A Blank Canvas

Here it is the first week of April, spring on the calendar, and it has snowed twice totaling over a foot.  So I have been dreaming, and planning and ordering plants.  The blank slate I acquired with my new home was begging me last season to be filled with beautiful plants.  I worked on some of the basics last season and can't wait to see how well it comes back this season.  The challenge of my blank slate is learning much different soil and sun, as well as a completely different character of both the property and home structure than my last property.  

From the beginning then, here is the barren back yard:

Blank Canvas by Midwest Gardening.JPG

The boulder landscaping and paver work that was already done was functionally well planned with great structure to start with.  However the beds were installed to make sure that absolutely nothing would grow to take care of.  Layers of heavy landscape fabric lies under the mulch.  No problem, pulled that right out of course so I could dig in some compost.  Again I was fortunate to start with reasonable soil, which I never expected in the city.  A nice treat after 20 some years of battling rock hard clay in the suburbs.

Garage bed by Midwest Gardening.jpg

Much of this area gets a lot of sun, at least after removing a 30 foot half dead evergreen right about where that pot is.  I have a lot of shady area so I plan to make the most of this sunny bed

Sideyard by Midwest Gardening.jpg

This is one of the shady areas that will be difficult to grow anything blooming, so color and texture are on the agenda.  The shade bed runs off to the right toward the house.  I have my eye on that sunny patch of grass to the left for my edibles.  If we ever get rid of this snow I have some serious work with the shovel ahead of me!

I wish I had taken more pictures both before I got started as well as what I was able to accomplish so far.  I do have a few hints of the plants that did establish last season.

Upper bed by Midwest Gardening.jpg

In the upper bed at the top of the stairs I planted Jackson and Perkins Party Dress Ground Cover Rose.  For first season they performed beautifully.

Upper Side bed.JPG

Along with the roses I planted May Night Salvia and Echinacea Pow Wow, both of course established quickly and I do love them!

I did get some of the bones planted in the lower bed last season.  A few evergreens and hydrangea, and a couple flowering shrubs.  I also used that sunny area for my tomatoes last year.  I did not get any pictures last year so I will be sure to document from spring forward this season, as well as the shady areas.

And one last area I just could not help myself from planting was the alley, at least a little for the first season.  I was fortunate again, to acquire some nice boulder work for the beginnings of a pretty alley entrance.  I really hope to inspire a blooming alley on the whole block.  These giant marigolds can be seen from the street entrances on both ends of the block.

Blooming Alley by Midwest Gardening.jpg

I am very, very, anxious to continue this season.  Gonna be a late start I think.


Sharon DwyerComment