Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Back Flowerbed

 ETA: I think I wrote this post sometime around June, but recently discovered that it never actually got posted.  Since I talk about this flower bed a lot and consider it a work in progress...I'm posting it now.


I've been alluding for some time to an ongoing project near our back fence, so I thought I'd better explain myself.  The "back 40" is the strip of land (steep slope) on the opposite side of this fence.  When we bought this house I had grand plans to put a gate in this fence and steps in the hillside - I even planted a bunch of flowers down the sides of these imaginary steps.  Then the city mowed them all over, exercising their right (obligation?) to mow the "right-of-way" opposite a fence with no gate.  And the real estate market went bad, and I got busy, and frankly it was just so far from the house...okay, enough excuses.  We've been letting the weeds take over the back 40 and the whole fence line ever since.  In the grand tradition of Shaela's house projects, I neglected to take a before picture before diving in.  To give you some idea how bad it had gotten, here's a closer shot of the section behind the shed where I encountered a rose bush and stopped clipping.

Somewhere in that clump is not only a massive multiflora rose, but also a medium-sized holly bush.  But when you look at it, you can't even tell they're there.

So I've devoted several hours this spring to chopping down volunteer trees and ripping out at least three different kinds of ivy, one of which seems to give me a very mild rash.  The cups you see in the picture at the top are little perennial seedlings, some of which I've already planted but many of which are still tipping over every time the wind gusts above 5mph.  ("Do you think they thought those were just trash?" N asked about the cups after some guests left one night.)  There are balloon flowers, pony tail grass, mallow, and soapwort, as well as a few daylilies I planted from seed last spring, a couple tough-as-nails flowering shrubs rescued from my former neighbor's flower bed, and two blueberry bushes.  (And, of course, potatoes in the recycling tote.)  It still takes some imagination, but I think it's going to be spectacular once it's planted and growing.

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