A back yard project to enjoy

by SmithorJones on March 2, 2009

in Garden, Gold Country


Friends of ours have been working on their back yard for a few years. It has actually been in place for most of those years, but every now and then, as they find things that work (or don’t) they change it around. They move things here and there and pull stuff out, put things in their place, that sort of thing. It ALWAYS looks amazing though.

This gives a glimpse of early awakenings around what I’m coming to refer to as “daffodil time.”  The fruit trees are also getting ready for their season.  It’s actually pretty early in the year for them to be doing this, but who’s going to argue with a tree? [Well, Smitty might, but so far I dont think he’s ever won one of those arguments.]  😉 They’ve had sunshine and rain and it’s warm again so it’s time for flowers, they’re thinking.  Hopefully, we won’t have any killer frost come April.  Meanwhile, it’s sure a pretty thing to enjoy.

Everything that our friends do around their place, they try to find the most cost-efficient/conservative method. They both find ways of doing things by hand, trying to limit use of power and finding ways to passively heat their home and water, as well as people-power things like the sewing machine, spinning wheel, lighting for the house, etc.

The little concrete bench has a tile mosaic on it that she made from broken tiles she got from a tile store.  She did the bench, and a patio table to match for next to nothing in cost. (If you click the pictures, you can see them bigger.)

The third picture is a butterfly bush that I brought her a slip off of a year or so ago.  Most of the flowers she has she grew from cuttings, seed or bulbs – even her vegetable garden she saves seeds for and plants again the following season.

This butterfly bush grew into a nice size bush last year from the little plant that I rooted for her, and she cut it back and it’s already coming back exuberantly.

I need to get a slip from her – mine got MOWED when I put it out front.  Even after I had carefully showed our “lawn boy” where not to mow – put a marker next to it and a neighboring plant that I also wanted to preserve – oops!  Lawn boy is now me, so maybe this year I can grow decorative plants to attract more hummies and butterflys.  Of course – containers would probably be a better idea anyway since our dirt is mostly clay out front, and just about solid rock in the back.

You can see the fountain she’s made from an old watering trough in the fifth picture.  She just put a bubbler in it (an old bird bath/fountain) and surround it with those slump-stone stacking blocks – and voila! “water feature”.   To keep the algae down she’s opted for the swimming pool chlorine thing.  She used to have goldfish in there, but the water got too green and she decided to make that concession for a cleaner look.

The last one is a kumquat I think.  She likes to get the dying plants from what she calles “the dead table” at Lowes.  They’re the plants that are barely still alive, and they will sell them to you for a few cents.  She takes them home, revives them, and ends up with this gorgeous, fruit bearing bush as a patio decoration.   The fruit is like an orange – only the peel is sweet, and the insides are bitter.  Really interesting to bite into.

So, anyway, that was our garden stroll today.  I’ll try to get back in the late spring/early summer when the roses are blooming.  It’s so beautiful.

Neat folks. Inspiring folks. Nice ones too.
Park Seed
Gardener's Supply Company


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