houses. On the left it’s densely lined with a mix of 2 Hosta varieties. This is a very low-maintenance area, the Hostas do really well here and block out nearly all weeds. We don’t need to water them much because, unlike the rest of the yard, there’s not a ton of direct sun. On the right is also mostly Hostas, but more sparse with a few other plants mixed in. This side needs a little more attention. Within a month, this aisle will be bursting with green.
The patio is clear and ready for the table/chairs and my potted vegetable garden. Any day now. The lilac bushes are budding and by the end of April they will be in full bloom. The four houses to the west of us also have lilac trees. They bloom from the west first, so ours is the last to blossom, lilac season is extra gorgeous around here. And, yes the whole area smells just as you might imagine.
The patio moss was vibrant all winter this year. It was the first winter that the moss really thrived, it actually was more lush than it is in the summer, super bright and alive. We usually have moss in the cracks toward the garage, but this yard is quite brutal in the summer, it is basically under direct sun all day long, most of the moss will fry in the summer and then return in the fall.
It’s not a huge yard, but it’s got a lot going on, for a lover of plant life and gardening, it’s a dream yard for a city girl. It’s a lot of work to keep up with the weeds, but therapeutic and rewarding work. We’re lucky to have such a lovey green outdoor space to enjoy. Can’t wait to hang out all summer!