I'm so excited about some updates we have recently made to our backyard and back patio. When we first moved into our home in April 2011, we focused primarily on the interior of the home. Starting last summer, we started making tweaks to the front of the house and backyard. We spend quite a lot of time doing so, but it really brings both Ian and me joy, despite the sizeable dent in the bank account. :)
Here are some photos I snapped yesterday of the back of the house. The bushes you see all along the patio are brand new!
Wednesday after work, I went to Home Depot and purchased ten new plants -- six golden euonymus (an evergreen shrub with pretty green and yellow leaves) and four bright pink knockout roses.
The next step was the easiest ... we hired out the labor. :) We used a local landscaping service to build up the beds with new soil, plant the shrubs and roses, and fertilize.
They didn't top it with any mulch, but we hit up Home Depot on Saturday morning for four bags of cedar mulch and spread it around the beds ourselves. We also purchased three gardenia plants for the side of this wall you see below.
The alternating plants provide so much color to this area. I just love the pop of the pink roses with the yellow and green leaves. It was important for me to have something that would stay evergreen even when the roses aren't blooming.
I also planted some purple pansies, white mums, and sweet potato vine into some smaller pots on our patio. Sweet potato vine (the neon green vine you see spilling out of the ivory planters below) and I get along beautifully -- so easy to grow, and when it starts looking weakly and pale I just cut it back and it returns the next year. It's also really simple to root -- in fact, the sweet potato vine I planted Saturday came from a clipping that I had in a small bud vase indoors. After about a week in the vase, it had sprouted several new roots so I just stuck it in a pot with some of the purple pansies.
So now the most interesting part is the before and after. I think the change is pretty big. Below is a photo from the day we looked at the house -- March 2011.
Within this time, here's a list of what we have changed:
+ New grass seed and lots of TLC on the lawn
+ Restained patio gate and wooden fence around yard
+ Removed satellite dish from roof
+ Border of knockout roses, golden euonymus, gardenia, elephant ear around patio
+ New, darker-shingled roof (ouch, that one hurt)
+ Power-washed house exterior earlier this month
+ Installed outdoor speakers
+ Made over screened porch into more of a living area (photos coming soon)
+ Installed fountain on brick wall
+ Pruned back trees
+ Replaced pinestraw beds with mulch beds
+ Planted ivy and hosta in mulch beds around trees
+ Planted spring bulbs (daffodils, tulips, crocus) in mulch beds
+ Planted a Japanese coral maple in backyard
+ Painted screened porch ceiling haint blue
+ Repainted stamped concrete patio
Isn't home-ownership fun?!?!
It has truly been a labor of love (and continues to be) but we have really enjoyed making all of these fun changes!