• 5 Years ~ Before & After in Our Fairfield Garden

    Posted on May 13, 2013 by in Things that inspire me in the garden
    We added a gazebo right away because we missed the one we left behind!

    We added a gazebo right away because we missed the one we left behind!

     

    Hard to believe but we just marked our fifth anniversary in our “new” old house. Many , many projects later, we still have a few major improvements to finish. This spring is exterior painting and new garage doors, but we are hiring those done. Even though I’m a good painter and have painted houses before , inside and out, my ladder days are over!

    For me, the most rewarding changes ┬áhave been accomplished in the landscape. My best friend teased the daylights out of me when we bought a house with “tortured shrubbery” (clipped into box and spiral shapes). But it was a half acre after a tiny lot and, even though two-thirds of it was covered in ivy and pachysandra, I knew there was a wonderful garden waiting to happen. And, there was a garden shed and an extra garage on the back of the house to store all my garden tools, pots and whatnot!

    Believe it or not, I have downsized a bit by planting more shrubs and perennials and less high maintenance plantings such as wisteria and akebia vines (got to stay off those ladders, remember?). Many of the plantings are natives or hardy as heck, so watering can be minimized. Tucking two to three inches of mulched leaves around everything keeps the moisture in and the weeds down, too. I plant thickly so there is little room for a weed to grab hold.

    There is no grass at all on the sides and behind our home. A large section of the back yard is a fenced and mulched dog yard. Our firepit patio is located there but, otherwise, it is an open space for Labs to run and tussle. Instead of planting grass in the side yards, I made wide flower beds and paths of pine mulch. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather trim and fuss with flowers than cut grass. We keep a small section of lawn in the front so the neighbors don’t get scared, but I am starting to think a picket fence and street bed might be nice!

    Some ivy still remains, but new raised beds are usurping some of its space. When I retire in June, I might just go at the rest of it and have it gone for good! In a garden, there’s always something new and another idea to try or chore to be done. This garden should keep me out of trouble for quite a long time!

    "Before" lots of grass, a few shrubs and the rest of the yard was ivy and pachysandra.

    “Before” lots of grass, a few shrubs and the rest of the yard was ivy and pachysandra.

    "After" flower beds have been widened, new flower beds added and lots of plants added to the landscape.

    “After” flower beds have been widened, new flower beds added and garden accents such as arbors, a gazebo and birdhouses enhance the landscape.

     

    Ivy had been cleared, a mulch path made and a fence put in for the dogs already before I took this "Before" shot.

    Ivy had been cleared, a mulch path made and a fence put in for the dogs already before I took this “Before” shot.

    Garden Room replaced the single garage and a shade flower bed and arbor are now part of the scene.

    Garden Room replaced the single garage and a shade flower bed and arbor are now part of the scene.

     

6 Responses so far.

  1. Oh my goodness, you are a genius!! The pictures of the front of the house don’t even look like the same place – it’s stunning. You must be so satisfied when looking at these photos.

    We’re into our second spring of rejuvenating a neglected garden too. It’s beginning to feel like “mine”, but we’ve got a long ways to go to achieve the kind of dramatic facelift you’ve done.

    Congratulations.

    • Barb says:

      It takes a while to turn the garden in the direction you want, doesn’t it, Heather? And drought, working full-time and watching your wallet keep getting in the way too of the grand plan! But it is starting to be what I had envisioned, although there’s much more to do still! Thanks for your visit and comment!

  2. I came over from Hometalk! I am so inspired by your amazing garden. Please keep posting!!!
    xoxo
    Robin

    • Barb says:

      Thanks for your visit and nice note, Robin! I hope you will subscribe and check Our Fairfield Home and Garden out on FaceBook too! Don’t worry – I retire in June and will be even more ready to garden and blog about it!

  3. WendyK says:

    You have done a beautiful job, Barb!

    I have my backyard more or less done, but my front yard is a difficult slope with rocks, heavy clay, and hot afternoon sun and I still haven’t managed to do much with it, even after almost 15 years. It doesn’t help that my cottage garden aesthetic doesn’t translate as well to a front yard, at least not in my neighborhood. You do a nice job of balancing mixed plantings of perennials and shrubs while maintaining a tidy appearance. Very inspirational.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers