It’s all too mu(l)ch!

DH and I are very new to having a yard.  At our condo all we ever had was a tiny table with a tiny table and chair set, a few potted annuals, and some potted herbs.  And that was all on the back steps!  Now that we’ve purchased our first house, we’re at a loss as to what to do with the yard.  So far we’ve managed to purchase (and use!) a human-powered mower for our small amount of actual grass but the dandelions are definitely still winning.  Sigh.

We have a beautiful magnolia tree in the front yard but the grass doesn’t grow beneath it, nor under the big maple in front of our house.

magnoliaAt first DH and I thought about installing stone tree rings around the base of the trees, but just before we purchased the supplies we read some additional comments online that said tree rings around mature trees can cause them to slowly die!  I’m sure there’s a right way to approach a landscaping project like that, but DH and I are such amatures that we decided to go the easier route: mulch.  Although we did read that you can mess up mulch, it seemed like if we were careful not to install too much, that we’d be okay.  

After a quick trip to Home Depot for two bags of “dark brown” we quickly realized two things.  First, whoever is responsible for naming mulch colors is not the same person responsible for naming paint colors.  Second, we’d need way more than two bags of mulch.  After a second trip to Home Depot, we finally had enough mulch to make a dent in the yard:

tree mulch

I apparently didn’t take an “after” shot of the magnolia tree, but hopefully I will next time we’re out in the yard.  There seems to be no end to yard work, so I’m sure we’ll be out there plenty this summer!  

The front of the house currently looks pretty sad–you can see the flaking stucco because there are no shrubs or anything planted there.  Just a few lonely tulips.

front yard 1I have lots of ideas of how to pretty the space up, but DH and I haven’t worked out the plan for expanding the deck yet, so we’re holding back on investing in much landscaping since this area might be part of the new deck eventually and we’re trying to be strategic about where we spend our limited dollars.  Meaning for now, our little house will have the saddest yard on the block, but hopefully only for a year or so.  

DH and I hope to get started this fall or winter with planning a larger and more functional deck that we can have built next Spring or Summer.  Right now, we’re considering expanding the deck all the way around to the front.  Currently, the deck is pretty small and not in the best shape.  We’ll have to have an expert though tell us what is actually feasible!  Until then, we might just throw down some “dark brown” mulch and call it a day–and hope the neighbors don’t mind too much!

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4 thoughts on “It’s all too mu(l)ch!

  1. The mulch is a big improvement! You could add a couple of annuals in there to add colour! Landscaping takes many years (in my opinion) to get it that way you like it.
    We are still working on it and expect to be working on it for many, many years 🙂

    • Thanks! It really does help. We’re definitely going to add some annuals, but we might focus those more on the deck area where we’ll be hanging out–at least for this year. Glad to know that no one has all their landscaping done right away!
      Cheers,
      G

  2. I just did a huge amount of searching to find some things to put around the condo, and was a little surprised at some of the things I found. So, I figured I would share them with you in case they come in handy 🙂 First, I was most surprised that the Arbor Day Foundation sells trees, and also bushes, hydrangeas, and some other plants (http://www.arborday.org/shop/index.cfm), for really really low prices. Really low. We also went to the Botanic Garden to get some ideas one day, and I was reminded that one can also find a lot of beauty in native plants, so I jotted down a few plant species and found this website that sells many native plants: http://www.prairiemoon.com/. These people from Canada have some great ornamental grasses and willows and a few other things, along with their “enviro-turf” lawn seed that apparently does not need much water http://www.bluestem.ca/. Bulbs Direct http://www.bulbsdirect.com/ had some great deals on things like hostas and peonies and other plants along with obviously bulbs. Finally, this place has almost everything http://parkseed.com/default.aspx. For most plants, I’ve found it is usually cheaper to order online than getting it from a nursery, and sometimes you can find things that you may not come across in a nursery, though I still love to go to Anton’s http://www.antonsgreenhouses.com/. The only catch is that with some of the online places, they will only ship certain plants in the spring and/or in the fall, so it may take some advanced planning. OK, well, not sure if this is helpful or not, but enjoy.

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