Sunday, May 27, 2012

Backyard Fun

I have to admit, it has been kind of nice having Brad home more this spring, because we've been able to get a lot done in our yard. It was pretty weedy and overgrown when we bought our house, and we didn't do much the first year because we were so focused on the inside of the house. We kind of left the "garden" areas, to see what would grow. As you can see from this picture, nothing but weeds grew.

The sidewalk on the left continues around the yard in a "U" which leads to the ponds. I was told the people who lived here before us had a garden in the bottom of the "U" but whatever they had is long gone. Not sure what's going on next to the garage there either, but there is a little spot outlined in cement (we're working on a fairy garden in that area), and the section of yard on the other side of the sidewalk was also full of weeds.

By our second year here, it was a beast. The lamium around the small pond managed to completely overtake the back garden area, obscuring the hostas, daylilies, and even a gorgeous peony bush we didn't know was there.

Last fall, we mowed everything in the "U" down, and piled all of our leaves on top. I bet the neighbors behind us were horrified. This spring, we cleared away the leaves and were left with a relatively weed free area. Right now, we're working on installing a butterfly garden, which has been a great learning experience for all of us.

We're doing it on a budget, of course. The bad thing about having extra time because you're unemployed is that there is no extra money to do the things you'd like to do! So we're adding to it gradually, using small perennials and annuals. Next year we'll add more perennials, but now it looks a bit wimpy. I'll probably add more annuals soon, but I am trying to take things slowly this year, rather than doing what I usually do, which is buy five flats of flowers when I can't possibly plant them all before they shrivel up and die from the heat. See? Frugal.

We haven't had many new butterflies this year, but we have these guys every year (I think they're actually moths, but don't tell the girls!). If you're outside in the sun on a warm evening, you can't keep them from landing on you.

Especially if you are a butterfly princess.

Check out what's left of the weed patch behind Lissie. I was feeling a little discouraged the other day, but after seeing that picture from two years ago, I'm feeling a lot better about what we've done. Unfortunately, I discovered poison ivy growing in that section, which has slowed me down a bit.